Friday, September 16, 2011


- Clare Valley, SA
- $20-$25
- Screwcap
- 11.5%alc

Rieslingfreak is the brand of John Hughes, a man whose rise to prominence has been doubtlessly assisted by his appearance on Australia's most popular reality TV show. Fortunately for John, his dry Clare rieslings are of a good enough standard to withstand the potential flow of customers who make the transition from television set to bottle.

Moderately pure to sniff yet still marked by hints of tropical riesling fruit, this 2011 Clare riesling gets lifted out of the glass by a sharp, almost spiced-up scent of lemon/grapefruit, which really flies with straightness and precision, leaving a mineral accented aroma of melon and pineapples behind. There's a slightly unnerving taste of pineapple to the palate, but other than that, its concentrated texture, driving length and searing acidity work like a well drilled team. In fact, it tastes like a riesling that's been built much more seriously than its fun name suggests. The mouthfeel and movement of the wine are key. Its wet slate and lime juice flavours announce themselves as quite smooth and richly flavoured, in a pleasingly compact way that does become juicier with time, before it springs into action on a lively finish, decorated by vibrant, grapefruit-like acids and a note of tinned pineapple.

ü There is a slight sweet 'n' sour aspect here (pineapple-like), but looking at the texture, flow and structure of this wine, John Hughes clearly has a knack for dry Clare riesling. Reality TV show appearance or not, Rieslingfreak is a welcomed addition to the shelves of fine wine retailers in my opinion. Drink to 2018.
91 points

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