Monday 19 January 2009



YOUR WEEKLY WINE COLUMN for week beginning January 19 2009

david ellis

FEWER than 250 people live in the little village of Watervale in South Australia, but their vignerons and winemakers create Rieslings there that are the envy of some of the biggest – and greatest – makers in the world.

Jim Barry Wines is one of Watervale's leading proponents of the variety, and with an eye on world trends, Managing Director Peter Barry and Winemakers Luke Steele and Derrick Quinton created a 2008 Riesling that's a sensation for growing numbers of those who like their Rieslings 'dry' – that is, the wine has a sugar-to-acid ratio of less than 1 (to be precise, in this case 7.5g/L acidity to 6.8g/L sugar.)

It makes it an ideal food wine with classic-Watervale lemon, lime and floral flavours, hints of pawpaw and lanolin, and with plenty of natural acidity for a beautiful clean, crisp finish; swirl it around in the glass, take a good whiff and it explodes in the nose with all the characters of a bowl of fresh-cut fruit salad.

At $16.95 this Jim Barry 2008 Watervale Riesling is an exceptional buy to put on the table with hot or cold chicken dishes, seafoods and summery salads.

ONE FOR LUNCH: YOU'd wonder why makers of a wine that blew away the judges when it was created back in 1937, and has been an Aussie household favourite for nearly 70 years since, would want to change the name.

But Houghton's famous White Burgundy that was the brainchild of the legendary Jack Mann, is now labelled Houghton White Classic – to comply with France's dictate that wines made in other countries can no longer be named after French geographical regions such as Champagne and Burgundy.

The 2008 White Classic is the second release under the new name and is 100% West Australian Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Semillon, and a dash of Muscadelle, from the Swan Valley, Gin Gin and Lower South West; pay just $14 and enjoy its citrus and passionfruit flavours with cold seafoods.




[] A Riesling created with foodies in mind.

[] NEW name, but the legend lives on.

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