White Wine of the Month

96 | Pewsey Vale

Price: $40
Grape Varietal: Riesling
Region/Appellation: South Australia, Australia
Imported by Negociants USA, Napa, CA

2003 Eden Valley The Contours Museum Reserve Riesling Louisa Rose, chief winemaker at Yalumba, is the South Australian mistress of riesling. Back in the mid-1990s, she took me on a tour of The Contours, then opened a bottle of Pewsey Vale from the 1970s under screw cap that forever changed the way I think about riesling and cork. This block at Pewsey Vale was planted in 1962, using a selection propagated from the site's riesling vines, one that likely dates back to the 1800s. This terraced hillside benefitted from naturally low yields in 2003, restricted by short winter rains, then a refreshing rain during summer to help the vines ripen their fruit through the balance of the cool season. It's still youthful at ten years of age; though the color is golden, the fragrance of honeycomb, kumquat and lime is fresh, pointed up by mineral-inflected acidity that creates a powerful tension, a sense of earthiness that resonates through the finish. Open for a day, it grows sunny and generous, an unselfconsciously beautiful white to enjoy over the coming decade. —Joshua Greene

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