High in the Hills surrounding the Barossa lies Pewsey Vale, Eden Valley's pioneer vineyard. Pewsey Vale Vineyard is the hallowed home of Riesling. The vines can be traced back to the 1800's and the original James Busby collection of cuttings brought into Australia. Today Pewsey Vale Vineyard is a single vineyard dedicated to the single variety - Riesling.
The 1961 block is a new interpretation of Riesling from this historic vineyard. This wine is proof that a healthy, biodiverse vineyard needs little winemaking intervention as the grapes and yeast from the vineyard combine perfectly to make this wine. .
From the oldest vines on Pewsey Vale Vineyard, the grapes are handpicked and the juice wild fermented and aged for a few months on lees before bottling and release. The growing season in Eden Valley started after a beautifully wet winter, which set the grape vines up well for a healthy start to the season. A drier than average spring meant the vines responded quickly; growing, flowering well and setting a good number of bunches. Summer saw warm and dry days with the important cool Eden Valley nights, that ripen the grapes and maintain the freshness and natural acidity respectively. The balmy Indian summer of early March helped finish the ripening of these perfectly balanced and flavoured grapes.
This wine is pristine with aromas and flavours of lemon myrtle and tea tree blossom. With crushed quartz minerality, it is evocative, seamless and ageless. The wine shows great tautness and line as a young wine that will delight early drinkers as well as those who want to cellar it for 15+ years.
Pewsey Vale is synonymous with Riesling, and this historic hillside vineyard that rules the Eden Valley in South Australia is world-famous for the distinct style it produces. Originally established in 1847 by Joseph Gilbert, it was purchased by Samuel Smith (now Hill-Smith of Yalumba) in 1961. The vineyard sits 250 metres above the Barossa Valley floor. The resultant cooler temperatures encourage a longer ripening period that is essential for producing superior Riesling grapes. Made by renowned winemaker Louisa Rose, the Rieslings of Pewsey Vale have a distinct lime character together with florals and a touch of spice. When young they are vibrant and tight with upright acidity. As the wines age, they gain complexity with honeyed tones, but they are very long-lived, so patience is a must!
Scented with white flowers, lime and green apple skins; ultra-long and generous with a tight chalkiness and finely balanced acids.
A new bottling of the oldest and best parcel on the vineyard. This has a greater sense of depth and fleshy concentration. Steely and stony notes with pure lemon citrus. The palate has excellent texture and pithy concentration.
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Mainly from Block 2 (planted '75), plus a smaller amount from younger estate blocks. Picked and sorted by hand, mostly whole-bunch pressed, a small portion crushed and destemmed before pressing. This is very good, with riesling flaunting its varietal wares. Block 1 needs at least a decade to release its treasures, but here they're ready to start now.
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
Pretty perfume of frangipani and green leaves, fragrant ginger and lemongrass, citrus, pith and juice, grapefruit sorbet. Such a lovely start. Beautiful texture and softeness of mineral-draped acidity. Slate, wet pebble, then the tang of citrus, touch of tonic water, pop of green herbs, maybe even eucalyptus in there. Character filled, softness and mineral charm in spades. Superb. 95+ Points
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
The first release from the 56yo vines. It has the precision, length and balance of the best of the Contours; crispy acidity lifts the finish and aftertaste. The drink to date 20 years hence is not fanciful.The first release from the 56yo vines. It has the precision, length and balance of the best of the Contours; crispy acidity lifts the finish and aftertaste. The drink to date 20 years hence is not fanciful.
TONI PATERSON MW - THE REAL REVIEW
A stunning wine with incredible line and intensity. The citrus focused palate is sophisticated and poised; a delicious mix of lemon and lime flavours defined by a solid core of acidity. The wine is pure and focused with subtle juiciness. Buy some to drink now, and some to lay down for the future.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
From a block of vines planted in 1961. A dry style like the regular Pewsey (both are normally below 2 grams/litre), and this seems a shade fuller than the standard wine, with a more textured palate. There's the merest suggestion of tannin adding structure, and it could be served with heartier foods.