Sunday, March 01, 2009

Majella Coonawarra Riesling

Sunday 22 Feb 2009

Limited apologies for yet another tasting note, but I promise to make things up to you with a couple of restaurant reviews during the week.

Last week I taught a class about Riesling so when I spotted the Majella 2005 Coonawarra Riesling in Oddbins (marked down to £6.29 from £8.99) I purchased it on the grounds that it represented 'research'. In the course of more conventional research I did discover a few interesting tit-bits about what is, in my opinion, the Queen of white grapes.


My original attempt at this post went into far too much nitty-gritty wine-bore detail*. Fortunately I had the good sense not to hit the publish button last night! However, I have to give you some trivia ... did you know that in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century German Rieslings were as highly regarded and sought after as their French red counterparts? And that Riesling was Australia's most widely planted white grape variety up until the late 80s/early 90s when Chardonnay took over?

Well, now you do.

So ... what's the verdict on the Majella? Well, after we had a bit of an argument about whether or not it was too cool, we both decided that we were extremely happy with it. Even if you paid £8.99 a bottle for it it would still be good value. It's a lovely wine. The nose is quite floral (think honeysuckle) with overtones of both honey and petrol. On the palate, it reflects the nose: honeyed and floral to start with, which is quickly balanced by some searing acidity, which then develops into lime and sherbert and the wines wraps up some more floral notes on the finish: satisfyingly complex. As you'd expect from an Australian Riesling it does have a mineral quality about it. The length is very good and it's a very refreshing, and food friendly, wine.

I note from the Majella site that frost destroyed the 2006 and 2007 crops so you'll not find a 2007 or 2008 vintage. Let's all hope that last year was a little kinder!

*The extended detail can be found here.
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Blogger kaley said...

Thanks for this - I adore Riesling but have been very disappointed with any I've tried thus far - I will keep my eyes out for this one.

1:00 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Kaley - I'd definitely keep your eyes peeled for Rieslings from the Clare Valley. Makers like Jeffry Grosset and Mt Horrocks should see you right (though, admittedly, cost a bit more than £8!).

12:52 pm  

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