High on the slopes of Eden Valley, bright yellow and blue buckets squat between rows of vines. Pickers pedantically divide Riesling grapes row by row – yellow, blue, yellow, blue, yellow, blue. Overseeing the process, tasting the grapes, stand two of Australia’s best known Riesling makers, Clare Valley’s Jeffrey Grosset and Eden Valley’s Robert Hill-Smith.
About the Vineyard
South Australia’s Eden Valley, high in the eastern ranges surrounding the Barossa Valley, averages between 400 and 600 metres in altitude. Soils are rocky grey loam and have high acidity. Winter rainfall is abundant (typically 50% more than Barossa Valley). Temperatures are up to two degrees cooler than Barossa Valley and the growing season longer. The 2017 growing season started with a wet winter and spring, filling the soils with moisture and getting the vines off to a good start. Spring and early summer temperatures were mild, resulting in a long and even ripening period. These ideal conditions for grape growing allowed us to make optimal picking decisions. The warm and dry days during late summer and autumn, combined with cool nights, has produced pristine fruit flavours and great acid retention in Eden Valley.
Jeffrey and Robert work together each vintage before taking their chosen grapes – Jeffrey’s in the blue buckets and Robert’s in the yellow - and parting ways to crush and ferment the fruit at different locations. Debate follows, as the juice is assessed and the final, final, final blend is agreed upon. Each component, nearly identical at the start, undergoes a different conversion into wine, reflecting the personal differences of both men.
The wine is green and vibrant in appearance, with aromas of zesty lemon and grapefruit. An intense and generous palate, with lively citrus fruit and hints of talc. The wine finishes clean and dry with refreshing, long acidity. As is the case with all great Eden Valley Rieslings, mesh will age gracefully and reliably into a mature wine under the Stelvin closure.
Perfect with natural oysters, or a fresh rocket and pomegranate salad.