Wine Profile #1: Mount Langi Ghiran Riesling 2006

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Mount Langi Ghiran Riesling 2006

In a panel tasting in the current (i.e. September) Decanter, Australian riesling trounces the Kiwi stuff (the panelists reckon Kiwis don't take the grape seriously). Actually, I don't recall one of these tastings before where the judges gushed so uncontrollably about a wine style. But it was all 'Eden Valley' this, and 'Clare Valley' that - fifteen of the top twenty were from one of these two South Australian regions. Here we have a more exotic, uncommon version, from the chilly Grampians and Henty regions of Victoria. Riesling is a grape that does best in cool-ish climates and, having camped in the Grampians back in 2003, I can tell you that this high-altitude area makes Ireland look positively sultry at times. Translated from Aboriginal, 'Mount Langi Ghiran' means 'Home of the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo' (I have fond memories of hand-feeding the brazen wild parrots of the Grampians), but the estate's friendship with the feathered fauna of the neighborhood extends no further than naming the winery after them: they unsportingly cover their older vines with permanent netting to stop these same birds from getting at the grapes. What's that they say about fences and neighbours? Writer James Halliday says of this estate that "the overall wine quality is outstanding." Mount Langi Ghiran Riesling 2006 (13.5%): Single vineyard (a miniscule 120 cases per year is produced), mid-weight, dry white packed with pink grapefruit, lime cordial and jasmine flavours, and with the tingling minerality and zippy acidity that is the trademark of Aussie riesling. Five years old now and maturing nicely, but with the same again ahead of it. Fresh and invigorating. You can buy Mount Langi Ghiran Riesling here or visit the company's website here.