Riesling and shine Riesling is a celebrated grape, much beloved of wine writers. But Jeff Grosset, Australia's "king of riesling", believes drinkers overanalyse the grape, forgetting the most important thing: the taste. He believes drinkers should "talk about the flavours - the lime, the floral. Do not talk about the steely backbone - it is overdone".
Grosset Wines is located in the Clare Valley, 100km from Adelaide. The vineyard has just celebrated its 40th vintage and, in addition to riesling, Grosset also makes top-quality chardonnay and pinot noir.
The owner's personality mirrors the style of wines he makes. Wine writer Andrew Jefford says, "Don't expect any wine with the name Grosset on the label to posture, shout or stamp. It will be focused, precise and pristine. Its conversation with you will be quiet but intense. It won't fade quickly, but endure."
Grosset Springvale Riesling 2014
Along with Grosset's Polish Hill, Springvale has bought Clare Valley riesling and its quality potential to global attention. The Springvale vineyard character is derived from its unique site, 460 metres above sea level. The soil - red loam over limestone - helps protect the fruit from water stress. The underlying shale adds mineral notes to the wine.
Riesling is the perfect wine to drink on its own but it is also very food friendly. Grosset's riesling trademarks are the lime and mineral notes. Jefford writes, "Their focus, purity and consistency has made the Grosset name synonymous with Australian riesling."
For wine drinkers with patience the wines have great cellaring potential. Australian chef Lyndey Milan once said, "Something miraculous happens with Australian rieslings as they age, developing honeyed, toasty characters. As young wines, rieslings have long narrow flavours, from the tip of the tongue to the back of the throat, leaving lovely lingering flavours well after swallowing."
Intense lime, citrus, floral and smoky, mineral notes. Balanced, with crisp, well-integrated acidity, very elegant and finishing very long. HK$228
Grosset Piccadilly Chardonnay 2014
Grosset may be best known for rieslings but the other varieties are also worth trying. The Piccadilly chardonnay is from the cooler region of Adelaide Hills. Its hallmark is high-acid fruit producing an elegant, leaner style of wine.
Still quite restrained citrus and peach fruit with some smoky and buttery notes. Medium bodied with elegance, fruit, razor-sharp acidity, discreet spicy oak tannins in the background, and a creamy finish. A classic expression of cooler-climate-style chardonnay. HK$368
Grosset Pinot Noir 2013
This pinot noir is a true labour of love. The fruit is still partially foot crushed, a gentle process that ensures bitter phenolics are not released from the skins and seeds.
Fresh delicate strawberry, cherries and red fruit notes. Quite austere on the palate with high acidity. Very elegant and pure. Still very youthful and will benefit from a few more years of cellaring. HK$438
The wines are available from Watson's Wine www.watsonswine.com