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Wine Spot

Jim Barry  Watervale from Clare Valley

Jim Barry Watervale from Clare Valley

August 20, 2016
  • I want to let you in on a little trade secret.
  • But first a few questions…
  • Do you like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio?
  • Do you like refreshing, vibrant wines?
  • Do you like matching wine with the food you're eating?
  • Do you like a bargain and value for money?
  • Are you up for trying something new or giving an old grape another chance?

Well you should, because dry Riesling sounds like the wine for you. Now before you think "nonsense, Riesling's always really sweet and in those funny bottles" , wait until you see what the Australian's and German's have been doing in recent years.

They've been making, vibrant fresh, dry Riesling's that gives Sauvignon a run for its money. To be honest, I think this new breed of Riesling utterly out performs Sauv's on every level; complexity, elegance, flavor and most importantly, enjoyment. Seriously - they're delicious!

But I have some good news and some bad news for you though bad news first

This charming grape, with all its quality and flexibility (it can make anything from the dry to the super sweet and even sparkling wines to rival Champagne), is relatively unloved. It's sad but true. It sits there, waiting patiently for people to discover its potential.

Time for the good news - this means Riesling is incredibly good value!

Riesling also has the uncanny ability to age. And not just for a year or 2 like most whites. Some of the best wines I have ever had (after spending a decade in the industry tasting on average 5 new wines a day for 5 days a week….you do the maths),have been Rieslings with 10 years or more under their belt. Even relatively inexpensive Rieslings can age for years and years.

Although traditionally a German grape, the New World have successfully been making superb Riesling's since the 1970's (if not before), with the first planting in Australia dating back to the late 1800's. Their take on the grape has been to make dry, zippy, exhilarating wines to match the global preference for this style.

Take Jim Barry's Watervale Clare Valley Riesling as a classic example.

  • World famous top Australian producer - tick.
  • World famous Australian wine region - tick.
  • World famous quality and elegance from a team of exceptional winemakers - tick.

Once you open it the wines exuberant, tropical fruit flavors jump out of the bottle; peach, nectarine, even a touch of pineapple. Pop it in your mouth and the wines fresh limey minerality becomes obvious as well. In short, it's refreshing, peachy, complex and has a cracking length. It goes on and on. All the hallmarks of a top quality wine.

Find me a Sauvignon that could do all that for KYD$23.00. Simply not possible - trust me, I tried.

Last but not least - food and Riesling. This Aussie gem would go with Sushi, or rich fish dishes and even handle a spicy curry or Pork. For me though. it's gorgeous enough by itself.