Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ballast Stone 'Estate' Riesling 2007

I had this wine a couple of days ago while we were dining out at Bar Shu, a renowned Sichuan Chinese restaurant. Food writer and Chinese chef Fuchsia Dunlop is a consultant there, and since I own and cook out of two of her books, I have been wanting to try it for a long time.

The wine was a bit of a random choice, but it was between that, a New Zealand Gewurztraminer and an more-expensive Alsace Pinot Gris. I chose the Riesling as I thought that if it was half-decent, it would be quite neutral and food-friendly. I had never eaten at the restaurant before, and still didn't know what I was going to eat (aside from the starter I was munching on).

This Riesling is from a cool-climate, maritime region in South Australia called Currency Creek. I'd never heard of it and was a bit nervous about the choice until it arrived. It had at least 4 medal stickers on the bottle, and the first whiff of its rich, petrol-tinged aroma assured my I'd made a good choice. It very much resembles a Clare Valley style - bone dry, tart but with that good petrol character.

The wine was £28 in the restaurant, and I was shocked to see it for a little over £7 at a couple of UK wine merchants, although that was for the 2002 and 2003 vintages. This is a bargain - if Riesling was more fashionable this would be going for well over £10.

If anyone has every tried this wine, I'd like to hear what you think of it, the region, and any other wines you may have tried from there.

'Estate' Riesling 2007
Currency Creek, South Australia

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