For John Hughes, the attraction to Riesling is all encompassing. Growing up on a small vineyard in the Clare Valley, and going on to work with some of the brightest Riesling makers in the country before launching his own venture, John is never far away from his beloved grape. John makes classic Australian styles from carefully selected vineyards with an emphasis on purity and site reflection, as well as German-inspired expressions that balance acidity and sugar with singular precision.
Rieslingfreak No.2 is a dry Riesling, showcasing many of the refinements typical of the Polish Hill River region. The limestone and shale rock soil profile is reflected in the Riesling with mineral and slate notes, underlying fresh citrus characters, predominantly lemon and grapefruit. Wines from this vineyard can be consumed upon release, or cellared for many years.
Scintillating stuff! Laser-like and inwardly concentrated, ultra-zesty and supremely mouth-watering, this is a delicate yet highly structured riesling of detail and strong minerality. Opens with an understated bouquet delivering lemony freshness and jasmine floral lift, the palate offering tart lime, flinty mineral licks and zesty grapefruit juice piquancy. The texture is impressive, too, chalky, puckering and very, very dry through its grand extension of flavour. Superstar. Date: Oct 2022; Alcohol: 10%; Price: $37.00; Drink by: 2035; Rating: 96 Points & Special Value Star; Mike Bennie; James Halliday Wine Companion
Now this is very good. We know that 2022 in the Clare Valley was a great year for Riesling. Time will tell if it is better than the great 2021 vintage, but my money is on it. Here, in this 2022 No. 2 from Polish Hill River, we witness all the coiled power and citrus fruit musculature of the season on full display, with citrus blossom, apple purée, star anise/fennel seed, cinnamon stick, lavender, Nashi pear and even kiwi fruit. At this point, it's still very closed but is a sensational representation of the year and the area. This is nowhere near fully extended. Patience, padawan. Date: Dec 2022; Drink: 2022-2042; Rating: 96 Points; Erin Larkin; Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
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