Monday, November 22, 2010


- Clare Valley, SA
- $27-$36
- Screwcap
- 12.5%alc

Knappstein's reserve level riesling, the Ackland, is a single vineyard wine sourced from a cool, elevated Watervale site (420-450 metres) planted in 1969 over the region's classic red loam and limestone. Followers of the Ackland Riesling will be glad to hear that winemaker Julian Langworthy believes the 2010 may be the best wine he's ever made.

Distinctly more refined on the nose than Knappstein's Hand Picked Riesling of the same year, the 2010 Ackland's fragrance brings in immediate thoughts of fresh green apples, lemon and talc, but its aromatic lift is presently constrained by a defining, almost steely tightness that follows through to a gripping palate. A beautiful clarity of pure lemon, lime and melon flavours sing the palate's opening verse, before a strong surge of limey minerality comes forth to command the show, guiding the wine in a more savoury, steelier direction towards a taut climax drawn into line by a zippy, laser-like acidity that cuts with smart precision.

ü A very fine, bell-clear Watervale riesling that harmonises a slick combination of minerality with limey undertones and a brisk acidic backbone. It should cellar particularly well. Drink to 2020.
93 points


  1. Tasted this with Jules when he was in Sydney a few weeks back, and had very similar impressions to you Chris for both the Hand-Picked and the Ackland. I think both work well for what they are meant for, the Hand-Picked as simple, early drinking style and the the Ackland as a more serious, structured Riesling that as you say, should cellar particularly well.

  2. Hey Chris,
    Once again, in agreement on this!
    Having tasted the 05 Ackland as well as this at the tasting Red refers to, I could almost bank on the 10 ageing as you predict. The 05 had many years ahead of it as well. The more Watervale Riesling I try, the more attracted to Clare Riesling I become (being a lime on slate Eden Valley fan primarily, though still liking Clare Riesling).



  3. Red and Brown (or should that be Red to Brown?), ;)

    Thanks guys. I think Julian did a good job with his two dry rieslings from 2010, as well as with his 2010 Three white blend, however, I'm not as convinced with Knappstein's off-dry riesling from 2009. But it wouldn't be the first time I've experienced personal disappointment from an off-dry Clare riesling.

    Generally I try to put up 'conservative' drinking windows on wines. Since the advent of screwcap, riesling is certainly one of the varieties I believe might really be able to show me up in the future. I honestly wouldn't be surprised that if cellared correctly, Knappstein's 2010 Ackland was still drinking well in 2030! Just not sure I'd hold onto one that long myself though....

    Chris P