Rieslingfreak No.8 Schatzkammer Riesling, Clare Valley
These Rieslings are sourced from the Hill River Vineyards, which were acquired from Penfolds a number of years ago. The vineyard is situated in the sub-region of Polish Hill River, approximately 5kms south-east of the Clare township. The vineyard is planted on grey-brown loam, over sandy limestone and shale rock and planted 460m above sea level. The average rainfall is 625mm.
This vineyard was hand selected, due to its ability to produce large vines, large bunches and large berries, the perfect combination to produce very refined Rieslings, typical of the Polish Hill River style.
Inspired by Germany's Kabinett style, the fruit picked early to retain plenty of natural acidity to balance out the 50g/l of residual sugar. It's utterly refreshing, invigorating even, with lemon drops and a lemon sorbet tang to the acidity, soft and approachable. Perhaps it needs a bit more oomph, but it's cheery drink; an aperitif-style that would soothe on a hot day.
92 points, Jane Faulker (January 2018)
The Clare ValleyThe Clare Valley is located two hours north of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty ranges. The region was settled by John Horrocks who encouraged his servant James Green to plant the first vines in 1842. Climate in the Clare Valley is continental with hot summers, cold winters and low rainfall that necessitates supplementary irrigation. Soils in the valley are predominantly red brown loams over shale, permitting excellent drainage. Many of the best vineyards are located at higher elevations of 400-500m on sites that take advantage of the cool breezes that funnel up the corrugation of hills from the south. The Clare Valley is renowned for its zesty fruit-pure Rieslings particularly from the sub-regions of Polish Hill and Watervale. The region also produces intense age-worthy sturdy reds from Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Rieslingfreak was founded by winemaker John Hughes.
The inaugural vintage was 2009 with a single vineyard Clare Valley Riesling. After that, the Rieslingfreak portfolio expanded to include the Eden Valley and Polish Hill River regions, showing dry, off-dry, Kabinett, sparkling and fortified styles. Each wine is given a number to denote region and style.
John Hughes, Rieslingfreak
In 2016, John was a Young Gun of Wine finalist. He followed that with a clean sweep of the 2017 Royal Sydney Wine Show, winning five trophies–including Best in Show, the first time a Riesling had taken the gong since 2003. After a lifetime in the vineyard and eight years of graft, John Hughes became an overnight success. John is now considered to be amongst the great Riesling makers in Australia, taking the wine to new audiences and raising the standard for the industry.