I received this wine as a gift at the same time as the 2002 Evans Family Chardonnay, so the cellaring conditions were the same (that is, less than ideal). However since that wine turned out fine, I did not expect any major problems.
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Deep
- Colour: Gold
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium+
- Development: Fully Developed
- Sweetness: Dry
- Acidity: High
- Tannin: N/A
- Alcohol: Medium-
- Body: Medium
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Medium+
- Quality: Very Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, potential to cellar
- Identity: Australia / Clare Valley / Riesling
- Price: Mid-priced (2014 vintage ~$15)
- Long, thick tears
- Drink by 2007, according to one website
- Aromas of honey, toast, kerosene, lemon zest
- Flavours of lemon, lime, honey, lanolin, toast
- Just a touch of sweetness, good cleansing acidity, toastiness seems to cling to the palate
- Can cellar, but would personally drink now, while still showing both mature and youthful characters
- Development similar to aged Semillon
- Serve as aperitif, or with raws e.g. oysters
I did do some research beforehand however, and according to one website the suggest “drink by” year was 2007-2010. This did not bother me much – Riesling is a varietal that I am familiar with, and the screwcap closure would afford better protection than natural cork.
Also, most wine critics will be more conservative with their estimates, not wanting to place a date too far into the future to avoid the risk of being wrong; it is easier to drink a wine when young and resolve to wait later, than to wait too long and lament having missed the perfect time.
I want to bring your attention to the words ‘hand-picked’. While it could be interpreted as a marketing term, attempting to invoke imagery of an idyllic harvest instead of rough machinery, there are tangible merits to hand-harvesting – there is less damage to the berries, which means less oxidation before the fruit is sent to the winery to be vinified. In the case of red wines, the stalks can be used as a source of tannin to add character to the wine, whereas machines will leave the stalks on the vine.
I was very glad to find the wine in fine condition and well-developed, with the tertiary characters being more prominent than the still-barely-present fruit profile. In fact, I would argue that it technically still has a little cellaring potential, although personally I would drink this now before it’s youthfulness completely fades away.
If you read the 2005 Riesling reviewed previously it is interesting to note the differences, which could be attributed to any number of factors (an extra few years, cellared by friends vs bought directly from supplier, etc…). This should serve as yet another reminder to consider as many factors as possible when buying and drinking an unknown wine.
Read more: The Vertical Tasting