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Freak of Nature Riesling Collection

Freak of Nature Riesling Collection

'I like all of Rieslingfreak's wines...'
Max Allen



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  • John Hughes takes Riesling very serious. Like, name your winery after your obsession with the grape serious. And yet, it works.

    His fastidious dedication to the many facets and styles of Riesling, sourced from the Clare and Eden Valley, is northing short of remarkable. In less than a decade, he has taken what was a smalltime hobby making tiny runs of Riesling from bought fruit, to the megalith Riesling operation that it is today. In fact, outside of maybe John Vickery, or Jeff Grosset, we think there is no one else in Australia who has the same midas touch as John Hughes.

    In this Freak of Nature case, we pay tribute to the 2018 vintage release of Rieslingfreak wines, with a bottle of each of the No. 2, 3, 4, 5 & 10 wines, and then throw in a 2017 No. 8 Kabinett style for good measure. This is an epic case of wine, with the whole gamut of Riesling styles on display.

    While the No. 4 has already taken out a massive trophy at the 2018 Barossa Valley Wine Show, and also scored 95 points from Toni Paterson at the Real Review, we are expecting to see some massive results and third-party reviews trickle in as we speak. This is a killer case for anyone with a passing interest in the noble Riesling variety. 


    Each case contains the following six wines:

    Rieslingfreak No. 2 Polish Hill Riesling 2018  (RRP - $37)

    This is a typical No.2, showing classic flinty green apple notes. This year, being a warmer vintage, there are also tropical and pear hints, while the wine still reflects the characteristic purity of the sub-region.

    Rieslingfreak No. 3 Clare Valley Riesling 2018 (RRP - $27)

    Typical of the White Hutt home vineyard, the wine has the fruit generosity we are used to seeing in the No.3. Harvested early, the wine has great acid to balance the fruit, giving it good structure and length.

    Rieslingfreak No. 4 Eden Valley Riesling 2018  (RRP - $27)

    Eden Valley was a great surprise in 2018. Normally harvested three weeks after the Clare Vineyards, the Eden Valley vineyard was harvested one day before Clare. With the fruit flavours and acid balance present in the fruit, there was no reason to leave the berries on the vine. A fine, elegant and very balanced wine, with all the hallmark Eden Valley brown citrus and sweet spice.

    Rieslingfreak No. 5 Off-Dry Clare Valley Riesling 2018  (RRP - $27)

    With an off-dry style, it is very important to get the balance of acid, sugar and fruit correct. Harvested early, from the family property, the 2018 No.5 is a fruit-driven wine with 14g/L sugar, which is balanced well with the acid, and the generosity of fruit harmonises the wine nicely.

    Rieslingfreak No. 10 Zenit Riesling  (RRP - $45)

    Last year was the first vintage of the ‘Zenit’, the German word for zenith. This was originally made as John and Belinda’s wedding wine, but now it is made as a wine that we believe best represents the vintage. John and Belinda assess each individual vineyard block to make the best assemblage possible. This year’s blend is 70% Eden Valley and 30% Clare Valley.

    Rieslingfreak No. 8 Polish Hill Kabinett Riesling 2017  (RRP - $37)

    For this wine, each year we source from a few rows that are planted east/west in the Jaeschke Vineyard. This is definitely our best No.8 yet. Harvested nice and early at 9.2 Baume, we finished with wine that is only 6.0% abv, with 58g/L sugar and 10.2g/L acid. The balance of this wine is amazing, and probably John’s wine of the vintage.


    "The Rieslingfreak 2018 release is here! With the great success of the 2017 vintage, the wines sold out faster than any of our previous releases. And though 2017 was an extraordinary vintage, we’re more than a little happy with the wines from 2018.

    After the latent cool of 2017, this year’s season was somewhat warmer, somewhat earlier and quite dry. It was a very condensed vintage, with the Clare, Polish Hill River and the Eden Valley vineyards all harvested over a 15- day period. Fortunately, all the vineyards we work with had adequate water reserves and avoided any poten- tial stress issues. The conditions meant that we were able to harvest pristinely healthy fruit at lower potential alcohol than usual, with beautiful flavours and good acid retention.

    The drier weather conditions mean the 2018 wines are in more of a fruit-driven style, but early harvesting and the gentlest of hands at the press has ensured wines of great regional/site clarity and effortless purity – with the 2018 No.8 standing out as the best that we’ve made to date. A different year to 2017– as it should be – with wines that are more generous in fruit and more approachable with or without food."
    John Hughes



    Rieslingfreak No. 4 Eden Valley Riesling 2018

    97 Points - Best Riesling of Show, Barossa Valley Wine Show 2018

    'This Eden Valley riesling is drinking exceptionally well right now. Beautifully balanced with defined lime and lemon flavours. The acidity is bright and pronounced though not the slightest bit overbearing. Excellent varietal and regional clarity. Succulent, refreshing and delicious. Good depth and subtle drive'
    95 Points - Toni Paterson

    Rieslingfreak No. 10 Zenit Riesling

    'Representing the best fruit of the season, this riesling is made from grapes sourced from the Eden and Clare Valleys, blended in a 70/30 proportion, to create a long-term cellaring wine. Pristine floral and citrus scents, and a long, fine, intense palate. Stunning'
    95 Points - Toni Paterson