Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2008 Bellarmine Riesling Auslese (Pemberton)

I was in a rush to get to a Japanese restaurant the other day and quickly popped in to my local bottle shop to grab a bottle of Riesling. I saw a Bellarmine Riesling in the fridge, and having heard good things about Bellarmine wines decided to grab the bottle.

Once I got to the restaurant I pulled off the brown paper bag and looked at the wine a bit more closely at which point I felt a bit crestfallen . . . the label said Riesling Auslese . . .

Auslese is a sweeter style of German Riesling from late picked grapes. It's a style of wine that defies definition in a way in that it's not quite sweet enough to be a proper dessert wine but is nevertheless sweeter than what would normally be consumed as a table wine.

As it turned out, while I don't think it was the perfect match for Japanese, it nevertheless ended up going down very well.

The wine has a nice golden colour. The nose was rich and aromatic with aromas of apples, lime, and honey. On the palate it is sweet, but it is a lovely intense sweetness that then actually finishes relatively dry on the back palate. The sweetness is importantly matched by lovely acidity. Nice balance and length. Everything is in place to suggest this will age pretty well.

An enjoyable and interesting wine that strikes as a very good Aussie interpretation of a classic German Riesling style. One of the best things about this wine, and Auslese more generally, is the low level of alcohol. At 7.5% ABV, my wife and I polished off the bottle with little fuss. If I was drinking this wine again I would have it with some Thai food or maybe as a pre-dinner drink with some nice nibblies. If you want to try something a bit different, at $18 I recommend picking up a bottle of this.


RRP: $18
ABV: 7.5%
Website: www.bellarmine.com.au



Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of their wines. I had a bottle of this the other day too. I think the 06 was better though. Give the (off-dry) Riesling or the Riesling Dry a go if you can find it

Red said...

Thanks Jesse. Will look out for their other rieslings. Have you tried their Shiraz? Meant to be pretty handy as well

Jeremy Pringle said...

Second Jesse's thoughts. One of the better Australian off-drys going around. I like the Shiraz too. Impressive winery.

Chris Plummer said...

Speaking of off-dry rieslings I received my Grosset newsletter yesterday. Seems the great man is releasing an off-dry riesling from his second Watervale vineyard this year, with 16 grams of residual sugar and the rrp of $28. Could be one to look out for....

Red said...

Am just looking at the newsletter this evening. It's a growing trend in Australian Riesling and will be interesting to see where it goes. I wonder whether it's been driven by a desire to emulate the classic rieslings of Germany or by the view that a bit of sweetness will broaden Rieslings appeal amongst the broader public (or a bit of both)?

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