The Clare Valley, off the southern coast of Australia, is cool, even cold in the evening, but warm on summer days. These conditions are perfect for growing the Riesling grape , which thrives in cool weather growing regions. Australian Riesling may not yet have the reputation of Old World regions like Germany and Alsace or that of Shiraz in Australia, but the best Riesling producers from Down Under are now crafting dry, taut wines with unmistakable citrus and mineral flavors.
Koonowla is one of the oldest producers in this region, and their property was first planted to vines in the late nineteenth century. Production actually stopped in 1926 as a result of a fire, but the vineyard was replanted beginning in 1985. Now, winemakers David O'Leary and Nick Walker are using this fruit to craft a lean, intensely citrusy Riesling that showcases the virtues of the region.
Even though 2007 was one of the warmest years on record in the valley, the growing season was, luckily, consistently warm, rather than hot. The absence of hot days allowed grapes to develop their full, fresh flavors, while maintaining their natural acid structures.
The wine is light yellow in color with green hues. The aroma reveals intense citrus fruit characteristics, particularly lime and grapefruit. The zest of these fruits continues into the finish of the wine, as it retains good acidity to the end.
Try this wine with shrimp tempura or oysters on the half shell.