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Riesling Proves Itself Dam Good Drop

October 7, 2017 Beverage No Comments Email Email

AUSSIE winemakers have a seemingly unending capacity for simply looking around, spotting something either nature’s-own or man-made, and consequently naming an upcoming release after whatever it is that’s taken their eye.

And the latest of such that we’ve come upon is from McLaren Vale’s d’Arenberg, who’ve recently released their 2017 The Dry Dam Riesling – so named, they say, because in 1992 a neighbour built a dam that remained empty through a totally dry winter, and the next year lay empty again being unable to hold any of the rain that fell that year. It was finally lined, but even 25 years later, does not hold water well.

And  d’Arenberg’s  The Dry Dam Riesling is certainly a much more successful drop than the dam it is named after, the 2017 release one that on pouring erupts with aromas of jasmine and orange blossom, lemon and lime. And in the mouth has a great balance of sweetness and acidity that gives a lovely sherbet character that’s typical of classic McLaren Vale Riesling.

A great one to enjoy at your favourite Chinese restaurant, or at home with take-away, and excellent value at $18. And as Riesling buffs know, there’s probably no better drop than a good Riesling to match with many Chinese dishes, in particular those with a nod to a sweet ’n sour sauce.

GREAT example of a wine that’s been unusually named after something that’s caught its maker’s eye.

ONE TO NOTE:  WHEN the Hunter Valley’s Gartelmann Wines’ regular supplier at Rylstone in the NSW Central Tablelands of Petit Verdot had their vineyard hammered by black frost in 2014, Jorg and Jan Gartelmann considered giving Petit Verdot a miss that year.

Then a grower at Mudgee they also work came up with some fruit he still had, and while the quality was great there was not much of it, but the Gartelmann’s accepted anyway – and supplemented it with fourteen per cent Cabernet Sauvignon they brought in from the Clare Valley.

HERE’S the drop to enjoy with a rare steak topped with a light mushroom sauce.

“It was a unique blend that worked surprisingly well,” Jorg now says. “And we were able to bottle 200 dozen.”

A rewarding drop to enjoy with rare steak topped with a light mushroom sauce, or slow-cooked beef and roasted vegies, this one’s got lovely flavours of rich ripe plums, cinnamon and nutmeg, vanilla and caramel. There’s also supporting spicy acid, chalky tannins and classy oak.

At $30 and labelled Gartelmann 2014 Mudgee Petit Verdot, it’s a great one to drink now, and will also age well to soften nicely over time in the cellar.

Written by David Ellis

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