2020 Best's Great Western Riesling
From the critics:
James Suckling | 96 JS
James Suckling | 96 JS
This historic estate in western Victoria consistently produces well-structured, balanced Riesling. Tightly knit at first, let it warm in the glass to fully enjoy the waxy lemon-lime, floral and subtler mineral aromas. The palate is a tightrope walk of acidity, texture and fruit weight. A classy Riesling that doesn’t need to scream to be seen. Pair with anything from the sea, from oysters to fish and chips, or for more honeyed complexity, cellar until 2030, at least.
Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE
Wine Details for 2020 Best's Great Western Riesling
|Type of Wine||Australia White : Known as much for their innovative methods as they are for the stunning quality of their wines, Australian winemakers never fail to put their own unique spin on varietals such as Riesling, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc. If you're in the mood for something a little different, these whites will make you fall in love with wine again.|
: It has been 587 years since the official “birth” of Riesling, the Noble grape variety of Germany. In that time, this white grape has seen exponential growth and popularity worldwide. Riesling has traveled beyond the Rhine River, where it is thought to have originated, spreading throughout Germany, Austria and Alsace, Australia, New Zealand and California. New World adaptations may have helped bring the varietal into the global spotlight, but its ancestral home and greatest reflection of terroir remains in Germany.
As aforementioned, the first recorded mention of the varietal appeared in the 1435 sale of several Riesling vines to German Count, John IV of Katzenelnbogen. Prior this transaction, the history of Riesling remains unclear, other than it first inhabiting the Rhine River region, which runs throughout parts of Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland. In 1998, scientists in Austria, using DNA technology, were able to determine that Riesling is the progeny of Heunisch Weiss, otherwise known as Gouais Blanc. Said to be a commoner among superior grape varietals, Gouais Blanc is ancient, originated in Germany and has sired some of the greatest varietals in the world, including Chardonnay, Semillon, Gamay noir, Melon and Aligote.
The small, round white-green berries of Riesling turn a pretty gold color, often with lenticels (pore-like structures, resembling freckles) when ripe. Vines can vary significantly from weak to moderately vigorous depending on the climatic region, soil characteristics and moisture availability. They are adaptable to a wide range of soil types making it quite dynamic and versatile.
One of Riesling’s most unique and celebrated qualities is its vibrant expression of terroir. This “sense of place” enables the particular elements of the soil and microclimate to be uniquely expressed through the wine itself, allowing this globetrotting varietal to flourish in similar winegrowing conditions around the world. Riesling has found success and popularity in California and the Finger Lakes of New York, Australia, New Zealand, France, Hungary and South Africa. However, it reaches its true zenith in the Rhine River Valley.
Mosel, Pfalz and Rheingau are the key winegrowing locations in Germany, where the climates are cool with low average temperatures and with the bulk of rainfall occurring during the summer. The vines of Riesling thrive here, in heat-retaining, stony soils on steep, south-facing slopes along the river valleys where they find optimal sunlight and natural growing conditions. Austria and Alsace (France) share similar climatic influences and terroir due to the proximity of the Rhine River. Their winegrowing industries have been greatly impacted by the Riesling grape varietal.
The commonly misunderstood Riesling grape varietal produces wines that are quite austere when young, making many wine drinkers wary of them. A fine Riesling almost demands time in the bottle. In good vintages, Riesling can last several decades and rival the finest whites in the world. At a glimpse Riesling may seem simple, but is actually rather complex. Riesling can be harvested early or late, vinified in many ways and can range from dry to very sweet. The five types of Riesling are Kabinett (bone dry to off-dry) Spatlese (sweet) Auslese (sweeter) Beerenauslese (very sweet) Trockenbeerenauslese (sweetest). Thanks to its naturally high acidity, it is a supremely agreeable drinker that will please just about any palate. From tingly-dry, steely-lemon to refreshingly green apple, peach, pear and grapefruit to honeyed and luscious apricot; the myriad of flavor profiles of Riesling is impressive.
The Noble Riesling grape may be complex, might be misunderstood and may be more obscure than other white varietals, but is one that produces some of the most fascinating, multifaceted and unique wines in the world.
: In the past few decades, Australian wine has broken through the “Rest of the World” category and into one of the top players in today’s market. It burst onto the scene in the 1980s offering the world vibrant, fruit forward wines of exceptional value. A decade later, Australian vintners were producing intense, concentrated examples of Shiraz (Syrah), Grenache and red blends which began to dominate the wine market. Today, it is an extremely important wine producing country, both in terms of quality and scale.
Australia boasts 150,000 hectares under vine with an annual output of 10.6 million hectoliters, placing it sixth among all leading wine producers in the world. The country has 2,500 wineries and around 6,000 growers, who operate under a complex appellation system with over 65 distinct designations. Many of today’s brands, such as Penfold’s, Clarendeon Hills and D’Arenberg, have a strong international presence as do its well-trained and well-qualified wine professionals, who have spread their expertise to many corners of the world.
Shiraz (Syrah) has greatly contributed to the country’s success and rise to international recognition. Of the 150,000 hectares currently being cultivated in Australia, 99,000 are planted to Syrah. The country remains behind only France in regards to vineyard space and export proportion. Chardonnay has become its second largest export and together with Syrah, have propelled the Australian economy, which sees $40 billion in wine exports each year. The country now boasts a plethora of grape varieties, from Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir to Riesling and Semillon. This is greatly possible due to Australia’s vast topography, climate and terroir.
Australia’s vast size and huge range of climatic geographical conditions, makes it one of the most versatile winegrowing countries in the world. Overall, the climate is affected by the latitude, but regional features such as altitude and proximity to the oceans also plays a significant role. From coastal influenced areas using cooler climate varietals in Victoria to the northern reaches and its Mediterranean climatic influence to Tasmania in the south, which is known for graceful Pinot Noir and sparkling wines. The portfolio of grape varieties greatly reflects this immense geographical and climatic diversity.
The country has played a major role in the globalization of wine over the past 40 years, with its many brands and its global awareness of Syrah. It has long been at the forefront of the New World winemaking renaissance and dedicated to research and development of new industry implantation of technology in the vineyard and cellar. There is a bit of irony in its New World methods, as Australia boasts some of the oldest productive grape vines in the world (due to the fact that it has not yet been affected by phylloxera). This polarizing idea makes the region even more intriguing but also allows for a large range of production, from inexpensive Chardonnay to intense, complex Shiraz.
|Producer||Best's Great Western|