Rieslingfreak No. 6 Riesling, Clare Valley
Rieslingfreak No. 6 is the No. 5 with five years of bottle age. The fruit is sourced from the Hughes family vineyard. Fermented dry, the wine is made in a style that will allow it to cellar for many years. John Hughes has started the ball rolling by covering that awkward Riesling adolescence by releasing the wine after five years. This careful cellaring slowly develops the wine to show notes of butter, toast and ripe citrus flavours. The No. 6 is intended for enjoyment upon release, but will also reward with further cellaring.
A mid-straw-gold; while there's a lot to enjoy with this aged release - think baked ricotta, toast and lime marmalade flavours - it is a smidge forward with a radicchio bitterness to the finish and whiff of TDN, as in a kerosene aroma. There's still good acidity and drive, but one to enjoy sooner.
93 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.