July 18, 2008

Pikes Estate Riesling 2007

$20 - $28 / Dry Riesling
Clare Valley / Australia

I love Red Wine. In the summer though, it can be a bit too hot for a structured, heavy red. When cutting my teeth on wine in the early 1980's, I was introduced to German Rieslings. I LOVED them.

With varieties ranging from slightly sweet and refreshing to almost candy like, the German Rieslings were a great introduction to wine. Easy to drink, affordable, and always readily available. I learned a lot about German Riesling during this period of my life. As my tastes became more sophisticated, I transitioned to red wines, and sadly, never looked back.

Two wonderful friends and wine experts introduced me to this wine and re-introduced me to Riesling. Although not German, this Riesling radically changed my perception of this noble grape.

Pikes Estate is located in the Clare Valley of Australia. Although mostly known for its Shiraz, it is also famous for its "bone-dry" (Read - Not Sweet) Rieslings. I was flabbergasted when I tasted this wine. Instead of slightly sweet, it was remarkably refreshing and completely different then I expected. I would have never guessed in a blind tasting that this was a Riesling. Wow, this was a very exciting wine!

It poured a medium straw color, almost looks like a savignon blanc. The nose of Lime zest, grapefruit and mineral was fantastic. It is intensely flavored, very dry and refreshing. The limey flavors are prevalent up front, evolving to citrus and stone fruit and mineral. It has a long, dry finish. It is VERY refreshing yet intense.

This wine is beautiful. From the packaging to the price. Although many of you will balk at paying $28 retail for this wine, you need to look at the money spent as tuition. It will allow you to learn what dry Australian Riesling is all about, and dispel all previous stereotypes about this Noble grape.

It is imported by John Larchet, Proprietor of "The Australian Premium Collection" http://www.tapwc.com.au/ . You will hear more about John in future posts. The collection of wines he imports is fantastic. If you can't remember the name, remember this label affixed to all the wines he imports into the states. I tasted the entire collection and did not find any I was not impressed with.

This is a quality wine, and a steal for the price paid. Another little known fact....this wine will evolve and age in the bottle for up to 10 years. Why wait? This wine is delicious and refreshing now. Today it is 95 degrees with painful humidity....I can't wait to crack open an iced bottle when I get home this evening.
You can find this wine on-line and at most quality retailers. You can find this wine in the DC area at Total Wines and More in Virginia, Schneider's of Capitol Hill in DC and some of the better retailers in Maryland.

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