Simply put, this is today one of Australia's finest Rieslings, even if it is made in such tiny qualities that many will never have the chance to taste it. The 2019 has real intensity, complexity and texture.
The winemaker is Pete Schel and he is one of Australia's best. He was crowned Young Gun of Wine in 2008 and was a finalist for Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year last year.
Around five years ago Pete purchased a four-hectare, mature (est. 1945), dry-grown vineyard in Eden's Flaxman Valley--roughly one-third Riesling and two-thirds Shiraz. The soils are degraded granitic sands and the vineyard sits at an altitude of 475-495 metres above sea level. There are two parcels of Riesling--one planted in 1945, the other in 1956--and this cuvée is made predominantly from the 1956 section.
The fruit was hand harvested at crazy-low yields for Riesling: a paltry 0.8-tonnes per acre. Schell fermented a quarter of the grapes on skins for around seven days, and the balance was crushed, old-school style, and spent about eight hours macerating, stems and all, before being pressed. There were no yeast additions, no acid either, partial malolactic and no filtration.
Simply put, this is today one of Australia's finest Rieslings, even if it is made in such tiny qualities that many will never have the chance to taste it. The 2019 has real intensity, complexity and texture. There's just enough opulence and seduction, with a bright, super-long and fragrant close. The best compliment we can give is that it comfortably stacks up to high quality German Riesling. It's also a million miles away from the simple limey, austere stereotype of Australian Riesling.