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.
A beautiful line of flavour follows, reserved sweetness kept in check by laser like acidity driving through to a long, stony and drying finish. Immaculate balance will see this age very well. Drink: 2026-2035; Rating: 96 Points; Andrew Caillard MW; The Vintage Journal
Beautiful floral, honeysuckle, lime, talc scented, highly aromatic bouquet: there's the sense that the residual sugar is lifting the fruit, which is often the way in off-dry and semi-sweet style rieslings. Exquisite aromas, a note of stone-fruits, the taste off-dry but you would never describe it as sweet. It dries off towards the back-palate with a lot of acidity. Beautifully balanced, a magical wine. The most gorgeous wine on the day. (From the Hughes family's White Hutt vineyard. 13 grams/litre of sweetness. On the riesling scale: half-way through the medium-dry section). Date: Oct 2023; Alcohol: 10.5%; Price: $28.00; Drink: 2024-2036; Rating: 96 Points; Huon Hooke; The Real Review
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