The Riesling fruit used to produce this wine was grown on a South East slope at the Northern end of the Gullyview Vineyard. The vines are 17 years old and planted on red clay on limestone, ‘Terra Rosa’ soil. We hand picked over 2 days, a week apart, the first pick was the 17th February, the second pick on the 24th. This was in an attempt to capture as much mineral freshness whilst also having some richer plusher characters to work with. In the winery, the first pick was pressed straight away, the later pick received 24 hours of skin contact. Both parcels received a small sulphur add in the press tray. All juice was cold settled for around a week to try and achieve as clean a juice as possible. Given we are not adding any enzymes the juice still contained some solids. Natural ferment was carried out in a mix of ceramic eggs and stainless steel tanks and lasted for around three weeks. The wine was racked off ferment lees and then spent 5 months on fine lees. Prior to bottling a small sulphur addition was made, the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front. 92/100
Out of a blind line-up two wines side by side; this wine and Quelltaler from Annie’s Lane from 2016. Both bobbed up for review. Wouldn’t have been able to tell this wine was from same parish in Clare Valley, but it bolted for how interesting it was. The modus operandi is ’12 hours of skin contact, indigenous yeast, fermented in ceramic egg and stainless steel vessels, aged on fine lees, minimal sulphur added and bottled without fining or filtration”. Chalk and cheese. Does say something about Watervale, just in a different accent.
Pale golden colour in glass. Smells a touch forward and of green and dried apples, pot pourri, powdered school chalk. The palate is tight, ribbed with fine crushed rock tannin, given angles with zingy acidity and finds a personality not far off farmhouse cider (which I like drinking, so a chord struck). The finish is pleasingly limey. Curious thing here, and yet rewarding. Wild Watervale riesling done well.
Dave Brookes, The Adelaide Review
Damon and Jonathan Koerner of Koerner wines have put together a nicely textured drop of “plushness and complexity” in their 2016 Watervale Reisling.
There are nice things happening with Riesling in our fine land. Sure, we all love the super sleek, limey wines with their laser–like precision and clarity of line; they are, after all, one of the most undervalued wine styles on the market.
But, a growing band of vignerons are pushing the boundaries with the variety; some skin contact here, some lees work there, to craft wines that display all of the varietal characters we have grown to love but with an extra layer of plushness and complexity.
The Koerner Watervale Riesling is one of this new breed of Rieslings. Brothers, and Clare Valley lads, Damon and Jonathan Koerner, source their fruit from the Gullyview Vineyard in this famous Clare sub–region.
The wine is a slinky, textural little beauty that provides fascinating, delicious drinking and is certainly a winner in the food matching stakes. Aromas of lime and citrus fruits are immediately apparent along with hints of soft spice, nougat.
Crushed stone, white flowers and clotted cream. There is a gentle, exotic edge to the aromas here, captivating, drawing one deeper into the glass. On the palate, that classic Watervale minerality is there in spades but it is a wine that is unabashedly about texture and mouthfeel, a slight phenolic tug seemingly pulling the wine across the tongue.
Again, lime and grapefruit characters abound, along with a hint of paw paw in the distance. Softly spiced with a light creamy edge and a bright line of acidity, it is a wine that holds the drinkers’ attention admirably and I, for one, am certainly happy that people are tweaking Riesling like this. Superb.