If there was ever (in my book) a true king of the whites, it is Eden Valley Riesling! The fruit from Mick's block is always a revelation. True to type this Eden Valley Riesling is chock full of big limes and lemons, with hints of ruby grapefruit and marmalade. Maybe it's the soil, maybe the clone... I don't really mind which, because the fruit is always awesome!
Picked March 23th 2009,
Single vineyard wine.
1.5 tonne to the acre Dry Grown Riesling from Mick Hearnden’s 60 year old Riesling Vines
Total production 1284 bottles
384 bottles Re-released February 2016
Bright ripe straw with hints of golden lime green through the middle.
lifted perfume of lemon thyme jasmine and dry summer grasses with hints of juniper and aromatic dried herbs overlaying toasty aged development
Light and delicate with beautiful balancing acid crispness that gently grips the cheeks.
Combination of very subtle grapefruit citrus melded with ripe limes and clear lemon are counterpointed against hints of dried herbal leaves and yeast complexity. The 6 years bottle aging leaves the palate with a richness that lingers on beautifully leaving the mouth ready for the next sip.
If there was ever (in my book) a serious partnership made in heaven, it is Eden Valley and Riesling! Riesling is one of the physically toughest varieties on the planet, yet it is capable of producing some of the subtlest wines you will ever come across. You only need look at the thin layer of loam, coating the underlying granite of the Eden hills and the way the vines thrive to see my point. They are bloody Tough! All that aside, the true worth of the variety is as it should be, in the drinking. The 2009 Eden Valley Riesling fits the bill here to excess. It won't ever see the show circuit but rather is destined to spend its life making meals and lazy afternoons a much better place. To my mind the only thing better than a fresh crisp Riesling is one that has seen some age and is developing the toasty richness that only old Rieslings seem to get.
Although I try to grow every grape I use for my wines, not having any old dry grown Eden Valley Riesling meant that I had to find a source. As luck would have it, a good mate (Mick Hearnden) who lives across the road from my brother Phil, in Eden Valley had some fruit that more than fit the bill.
Mick Hearnden lives on a property out the back of Eden Valley. He has no formal water supplies and must rely on natural rainfall to supply him with all he uses. As his Riesling, invariably does well without water it's an easy decision to dry grow,
The fruit from Mick's block is always a revelation. Where most other Eden Valley Riesling tend towards the big limes and lemons, Mick's for some reason is always ruby grapefruit and Flowery Notes. Maybe it's the soil, maybe the clone... I don't really mind which, because the fruit is always awesome!
I guess my wines often buck the trends and break the mould, but this is not really a conscious decision. In the case of my Riesling (as with all my wines) the fruit and how I express it is what drives the finished wine.
So, in 2009 I took roughly three tonne of this wonderful fruit at around 11.5 Baume which I whole bunch pressed. The unclarified free run was cold fermented for around a month. eight months on un-stirred yeast lees followed before the wine was racked to clear and finally bottled in February 2010. Six years bottle age and it's delicious, light yet rich; just on its own in a glass!
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