To say the least, Australians have shown a degree of uncertainty when it comes to labelling off-dry rieslings. Knappstein's 8:8:18 takes the popular formula of incorporating the wine's residual sugar levels into the name and adds to it, by also including its alcohol (8%) and total acidity (8 grams/litre, well, 8.2 actually but that would just sound silly on the label now wouldn't it?).
The first thing to strike me about Knappstein's 8:8:18 is its T/A and residual sugar balance isn't that far removed from Grosset's recent off-dry outing, although Knappstein's wine has considerably less alcohol. It's surprisingly slatey/chalky/flinty on first sniff, perhaps even savoury and dry, but underneath that first layer lies a speck of honeyed lemons providing varietal/stylistic punch. Although clear and bright for the most part, the palate is driven by a rich, sweet thread of sugary/glycerol-like flavour that resides throughout. Its most pleasing point is a hint of flinty character on the mid-palate, but it passes quickly, turning into something closer resembling lime candy to finish. Like other off-dry Clare rieslings it finishes a bit loose, without any of the tightness or grip of the region's classic dry styles.
O Relatively clean, very drinkable (low alcohol related) and probably beautifully suited to Asian foods, but not lifting my confidence in off-dry Clare riesling like Grosset's wine did. Drink to 2013.