Rolling with Some Riesling

The last time I had a Riesling was probably six years ago. It was super sweet—the kind of wine that gives you a nasty hangover in the morning, but since I started this wine diary, I’ve been trying to expand my wine repertoire. I was a little apprehensive when I grabbed this Pewsey Vale Vineyard Riesling 2016, since I just didn’t know what to expect, but grabbed it anyway when I saw that it was a “dry” wine. What did I have to lose?

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On top of the fact that I was very new to Riesling, I’d never had a wine from Australia. With an average altitude of nearly 500 meters, Pewsey Vale Vineyard sits 250 meters above the Barossa Valley floor. The resultant cooler temperatures encourage a longer ripening period that is essential for producing superior Riesling grapes.

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Englishman Joseph Gilbert established the vineyard in 1847, trying several grape varieties, including Riesling. The site was later purchased by Geoffrey Angas Parsons. In 1961, Angas Parsons called on friend Wyndham Hill-Smith to assist him in developing the historic vineyard site. After researching old records and studying the vineyard’s climate, soil types and suitable clones, the pair believed the site provided the perfect conditions to develop delicate Rieslings. Within the next 12 months, Wyndham established a contoured Riesling vineyard upon the slopes of the estate. Today Pewsey Vale Vineyard is a single vineyard dedicated to the single variety—Riesling.

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The wine is pale yellow with a hint of green in it. It’s light, crisp, and grassy on the nose with some herbs and lemon. On the palate, I tasted lemon, lime, apple, and minerals. The flavors are nicely layered and there’s a nice balance of acidity. Not sweet at all. It is definitely not what I pictured when I thought of Riesling. I got it at Costco for $12.99, but you can find it online for about $15. A great value. I paired it with some gardening. 3.5/5.

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