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.5, like No.3 is made from the family vineyard, but with the grapes harvested from a vineyard with lighter soils therefore providing a lighter style of wine. The grapes are harvested earlier in the season, to provide a wine that is slightly less in alcohol. Being ‘off dry’ the sugar level can vary each vintage, pending on the season, normally between 11-15g/L. The sugar is balanced nicely with the acid, providing a fruit driven style with a hint of sweetness. The wine drinks well on release, or will reward with cellaring.
Light straw-yellow colour, with a reserved, shy but attractive aroma that suggests dried flowers and mandarin peel, while the palate is sweetly fruity and limy at the core, tense and drying toward the finish, with a cleansing aftertaste thanks to subtle tannins and seamless acidity. The wine finishes drier than many rieslings that are not labelled off-dry. An excellent wine. Date Tasted: Feb 2021; Drink: 2021 to 2032; Price: $27.00; Rating: 95 Points; Huon Hooke; The Real Review
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