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15 April 2005

Suspicious Riesling

Wolf Blass Gold Label Riesling ('04) seems harmless enough.  3/4 of it comes from the Eden Valley and 1/4 comes from the Clare Valley (of which I'm a fan).  After pouring a splash, I noticed something that made me quite suspicious.  The wine has a very distinct greenish hue (yes, there's a hue).  Yet the scents were decidedly un-green: oranges, blossoms, pears in lite syrup.  But after my Lemon_lime_sodafirst sip, I was not only suspicious, but perplexed as well.  In addition to lush fruit flavors, the Riesling packed a tangy, acidic wallop.  My feeble mind was reminded of lemon-lime soda of the artificial flavor/color variety.

What's going on here?

  • Wolfbriesling_1Acidification run amok?
  • Really ripe grapes mixed with really unripe grapes?
  • A bushel of limes fell into the Riesling grape bin?

The Skinny
Wolf Blass Gold Label Riesling, '04 ($13)

  • Sourced from the Eden and Clare Valleys
  • Light gold in color with unmistakable greenish hue
  • Scents of orange, ripe pear, and blossom
  • Heavy for a Riesling - quite viscous; yet very acidic with a distinct lemon-lime finish.  Hmm.  Overall, not necessarily bad, but oddly artificial..

** (2 stars out of 5)

I'm curious to hear others experience with this wine..


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Sometimes I think you have a better selection of wines to choose from in Utah than I do here on Long Island!

I never see ANY Aussie Riesling except the Rosemount (which didn't impress me the one time I tasted it)...the only Wolf Blass stuff I find is their lower end shiraz and cab...which are okay if you like fruit bombs.


I think we have a very good selection in terms of int'l coverage. The problem is that there is little variability - always the same producers, etc. And as far as smaller/boutique wineries go, forget it. It would also be nice to get a case discount every once in a while too.

Cam Wheeler

Have tasted this and found it overly acidic and not too impressive at all (although I didn't note the gree hue that you did, I did get lime on the nose.. strange). Much better value to be had out there with Australian Riesling, although I'm not sure what you have available to you.


I've tried Pikes and Leeuwin - both of which I thought were quite good.

Do you have a favorite Aussie Riesling?

Cam Wheeler

I quite like the Pikes.

Haven't tried the Leeuwin as yet. The Margaret River seems like an odd place for Riesling to me, but I do mean to get around to tasting it eventually.

My current favourites with approx RRP in Australian Dollars, all of them have the quality to mature for quite some time and represent a fantastic QPR;

Seppelt Drumborg '03/'04 ($20)- Great now, but is going to be something to behold if anyone can keep their hands off it for 15 years.

Jacob's Creek/Orlando Steingarten ($20)- Consistantly exceptional. Current release is the unbelievable '02. Recently intergrated into the Jacob's Creek range, so I assume it's going to see some export action.

Petaluma Hanlin Hill ($20) - Generally great length and good varietal characteristics.

Leo Buring "Leonay" ($25) - Only released in good vintages and chosen from either the Eden or Clare vinyards depending on what is best. Also has a standard range which is great-excellent at closer to $15.

Grosset Polish Hill ($45) - Probably our most famous Riesling maker at the moment. Outstanding intensity. Another one for the cellar since it can be a bit unapproachable on release.

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