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.