Riesling has never really taken off in Australia, although it is popular with wine lovers, and good with Asian food, which we eat a lot. A few years ago, the producers came up with the 'Summer of Riesling' slogan and held many promotional events. This clearly lifted the profile of Riesling. It has been repeated ever since. I attended the first such event for the year about a week ago.
25 Rieslings were on show and demonstrated the diversity of expressions from this grape. The Eden Valley wines showed classical floral flavours, wines from Clare Valley were dry and steely and some from other areas saw inventive winemaking techniques.
Of the three wines I tasted from Eden Valley, I liked the 2015 Chaffey Brothers Zeitpunkt the best (91 points). It was very balanced and less floral than the 2014 Heggies and the 2015 Rieslingfreak No. 4 (88 points).
The 2015 Springvale and Polish Hill wines from Grosset showed the usual class. This time I preferred the Springvale (93 points), with the Polish Hill quite lean and closed, and lacking the acidity and line of the best years (92 points). The 2015 Mount Horrocks was dry, with good length (91 points).
The Tasmanian wines were quite different from each other. The 2015 Parish Vineyard had apple next to the citrus, but lacked line and finish (89 points). The 2015 Stargazer was a fuller wine with better length, and some residual sugar (91 points). The most interesting wine was the 2013 Moorilla Muse. This Riesling sees some old oak. It is quite a big wine with complex fruit and earthy characteristics (90 points).
The one wine from New Zealand was the 2014 Charteris Hunt Vineyard. It had attractive white flower and minerality, with some residual sugar (91 points).
The most interesting Rieslings I tasted came from MacForbes. He is really an exciting winemaker. His Rieslings come from the Strathbogie Ranges in Victoria. The 2015 Spring is a funky wine, but quite balanced with a bit of sweetness (92 points). My favorite was the off-dry wine (unusual for me). The 2015 RS29 was again well balanced, with great length and underlying acidity matching the sweetness very well (94 points).
The overall quality standard was good, with MacForbes providing the wow! factor. This was only the first round of Rieslings, plenty more to come in the next few weeks.