Australia

Australian Riesling: regional styles

This is a short post on identifying regional styles for Riesling from Australia.  I’m focusing solely on the two most important regions - Clare and Eden Valleys in South Australia - and the Rieslings from Western Australia, around Margaret River and elsewhere.

Worth noting for the whole country: look out for low pH in Australian Riesling.  Low pH (which is different from high acidity) gives a hard mouthfeel which can resemble phenolic grip (but note most Australian Riesling does not undergo skin contact).  The petrol note (TDN) is common across all regions and the standard is for the wines to be fully dry, unless a deliberate choice has been made otherwise.  This is in contrast to New Zealand.

Clare Valley: the classic source of Aussie Riesling.  Intense limey citrus, a powerful, vertical structure, very brisk and clean.  Detailed and intense.

Eden Valley: a bit softer, with slightly higher pH and lower acidity than Clare.  More floral and less limey.  Some wines (e.g. Pewsey Vale) can have a jasmine scent and more minerality than Clare.

Western Australia: riper and more fleshy and generous than Clare/Eden with more weight and dimension of flavour, including stone fruit.  Lacks the intensity of Clare and can also show less mid palate focus and concentration.