By David Ellis from Vintnews.
Although they’ve been making wines in South Australia’s Clare Valley since the 1850s, one little village that’s particularly renowned for its Rieslings is Watervale – which all these years on, still has a population of under 250.
Jim Barry Wines is virtually synonymous with Watervale and premium Rieslings, and their now-released 2015 Watervale Riesling is another example of why the team there has such a well-deserved reputation, albeit 2015 wasn’t exactly kind to them in many respects weather-wise.
We’re talking about rain – firstly a lack of it and then absolutely plenty of it, combined with unwanted extreme heat. In five months from early August 2014 to early January 2015, the Clare Valley got a mere 67mm, just enough as Peter Barry put it, “to wash the dust off the vines.” Then in three weeks of January down it came… 100mm of it, combined with that extreme heat in February.
Remarkably the vines came through well, and the 2015 Jim Barry Watervale is a great Riesling, with mouth-filling ginger and lime fruit flavours, crispy apple-like acidity and a nice varietal creaminess. Pay $18 and with Riesling being one of the most food-friendly of wines, match this one with anything from seafood to Asian, chicken, pork or vegetarian dishes.
One to note: Voyager Estate in Western Australia’s Margaret River in 2012 had one of its warmest summers, earliest vintages, and highest fruit yields ever, and despite some challenges these threw at winemakers, it’s released an exceptionally smooth and more-ish 2012 Girt by Sea label Cabernet Merlot.
Something of an unexpected attention-grabber, this most pleasant drop has layers of dark cherry and blackcurrant fruit flavours, hints of vanilla, spice and nougat, fine-grained tannins and nicely integrated French and American oak. At $28, a great match with barbecued steak, or lamb shanks cooked in a red wine sauce.