One winery I missed out on at the Riesling tasting was Kerri Thompson and the KT range from Clare. Luckily, I could catch up with her a couple of days later. These wines are a revelation. They are small production wines from well established grower vineyards - which give the wines the name - and made with great care.
The 2011 KT Peglidis Riesling shows very clean lemon and in particular lime flavours. It is very linear, not dissimilar to Grossett's Polish Hill. Yes, this is a big compliment The wine drinks well now, although so young (94 points). The 2011 KT Churinga Riesling is bigger flavoured, clearly from richer soil. The wine is not broad, however, and a very good expression of Watervale (92 points). The off-dry is called Melva. This wine uses wild yeast for fermentation, and it is bottled unfined. The wine has a complex bouquet and a sophisticated texture. At only 9g of sugar, it is a lot less off-dry than many others (93 points).
Kerri Thompson is known for her Rieslings, but the KT Churinga Shiraz from the excellent 2010 vintage is also terrific. The fruit is vibrant. Kerri picks it earlier than anybody else in the valley. Still, the wine has good mouthfeel and a solid tannin structure (94 points).
I highly recommend all these individually crafted wines, made with great care. (The exception is the 2011 KT Rosa, based on Tempranillo. This wine is very simple and lacks savoury flavours, 85 points).
It is fascinating to see a group of new winemakers delivering a new take on our most traditional wine regions and doing it very well: Kerri Thompson in the Clare, Steven Pannell at McLaren Vale, Peter Schell in the Barossa, Andrew Thomas in the Hunter. Anyone for Coonawarra?