A Dry Drop

My Wine Club has just completed its April meeting and one of the wines presented was a 2011 Seppelts Drumborg Riesling.  The theme of the night was Victorian wineries and we had wines from nearly all the Victorian regions, but 3 out of the 11 wines were from the Grampians region which was quite surprising when you consider the lower total production from this region compared to others.

Of course, it is the duplicitous members of the club trying to gain an advantage over the rest by bringing a wine from a relatively minor region.  But I have always been fond of the wines in the zone called Great Western, and regularly receive a dozen wines from Bests, and have enjoyed many of the Seppelts wines as well.
But I really wanted to talk about the Drumborg Riesling which was astonishing in its driness.  Australian Rieslings have usually been very fruit driven, and are good to drink young, but can age for decades in the right conditions and develop honey and toasty characteristics in the bottle.  Some of my friends love them at this late stage.  But I have rarely, if ever, tasted an Australian Riesling as dry as this Drumborg presented on Friday night.  It was delightful, and I am going to add some to my cellar.  It will be interesting to see how it develops over the years, but I may not have the patience to wait.
I understand that there are other winemakers deciding to make very dry Rieslings in future and I find it amazing that the styles of wines made in Australia is still constantly evolving.  Past articles have discussed the impact of Robert Parker on our red wines with excessive alcohol content to the fore, but over time producers are winding back the alcohol and making more elegant and refined reds.  Chardonnays used to be heavily oaked monsters, but are now lightly oaked and fine examples of the beautiful Chardonnay fruit.  This is a very good thing for the future of the Australian Wine Industry, because we need to find the best wines for our growing conditions and not slavishly follow the European template.  Obviously the European conditions are vastly different to ours so it makes sense to adapt our practices to suit our “terroir”.
It is a work in progress, but examples like the Drumborg Riesling fill me with excitement for the future.
By The Tipsy Farmer

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