When you think of Australian wine and regions, you probably think of a hot climate, Barossa Valley, and maybe the Coonawarra. But what about cool climate regions of Australia? Yes, there are cooler regions in Australia where aromatic varieties like Riesling can grow. Off of the mainland of Australia, there is the island of Tasmania where you get fantastic sparkling wines. But in the mainland of Australia, there is Eden Valley, that is located a little further north from the Barossa Valley.
You may recognize the names of some premium Australian wine producers whose vineyards are located in Eden Valley such as Pewsey Vale, Heggies, and Henschke. According to Wine Australia, “With a winemaking history dating back to 1847, Eden Valley is home to some of the world’s oldest Shiraz and Riesling vineyards“.
A few years ago, during the Vancouver International Wine Festival, I purchased a bottle of St. John’s Road Eden Riesling 2014 and thought I’d share the results of my tasting with you. I tasted it once opening the bottle and then left some in the glass and tasted the remaining after a few hours to give it some decant time.
St. John’s Road Peace of Eden Riesling 2014 – This wine has a few years to evolve in the bottle. When the wine was bottled 4 years ago the tasting notes from the winery noted “Floral aromas of lemon zest and dried herbs accompanied by fresh green apple. Amazingly fresh and bright, this Riesling has generous layers of granny smith apple, white nectarine and a concentrated citrus tang that gives a kick through the mid-palate. The fruit sweetness is well balanced by the line of natural acidity throughout the wine, leaving a smooth mineral finish.”
Fast forward to 2018 and my tasting notes. The wine is bright, medium plus intensity lemon in colour. Medium intensity nose with developing aromas, in particular, petrol. There is also, to a lesser degree, aromas of citrus, roasted apple, pears and a hint of floral. With decanting the petrol aroma is still there but is lessened and your get more citrus aroma. The wine is dry with medium plus acidity, which also shows as a prickle on your tongue. Medium plus body and flavour intensity. Petrol is predominant on the palate, also with some bitterness and woodiness. Lesser amounts of fruit; pears, citrus and a touch of crisp apple. With decanting the wine becomes smoother and the acidic prickle disappears, but the wine is still tart. You get more crisp apple flavour with decanting. The wine has a medium length, finishing primarily with some bitter, woodiness, but also some citrus. With decanting you get a hint of honey on the finish.
This wine is clearly changing in the bottle as you compare the winery’s notes and my notes. I think that the wine will continue to change in the bottle. It is always hard to say what to expect but if decanting is my guide, I think that the crisp apple and honey flavours will become stronger. –