The Barossa Valley is home to the oldest and some of the finest Shiraz vineyards in the world. However, someone ‘up there’ must be really looking out for us Barossa winemakers, because right next door we have the Eden Valley, birth place of many of Australia’s supreme dry Rieslings. And if Shiraz is the big, rich and bold ‘king’ of the Barossa Valley, then surely Riesling must be the strong, sensual and desirable ‘empress’ of the Eden Valley.
Dotted across a beautiful high country landscape from 380 to almost 600 meters above sea level are some superb sites for growing Riesling. The vineyards are located on shallow rocky free draining soils which produce very low yields of intensely flavoured fruit. The cooler conditions (especially at night) associated with the higher altitudes lead to later ripening and greater retention of natural acidity.
Our two major sources of Riesling are from vineyards near Angaston (dry grown, 390 meters) and Springton (450 meters +). We handle our Riesling in the winery a little different to most, with the juice pressed off oxidatively and fermented with some solids at cool temperatures in the pursuit of added flavour and texture. We’re not necessarily trying to make a Riesling built to last an eternity, preferring to see a bit more flesh on the bones which makes for a far more enjoyable drink as a young wine.
Our Riesling shows great fruit purity, and once your palate negotiates the initial pure citrus flavours, the wine glides across the mid-palate with an energetic gait showing hints of mineral ‘wet slate’, orange blossom, white flowers and talc.
It’s a great drink…and I have to say thanks to my sister Lee for bringing the essence of The Empress…strong, sensual, desirable…to life on the front label.” KYM TEUSNER, WINEMAKER
Halliday Wine Companion 2020 – 93 points
“Another mid-weighted riesling that attests to the country’s growing prowess with a softer, more digestible style. The foot has been taken off the pH adjustment metre. At least a little, liberating a flourish of quince, pink grapefruit and candied orange zest to flow along cushy acid rails. Some peppery phenolics add to the textural jigsaw. Good drinking.”