Wednesday, October 01, 2008

2007 Leasingham Magnus Riesling

Country: Australia
Region: Clare Valley
Alcohol: 13.5%
Price: €12,00
Closure: Screwcap

When I think of Riesling I cannot help but think of the steep, hilly regions of Germany along the Rhine and the Mosel rivers.  The riesling, originating in Germany (Rhine region), is a very versatile grape which can produce wines in many different styles.  In fact it is one of the reasons some commentators, such as Jancis Robinson (and many others I may say), refer to riesling as the king of the whites.  

Riesling is possibly one of the most underrated white varieties after it's reputation was destroyed by wines such as Blue Nun, Liebfraumilch and Niersteiner.  Thouge these wines 
often contained little or no riesling in them riesling was tainted by association.  These wines gave riesling the reputation of sickly sweet wines; beginners wines that were not to be taken too seriously.  Over time Riesling is winning back some of the lost ground, although there is still a lot of ground to be made up.

In Australia the Clare Valley is one of 'the' places to produce riesling and is home to some of the best producers such as Leo Buring, Petaluma and Grosset.  
With an average rainfall of 632mm and an average winter temperature of 13 degrees, the Clare Valley is one of Australia's coolest wine growing regions.  The long, warm summer days and the cooling nights allow the grapes to develop flavour as well as maintaining the crisp acidity Australian rieslings are known for.  In general Australian riesling is drier than those produced in Germany for example where a little residual sugar is often left in the wine left fermentation.  

This wine is the 2007 Leasingham Magnus Riesling produced in the Clare Valley.  Against all advice Leasingham was the first winery in the Clare to plant the riesling variety in the early 1950's.  The variety flourished and the rest they say is history.     

Here is what I thought of the wine:

Light; almost straw-like in colour.  Typical floral nose with a dash of green citrus.  Quite dry on the palate with juicy, lemon, lime citrus fruit and plenty of mouth drying acidity.  A little short on the finish but a nice, varietally correct wine.  While very clean and correct I do think it lacks that little bit of interest for mine.  I would, however, be interested in tasting this with some bottle age.

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