Riesling was the first variety we planted at Lenswood in 1982 with the first small crop in 1985. Our Riesling is on the austere end of the range of Riesling styles made in Australia and as such is the logical extension of the fine, subtle long-lasting wines from Eden Valley which have such an established place among the great wines of this variety.
To me, the essence of our Riesling is gentle, fine floral aromatics with the palate showing great finesse and delicacy. There is a mineral element about these wines and a wonderful capacity to fill out and grow in complexity with age, free from the heavy, overt, toasty aged characters that dominate many aged Australian Rieslings.
Cool to cold. Best between 5 and 10°C. Ideal with subtly flavoured seafood but can be enjoyed with a wide range of foods or on its own.
Seafoods with delicate flavours.
Will slowly develop the honey character of classically aged Riesling with time. but will not become heavy or “kerosene-like". Protected by screw cap I have complete confidence in positive flavour evolution through aging.
Crush, de-stem, gently air bag press. Rack partly cloudy juice to old barrels to ferment. Barrels chilled to stop ferment at 7g/l sugar. We have made this wine in a new way (for us) using old barrels and 7 months on yeast lees. My thinking is that our fruit with is naturally high acid levels can benefit from the balancing effect of the extended yeast lees contact plus the small amount of sugar.
The early harvests continues. Budburst occurred on 6th October near our average budburst date of 3rd of October. A dry, mild flowering period in late November and harvest on the 12th of March. Harvest was almost a full month ahead of our average Riesling picking date of 9th April. Early harvest are the new normal for us with harvest of Riesling in the first 2 weeks of March 6 times in the last 12 years. Prior to 2007, we had never harvested before the 29th of March. Crop level was about average at 2.4 kg/vine. Heat degree days for the season were 1240 which is a little cooler than our average of 1270. We were blessed with a mild, dry and sunny February leading up to harvest.
There is another reason I believe. The crop in 2011 which was ruined by rain was reasonably large and the vine does respond in the following year. This so-called biennial bearing can be an issue and is generally allowed for in pruning by leaving more or less buds. We have always had conservative bud numbers at pruning. Our average is 30 buds per vine (83,100/ha) which does mean some very low crops such as in 2012.
Temperatures early in the growing season were close to average but we had a cooler than normal end to summer. Heat degree days for the season were 1191 which is below our average of 1266. Cool temperatures post veraison favour high retained acid levels which, combined with fully ripe fruit gives a fresh acid edge to the palate.