Riesling from the Upper Goulburn

January 23, 2009


‘2005 Don’t Tell Dad Riesling’, Murrindindi Vineyards, Upper Goulburn Wine Region

Being a Man from the Mosel I love Mosel Riesling wines and find it hard at times to appreciate other styles of Rieslings. Australia produces out standing Riesling wines. Most of them are of the Alsatian style, they are thick bodied and coat the palate. Moreover, petrol is the dominant nose when you sniff it. Although finding petroleum notes is a common occurrence in aged Riesling wines, it is usually not to be found in young wines coming from the Mosel. And this might be why, though appreciative of those Rieslings from Alsace and Australia, I usually prefer a Mosel Riesling. Here I like the young freshness, the balance between acidity and minerality, the zest, and the exuberance.

But in my meandering search for new experiences, I always give Australian Rieslings a go, often reluctant I admit. The best Australian Rieslings come from Eden Valley and Clare Valley in South Australia.

In his 2009 edition of ‘The Australian Wine’, Jeremy Oliver, a famous Australian wine writer, ranks a Riesling from Victoria, the ‘2007 Seppelt Drumborg’ from Henty (98 points) as the best for the year. Henty, a little known wine region outside Australia, is located in South Western Victoria near the border to South Australia, between Hamilton and Portland. Henty has about 25 vineyards including 12 wineries. The nine Rieslings which follow in the rankings of Jeremy Oliver all come from Eden (4) and Clare (5).

The more I was pleased when James Halliday recently ranked a Riesling from our own wine region, the Upper Goulburn Wine Region, quite highly and gave 87 points to the ‘2006 Barwite Upper Goulburn Riesling’.

While browsing the shelves of the supermarket in Yea , I bought the above bottle of the ‘2005 Don’t Tell Dad Riesling’ from Murrindindi Vineyards, also a member of our wine growers association. Wines from Murrindindi Vineyards have won accolades of praise by wine critics and judges. To cite James Halliday again, he awarded the ‘2006 Murrindindi Don’t Tell Dad Shiraz’ 89 points, the ‘2006 Murrindindi Chardonnay’ 88 and the ‘2005 Murrindindi Family Reserve Cabernet’ 88. The 2005 Riesling even got 89 points.

I brought the above bottle to a dinner with my friends Hillary (from the end of our street), Beth and Richard and was amazed. The petroleum note was not as dominant as with some Rieslings, the wine has elegance and length which I liked. The ‘2005 Don’t Tell Dad Riesling’ retails for about 15 A$ and is a bargain. Check it out. I will drink it again when back in Glenburn.

PS: The Top 10 Australian Riesling wines according to Jeremy Oliver 2009:

1. 2007 Seppelt Drumborg, Henty, 98
2. 2007 Mountadam, Eden Valley, 96
3. 2003 Peter Lehman Reserve, Eden Valley, 96
4. 2005 Leasingham Classic Clare, Clare Valley, 96
5. 2002 Pewsey Vale Vineyard, Eden Valley, 96
6. 2007 Grosset Polish Hill, Clare Valley, 96
7. Kilikanoon Mort’s Reserve, Clare Valley, 95
8. 2005 Taylors St. Andrews, Clare Valley, 95
9. 2007 Grosset Springvale, Clare Valley, 95
10. 2008 Leo Buring Leonay DW L17, High Eden, 95