2008 Penfolds Thomas Hyland Riesling | Adelaide
Riesling, at its best, is thrilling, vibrant, and quite possibly, one of the most exciting wines to drink in the world. It all hinges on alcohol, sugar, and acidity. I got a good look a few weekends ago when I tasted the new release of Hidden Bench's rieslings, both at the estate level and single-vineyard bottlings. I won't comment on how hideously overpriced all the wines are, but more importantly, the wines were all just shrill, just shrieking of under-ripe, enamel-stripping acidity.
I've made it quite clear (click on Germany label) that in my particular opinion, the Germans make some of the finest, terroir-specific wines in the world. There are many good wines in the world; few excite and induce a euphoria quite like a German riesling. A few critics that I respect have been writing favourably about the dry riesling being produced in Australia. I'm no lover of this country, or its horribly overdone red wines, but I wanted to at least have a taste.
The wine was extraordinary.
And from a big producer too. Dry, low alcohol, perfectly balanced. Citrus notes and floral in bouquet, the wine is linear, with lovely delicacy and lift on the palate. Dances, but has the necessary dry extract to make a firm impression. Long, slightly bitter on the finish. Just fabulous, brings truth to the idea that maybe we all need to be paying more attention to Australian riesling. They have all the technical know-how, and seem to have the right terroir for it . . . now we just need to have agencies who bring more of it in. D|O|S . . . death to shiraz!