Wine Maker: Stephen Oliver
Fruit Source: Somme Lane
A very very light pale straw colour in the glass, very clear and pristine looking.
A brightly fragrant citrus bouquet greets your olfactory senses. It produces a slight tingling thrill of measured excitement as the citrus morphs a little into pears and tropicals followed by noticeable aromas of crushed pebbles.
A lovely elongated palate in which the lemon and lime twirl together producing an enlivening twisted sherbert flavour, something I really look for in riesling and don’t encounter enough. Ripe pears are embedded in honeydew melons, guavas are melded with mandarins and very unusually in riesling there is an underlying nuttiness akin to subtle raw cashews, some rind emerges a little later and then you notice that mineral earth is a bed the entire experience seems planted in. The acidity is trademark riesling with genuine verve and vigorous energy. This is certainly not Polish Hill River but Watervale, Eden and Tamar Valleys would be proud to claim this wine.
I may be incorrect but I believe this is the first Heritage Estate wine I’ve tasted that’s been made entirely by their new wine maker Stephen Oliver. In this case there has been an uninterrupted transition.
I especially appreciate that Heritage Estate have labelled this as ‘Somme’ Riesling indicating the non-estate fruit source while acknowledging the contribution of another local grower and ‘micro-terroir’ effects of that vineyard. For those who may not know the fruit source is from a vineyard at Somme Lane off Emu Swamp Road towards Ballandean. Rob Fenwick told me that whenever Heritage Estate uses non-estate fruit they intend to give credit to the source vineyard on the label, I really applaud this decision.Bright, lively, and with a solid line of balanced acidity this wine represents a truly classic interpretation of Riesling.
Both the nose and the palate resound with clean citrus and gooseberry.
Pair Riesling with light foods such as crustaceans, fish, oysters, and poultry.
ROBERT PARKER INTERNATIONAL WINE REVIEW – 92 points – SILVER MEDAL
The 2023 Somme Riesling leads with Meyer lemon, cut lime, crushed rocks, white beach sand and layers of shells. In the mouth, the acid is super tight, almost austere, and it coils within the very fine fruit. This is an elegantly defined Riesling, with cut and thrust of altitude acidity. Very good.
THE REAL REVIEW – BRONZE MEDAL
Complex and lifted aromas of toast, lime juice, citrus blossom and slate. Fine, focused and textured on the palate. Flavours are of brown lime juice, mandarin, lemon and a cool, slaty minerality. There’s real drive and purpose with the acidity and there’s a touch of phenolics that deliver grip and shape. Smart gear !