The 20th National Cool Climate Wine Show (October 16-19) has declared the Riddoch E.k. 2018 Coonawarra Riesling to be the best in show.
The Riesling features fruit from the vineyards of George and Catherine Kidman of Kidman Wines, and the blend was crafted by Neil Doddridge, the Senior Winemaker at Cellarmaster Wines.
The Coonawarra is often cited as being a strong region for reds, but Neil contends that high quality whites also take pride of place in the vineyards.
“In the 80s, 90s and 00s there were quite a bit of riesling in the region,” he says.“Wynn’s had one of the biggest Coonawarra whites with their riesling”
The current zeitgeist for Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand means that riesling and chardonnay can be overlooked these days, but there are still patches of Coonawarra where brilliant whites are grown and blended.
Eden Valley and Clare may get the lion’s share of the attention for their rieslings, Neil opined, but a Coonawarra riesling is still a top drop.
What makes the Coonawarra so ideal for a variety like riesling, Neil explained, is that it’s cooler than a region like the Barossa, and it has large swathes of flat surfaces.
The Riddoch E.k. 2018 Coonawarra Riesling has been influenced by its environment through its colours and flavours. It has a pale golden colour with notes of lime, citrus and creme brulee. It has a well-balanced acidity, and also has what Neil calls “chalky notes”.
Whilst the idea of chalkiness seems to be a negative at first glance, what it means in wine terms is that the variety has higher acidity levels which results in a crisp, slightly mineral finish. This chalkiness comes from the colder nights and moderate days in the region, and the Kidman’s method of harvesting their riesling early in the season.
“All credit should really go to the growers,” Neil modestly said of the wine’s win.
The National Cool Climate Wine Show featured 157 entrants this year, with 36 Gold medals being awarded.
Article Source, Naracoorte Herald – Amy Maynard