Vanguardist Watervale Riesling 2019

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The Wine

The summer of 2019 was brutal and continued to hit the dry grown Churinga Vineyard especially hard. We saw an excellent quality of Riesling over three separate hand picks. Yields were similar to 2018, around 28HL/Ha which is 25% below the long-term average.

The bunches and berries were small, and some exposure to extra light had left potential phenolic quantity higher than previous years. All picks were foot crushed and held for approx 6 hours before pressing. Handled very oxidatively, and rough racked after a day to one year old Slovanian oak foudre, where fermentation both primary and MLF took place. Elevage continued in foudre and a couple of old barriques, for almost a year prior to being bottled without fining or filtration.

The Review

"Foudre, a few smaller barrels, 100% malolactic, lees work. All a bit different from the mainstream. Comes from the western side of the Churinga vineyard, and the last vintage from this patch, I believe.

Chalky texture, cinnamon and ginger studded green apple, and a kind of dashi/umami thing going on. It’s got zip and rip of acidity, cider apple and preserved lemon, some thickness to the texture, but plenty of tang and zest to go with that. Finish is long, some pith and grip, and sourness as it goes. Quirky thing, but it works well. Plenty of energy and crackle."

94Pts, Gary Walsh, Winefront