With a now established group of committed producers making great wine, Western Australia's Great Southern continues to gain prominence as a stellar riesling region. Wineries like Plantagenet (Mount Barker) and Frankland Estate (Frankland River) are doing wonderful things to define Great Southern's diverse sub-regional profile, while perhaps the region's best known maker of riesling; Howard Park, continue to make a fine riesling blended across numerous Great Southern districts (Mount Barker and the Porongurups in 2009).
Crystal-clear in both its pale colour and its aroma, Howard Park's 2009 reveals a somewhat subdued fragrance of grapefruit citrus and mineral with pronounced limey accents and a mere hint of chalk. Rather full, juicy and forward for the label, its clean palate presents a pure expression of slightly candied lemon and guava flavours with a chalky undercarriage of limey notes, but it finishes in a rather loose fashion, without the tightening acid structure for which Howard Park has become synonymous.
O Maybe I'm being a bit picky here, because I was looking for a tighter, more linear Howard Park Riesling with a bit more bite. Other than that it's actually a pretty good, if more of a quaffable riesling, which should drink well from now up until the medium term. Drink to 2016.