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Quality cool climate wine from the Orange wine growing region in New South Wales, Australia

Wine styles blog

Riesling

Stephen Doyle

Riesling is all about place, and the place is Bloodwood!

At Bloodwood we pick our Riesling on pH. If the pH is around 3.0, then the fruit and acid balance is likely to be about right. The fruit was hand-picked and chilled to about 3 degrees C before being carefully whole-bunch pressed. The gentle, quick processing means that there is little need for sulfur prior to the juice reaching the fermentation tank. Gentle oxidation is the order of the day, and often the juice acquires an appropriate orange hue prior to an extended cold settling and debourage. However the strict use of inert gas in the headspace of each tank as a protective blanket against oxidation during the subsequent life of the wine means we preserve the natural seasonal characters of the fruit subsequent to this critical stage of the wine making process. With a normal yield of around 35 hectolitres or 6 tonnes per hectare the quality of the wine is usually high given sound fruit at harvest. Typically, it is a brilliant green gold in colour with fragrant lemon/lime infused aromas which build in the mouth to include citrus and spice in a fruit generous and mineral influenced racy palate finishing with pleasing acidity. With careful cellaring look for subtle honey and straw to develop alongside the lime, talc and citrus over the 5 to 10 years or so.
Orange is ideally suited for Riesling provided it is not grown on too rich a site and the cropping levels are limited to around 6 tonnes per hectare. This was the first Riesling style to emerge from the Orange Region and we believe it shows great promise in years when the fruit is not over ripened and the natural pH of the must, as reported above, is close to 3.0. The deep, free draining warm gravels of Bloodwood give Riesling an austerity and fruit density which remains rare in Australian styles.
Rhonda simply recommends ham and salad or fish and chips (where the Riesling acts like a squeeze of refreshing lemon juice to cut through the fat.) For more exotic tastes, try searedscallops or prawns with Vietnamese green pawpaw salad. Our current favourite is Queensland chilli mud crab. Yum.