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  • Canberra Int Riesling Challenge 2012

    I spent last week in Canberra, Australia judging exclusively a grape that is a personal passion of mine: Riesling. Perhaps because it was just one grape and all the judges were such avid fans, we spent even more time than we would at a regional or national show simply talking about the wines. Conversations centered on topics such as expression of region, purity of the grape, winemaking influences and old school vs new school styles. I’m pleased to say that I believe greatness was awarded last week to a wide range of valid expressions and approaches. It was an international challenge so the entries weren’t exclusively Australian, but most of them were. And Australian producers really supported the challenge as there were some truly great entries not just from traditional regions such as Clare and Eden Valleys but from Great Southern, Victoria, Tasmania and of course Canberra. In fact the coveted “Best Wine of Challenge” trophy went to a little known producer in the Canberra district: Ravensworth 2012 Riesling – an off-dry style (about 11 grams per liter of sugar) that has incredible perfume, purity and balance. Another memorable beauty was the “Best Sweet Riesling of Show” trophy, which went to Heggies Vineyard 2011 Botrytis Riesling (Eden Valley). In a word: Australicious!
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

  • #2
    Re: Canberra Int Riesling Challenge 2012

    Lisa, what were the highlights from Clare, Adelaide Hills, Eden?
    Champagne surely must be the nectar of the gods...

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    • #3
      Re: Canberra Int Riesling Challenge 2012

      Hi Aaron - I'm travelling to those regions from next week, so will feed through details & tips as I get them. The Canberra Riesling Challenge was really just a taster. So far, the 2012 Eden Valley Rieslings I've tasted have been real stand-outs. I'm posting a TN within the next day or two of the Penfolds 2012 Bin 51 Riesling from Eden Valley as part of an article on Riesling - stunning wine. (It won't be released until next March but well worth jumping-on when available.) More tasting notes will be coming out with my next 2 reports in issues 204 & 205 of the Wine Advocate. I'll be with Jeff Grosset at Grosset in the Clare on 7th November to compare how Clare Valley's Rieslings fared in 2012 (early indications suggest they're only slightly less impressive than Eden) and will also be with Pike's, Kilakanoon & Jim Barry (amongst others) later that week to get a good overview. Then onto Adelaide Hills and the Barossa. I'll be sure to post to highlights for you. Generally speaking, the 2010 reds and the 2012 whites being released this year from South Australia are crackers. (By all accounts the 2012 reds are looking pretty special too, though these won't be released for another 2+ years.)
      Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

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