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John Vickery is the acknowledged old master of Riesling in Australia, with an illustrious career spanning over fifty years, culminating in the extraordinary awards tally of more than fifty Trophies and over four hundred Gold Medals. The Rieslings he crafted from Watervale (in the Clare Valley) and Eden Valley (in the Barossa) stand tall as the epitome of this most majestic grape variety, each with a unique South Australian and sub-regional thumbprint. Vickery wines are made in collaboration with talented winemaker and family friend Philip Lehmann, so that John’s winemaking methods and knowledge will be preserved and passed on for  generations to come, for the benefit of all lovers of classic Australian Riesling. 

From 15-17yo low yielding vines from the Zander, Mason and Riley Vineyards, each parcel fermented separately in stainless steel before final selection and blending. Gleaming straw-green; classic young Eden Valley riesling, its citrus aromas and flavours on the midpoint between lime and lemon, the acidity flowing calmly on in the wake of the fruit, purity the watchword. Drink by: 2031; Price: $23.00; Date Tasted: Aug 2016; Alcohol: 12.5%; Rating: 96 Points & Special Vaule Star; James Halliday Wine Companion

Carrying the prestigious name of one of Australia’s most renowned riesling craftsmen, the now (almost) retired John Vickery who mentors winemaker Phil Lehmann in the creation of this and a companion Watervale version, this exudes the purest of lemon notes in zest, flesh and leaf, beautifully ripe from four family-run vineyards and with exciting natural acidity in discreet balance. It’s a joyous aperitif.  Rating: 95 Points; Tony Love, Top 100 Wines. The Advertiser

Textbook Eden Valley Riesling. It’s mineral with a subtle lavender perfume, spice, grapefruit and lime. Clean and direct, pure acidity and visions of mineral water flowing over stones, if you take my meaning. The finish is clean, crunchy and very long. Beautiful wine. Dead set bargain. You could even twist my arm to rate it one point higher, maybe. Tasted: July 2016; Alcohol: 12.5%; Price: $23; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2016-2029+; Rating: 94 Points; Gary Walsh - The Wine Front

There is no grape variety that offers better value for money in Australia than riesling; which particularly shines in the Clare and Eden valleys of South Australia. Phil Lehmann, talented son of the late Peter Lehmann, makes excellent examples in both regions under the Vickery label, which pays tribute to arguably Australia's greatest-ever riesling maker, John Vickery, who is a consultant in the making of these wines, The 2016 releases are both excellent, but for me the Eden Valley wine just edged out the Watervale example, although it was a photo finish. It is slightly rounder, maybe a little more adult, while retaining the essential citrus and acid elements. Just lovely.  Winsor Dobbin

 

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