Monday, July 2, 2012

St Hallett Eden Valley The Barossa 2009 Riesling

St Hallett Eden Valley The Barossa 2009 Riesling,

$9.99-$19.99, 82 points, and has me wondering: are all Australian Rieslings marked by an oily aroma and a petrol tasting wine? Okay, I know, it's only two in a row and that makes for a "straight line and not a pattern", but I'm now wary of them! This is beginning to remind me of when I hit several Australian Shiraz wines that were sub-par.

Light lemon/lime color, and an oily aroma with hints of lemon.
Has a medium body with some tartness to its acidity, but my enjoyment could only follow as this Riesling warmed, and on a hot day I'm NOT looking for a warm white-wine, but something crisp, refreshing, and doesn't offend my nose or palate.
Upon opening there was a hint of fizz and a bit of lemon zest.
The finish was weak.
I'm sorry if this review offends someone, but I don't recommend this wine.
Petroleum in Riesling,  Chow:
"TDN is associated with aging, but also with climate that is too hot for riesling. I have no cites for this, but German vintners have said to me that riesling grown in warmer new world climates (such as Napa Valley) will develop the petrol prematurely."
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By Melanie Wong on Sep 18, 2009 12:14 AM 
I assume that "too hot" climate just might be Australia!
Now, there is a battle going on about the "acquired" taste for TDN in Riesling, and I just heard a famous sommelier say that she "loves it". Well I have an interesting link as fodder for the flames of wine passion. Petrol Smell in Riesling is a-mistake-says Chapoutier
Opinion, and an adamant one at that, follows.
One thing I was glad for, was that I was given permission (sommelier's guest speaker) not to buy these wines! Unfortunately, it costs money to buy these wines before you can know that's how they taste.
Let me assure the Australian Riesling industry that after I go through a few more of their TDN Rieslings which I've already purchased, I'll never buy another unless the bottle says this taste is not in the bottle. Sorry! I'd rather drink white grape juice. 


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  1. Australian Riesling tends to mimic German Riesling with the oily, petrol notes. Some people love that, others hate it. I think I've figured out which side of that fence you are on.

    And even the less expensive ones tend to be built to age a decade or longer.

    If you want to try some Rieslings that don't feature petrol notes are prominently, look to Washington State and even South America.

    1. Bill, you appear to be right about Australian Riesling. I've had two different Rieslings from Germany (scored 90 and 92 points) with none of that Diesel taste and smell. You know, I was driving behind a tractor-trailer this morning and it smelled just like those two Aussie wines; I couldn't believe it. Also, I have tasted a number of NW Rieslings and I like them all and some I loved! So, you're right about that too.
      I don't want to get anyone mad, but then again I grew-up with a guy who loved cough syrup.

  2. Bill, after some research, I've discovered that there is two sources for this taste, and that some people love it. My palate isn't mature enough to appreciate diesel in my wine, and in Red wine it is my number one complaint.
    Just as long as my readers understand that preference of mine, they'll take my "poor" judgement-call with a grain of salt and maybe Vick's!