Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2004 Kilikanoon Watervale Riesling Mort's Block

I have only tried a few New World rieslings, so when Edward was talking about an Aussie riesling I asked for a few recommendations. Of the four Oz rieslings on the local liquor monopoly website, the Kilikanoon was his recommendation.

The 2004 Kilikanoon Watervale Riesling Mort's Block comes from Australia's Clare Valley. Shiny pale gold in the glass, the nose was more petrol and minerals than I recall with other New World rieslings, also showing attractive notes of white flowers, lime, white grapefruit and honey. On the palate it was crisp, elegant and refreshing with a minerally/steely focus. The best New World riesling I have ever had, and perhaps amongst the best rieslings I have ever had. A great match for a mixed selection of sushi and sashimi. Thanks Ed!
screw top. 12% alcohol
Score: 17/20
Price: C$24.70 (SAQ)

11 comments:

Julian said...

Sounds like a delicious wine, and showing a bit of age with that petrol note. Crispness and elegance is something you'll find a lot in Aussie Rieslings, and there are a lot of stylistic variations to explore between the different regions here. In addition to the many lovely wines coming out of the Clare Valley (such as this one), other Riesling hot spots are Eden Valley (SA), Great Southern (WA) and Henty (Vic), amongst others.

Edward said...

Joe,

A lovely note and I'm glad you liked the wine. 2005 was a more auspicious year, so when they hit the shelves let me know and I can have a look again for you.

Riesling (bone dry) and sushi is one of my favourite combinations.

Joe said...

Julian - I did expect a more buttery/alcoholy styled wine, so this was an eye opener. I will look at some of those other regions - suggested producers?

Edward - only one '05 so far, the Riesling Grant Burge Thorn Eden Valley, only $18.75. Can I lose at that price? I used to think gewurtz, or off-dry Alsatian wines were best with sushi, but I am now in that bone-dry riesling camp.

David said...

I haven't had a lot of Aussie rieslings either, but really liked the 2006 Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling (about $20 US). A bit drier than some rieslings.

Joe said...

Hi David. I was surprised how dry this one was. The Yankee and Canuck rieslings that I've had seemed a touch off dry, as I recall, but it has been a while. I hear Finger Lake rieslings are good - what do you think?

Julian said...

Gosh, so many good producers, you're probably limited more by what's available in your neck of the woods than a lack of fine wines.

From the Clare, see if you can find either of the Grosset wines (Watervale and Polish Hill) or the Petaluma Hanlin Hill, to name two of the highest profile. There are plenty of others though. From Eden, look out for Steingarten (Jacob's Creek brand), Mesh, Pewsey Vale. Leo Buring Leonay is a wine that is produced from Clare or Eden grapes depending on vintage. From Great Southern, see if you can find the Howard Park Riesling. And from Henty, a much smaller region, jump on a Seppelt Drumborg or Crawford River Riesling if you can.

This really is a small sampling of the many producers doing excellent Riesling here, so I'd encourage you to try what you can find and see for yourself! As Edward said, 2005 in the Clare and Eden Valleys (amongst others) was quite heralded; certainly a vintage to stock up on. 2007 is more variable but is turning out some good ones, such as the aforementioned Petaluma.

Edward said...

Joe,

Have not tried the Grant Burge riesling, though the review that I managed to find suggests that it is quite phenolic and lacks delicacy. . .

David said...

actually, the only American rieslings I've had that I recall are more from the Northwest. Despite the geographic proximity of New York to Boston, I see very little of their wines in the shops around here.

Joe said...

Julian - these are "infrequently available" not unavailable, so I need a few names to keep my eye out for. Thanks for those.

Ed - With the Kilikanoon still available I will avoid the Burge, thanks.

David - Hmm, I thought they were everywhere down there. Anyway, a project for my next trip to NYC.

Dr. Debs said...

This is always one of my favorite wines, and your tasting note brought back exactly what I like about it. Thanks, Joe!

Joe said...

Hi Debs, at your service. I have been a bit above $20 as of late...