Three refreshing rieslings for spring

Riesling grapes at vintage.
Riesling grapes at vintage. Photo: Shutterstock


There's a spring-like purity and focus about the new season's Australian rieslings each year. The 2018 crop has started arriving and these wines reinforce riesling's reputation for consistency and value. Some of the top drops command prices in line with their high quality, but bargains still abound among the lesser lights. The more prestigious labels usually, though not always, demand bottle age to realise their full quality potential. Wines further down the pecking order are often better each-way bets, offering vibrant freshness in youth yet richness and complexity with time in bottle. Wise riesling lovers should have both.

Jim Barry Watervale Riesling 2018 $18-$20

Score 91

Pikes Traditionale Riesling 2018.
Pikes Traditionale Riesling 2018. Photo: Supplied

A perennial bargain, this label always offers great Clare Valley identity at a good price. It's a very pale, delicately scented riesling with aromas of blossom and lime. The palate is pure and elegant with ripe flavour, succulent balance and a sustained, dry finish. Easy to like. Screw cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over five years plus.

Stockists include Five Way Cellars, Paddington (NSW); Boccaccio Cellars, Balwyn (Vic).

Pikes Traditionale Riesling 2018 $24-$26

Score 93

Pristine regional and varietal perfumes introduce this classically styled Clare Valley youngster. Lime zest, florals, yeasty and mineral notes meet the nose. Flavours are penetrating, long and pure, with flowing mouthfeel counterpointed perfectly by tingling acidity. Screw cap; 11.5 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over five years plus.


Stockists include Dan Murphy's stores.

Pikes The Merle Riesling 2018 $45-$48

Score 96 

Pikes' top riesling label has more dimensions than the Traditionale, and despite its youth it's eminently drinkable right now. Apple, floral, honeydew and citrus aromas have a savoury slatey edge, and it tastes plump and juicy with superb balance and a lingering aromatic finish. A classic. Screw cap; 12 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over 10 years.

Stockists include Rathdowne Cellars, Carlton North (Vic); Five Way Cellars, Paddington (NSW).