If you asked anybody involved in the wonderful world of wine to nominate their favourite white, the likelihood is that the majority will, without thinking, say Riesling. Chardonnay may be most popular in terms of plantings and Sauvignon Blanc the current consumers' favourite, but Riesling is where the purist's true love still burns bright - due to its intense flavours and defined palate structure.
One of the world”s most noble grape varieties, while its homeland is undoubtedly in Germany, Riesling has had a long and distinguished history in Australia. The term ‘Riesling” was historically adopted as a generic label, describing white wine blended from several different grape varieties. Because of this, varietal wines were often referred to as ‘Rhine Riesling”. Today, they are known simply as Riesling and the variety is grown across Australia.
Riesling is an aromatic variety that produces intensely fragrant and flavoured wines of exceptional character. Depending on where the wine is grown, notes of citrus, honeysuckle, blossoms, green apples, mineral and spice, to name but a few are commonly seen. With intertwined high acidity and comparable low alcohol, the wines retain an enviable freshness which many of its rivals lack. Oak is not used and the wines are very pure and clean.
Although Riesling is delightful when it is consumed young and fresh, it is one of the few whites produced in Australia that has the ability to age. High quality, well structured wines can age for ten to twenty years; they transform into appealing honeyed and toasty styles, yet still retain a delightful, zesty freshness.
Without doubt, the majority of Australia”s best Rieslings come from the Clare Valley Region in South Australia. These wines are acclaimed for their intense flavours and longevity. The Clare is a patchwork of hills and valleys, and each site expresses subtle differences in the characters of the wines. Those from the cooler Polish Hill River area are more austere and delicate, compared to those of nearby Watervale which carry volumes of fruit flavour, floral and citrus.
Eden Valley Rieslings tend to express more floral (rose petal), and green apple and are generally lighter bodied than their Clare valley counterparts. Wines from both regions offer superb ageing potential.
Elsewhere in South Australia excellent Rieslings are produced in the ranges of the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and in the Adelaide Hills region.
Tasmania's cool climate sites are proving to be ideal for the production of elegant, finely structured, tight, and long-lived Rieslings. These are providing much industry excitement. Wineries in the Western Australian regions of Albany, Frankland River and Mount Barker are also producing high quality Rieslings - distinctively spicy, floral and citrus flavoured with a minerally feel. There are also a number of fine examples within Victoria (Victorian Alps, King Valley and Goulburn Valley) and around Canberra in New South Wales.
Today, most Rieslings are made as dry styles, making them suitable as aperitifs. They partner a wide range of foods, including garden salads, fish, shellfish, chicken and Asian influenced dishes. A number are being made off-dry with varying degrees of residual sugar; late harvest and sweeter botrytis styles are also popular. The presence of some marmalade and apricot characters make these Rieslings an ideal match with a wide range of desserts.
Delicately perfumed with tinges of citrus and apple. Palate has slight spritz, good intensity and length, accompanied by subtle notes of guava and mandarin.
Petaluma Riesling is one of Australia's finest examples of this noble variety. Pale straw in colour the palate exhibits lemon and grapefruit flavours matched by some fresh and racy acidity.
Dan Murphy's supports the Responsible Service of Alcohol. New South Wales: Liquor Act 2007. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years.Victoria: WARNING: Victoria Liquor Control Reform Act 1998: It is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $7,000), for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $600). WARNING. Under the Liquor Control Act 1988, it is an offence: to sell or supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years on licensed or regulated premises; or for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase, or attempt to purchase, liquor on licensed or regulated premises.South Australia: Liquor Licensing Act 1997, Section 113. Liquor must NOT be supplied to persons under 18. Queensland: Under the Liquor Act 1992, it is an offence to supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years. For more specific legislation in your state or territory visit our Liquor Licensing Acts page. ABN 88 000 014 675.