2008 Clare Valley Riesling
Neil and Heather Grace's vineyard at Watervale and Martin and Joan Smith's site in the Polish Hill River are the components of this elegant blend.
The Grace vineyard has rich soils of red loam over limestone on a westerly aspect. Grace's "dry-grown" vineyard is hand-pruned and hand-picked and relies only on the natural rainfall. The limestone is able to retain moisture and assist the vine throughout periods of warm weather, almost drought-proofing in the summer months. Viticultural practices include vertical shoot positioning which not only encourages even ripening but provides important shade to prevent the impact of sunburn on the resultant wine.
Quality soils are the thumb print of all great wines. The sub-region of Polish Hill River is renown for grey loam acid soils over sandstone and slate make up the profile with much of the top soil littered with rock, hinting at just how tough the vines need to be to sustain growth and produce quality fruit - not to mention the work of the vigneron to ensure overall balance. Only 9 kilometres from Watervale, the Polish Hill River region is quite a bit cooler and typically the fruit ripens 2-3 weeks later; this combined with the soil profile produces fruit with finesse and intensity.
It is the slate of Polish Hill River, as opposed to the limestone of Watervale that gives rise to the point of difference between these styles, however in this case we found them to be the perfect fit.
Fruit is harvested in the cool of the night. The fruit is de-stemmed and crushed then gently pressed, resulting in a fine free-run cut and a pressings component. These are handled separately. The free-run juice is chilled to preserve the vineyard expression and purity of fruit. Once the juice has settled, it is racked off solids and seeded with yeast. A cool, temperature controlled fermentation is carried out over 10-14 days. The wine is chilled to 5°C and filtered prior to bottling.
pH 3.01 TA 7.2g/L ALC 12.0%
Nick Walker, David O'Leary
Rich straw colour.
Lemon, florals with musk and a hint of honey.
Rich fruit weight, honey and lemon curd with balanced natural acidity.
A perfect accompaniment to freshly shucked Coffin Bay oysters, Atlantic Salmon or King George Whiting.
This wine has benefited from careful cellaring and will continue to develop over time, 5+ years. Showing bottle age characteristics of honey and toasty notes, there is a freshness, elegance and purity.