A freshly opened can of tennis balls: Pewsey Vale 2006 “The Contours” Riesling
Anyone who knows the austere and rubbery Australian Rieslings à la Somm‘s “freshly opened can of tennis balls” knows that this is an example of a wine that splits people in the middle so much that I become afraid of suggesting it to customers (and friends) without what’s essentially a verbal pre-installation Terms and Conditions page that they’ll pretend to read.
I’ve literally heard stories of people who return bottles of Clare or Eden Valley Riesling (one of the bottles which was this exact one) because they believe them to be flawed or “off”. I once held a meeting with some UBC Wine Club executives and chose a bottle of the Watervale Clare Valley Riesling, amongst others, as a wine that we could enjoy while we held our big annual retreat, subsequently followed by me making everyone watch Somm. This wine made some people pout, but at least they memorized “Clare Valley Riesling”, as in “I hate Clare Valley Riesling!!!”
I love it, but I also like the smell of gasoline so I don’t know. One time I wrote a memoir in high school that included a small paragraph on the smell of garbage.
The wine was benchmark for the style, with jubilant flavours of lime, green apple, kerosene, and stoniness. Despite the age the wine still had a fresh gleaming case of acidity.
Eyes: clear, med lemon, legs
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, developing, citrus, lemon, lime, mineral, petrol, rubber, slate, crushed rock
Mouth: dry, med- body, high acid, med alcohol, pronounced intensity, citrus, lime, mineral, green fruit, green apple, med length
All in all: Very good quality: the undeniable Australian Riesling is intense on both the nose and palate, while the fruit is balanced beautifully with the pronounced acid. The finish misses a bit of concentration. Can drink now, but has potential for ageing.
Identity Guess: High-priced Riesling from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia; 4 years old.
Is really: High-priced Riesling from Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia; 8 years old.
Producer: Pewsey Vale
Designation: “The Contours”
Sub-Region: Eden Valley, South Australia
Tasted: December 1, 2014