The Story - Whitlands Riesling 2017
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Our third release from Whitlands, and undoubtedly the best to date. Whitlands is a regional departure for us but unfortunately our Henty vineyard source Barratt’s vineyard was pulled out so that Rod and his wife could sell up and retire. A shame for us but a well-earned rest for them. Its replacement is much further afield, but shares the very cold climate character I think Riesling needs. I was told about an old Brown Brothers contract site next door to their Whitlands vineyard that had some pretty smart Riesling, so went to investigate. The Croucher Vineyard is set at close spacing on red volcanic soils, up at around 800m above sea level, and was planted in the mid-1980s. It seemed to have the right credentials. 2017 was a very cold, long season that enabled a full flavour spectrum to develop yet retained considerable acidity. The abundance of flavour and structure led me to ferment half of the wine in 1000lt oak foudre to soften the wine, without losing precision. Talc, ripe lime, orange blossom, tonic water, alpine herbs and pine needles are all there, and this year’s sugar sits at 9g/l. Intense, delicious, and will age admirably.