This time of the year, red wine gets most of the attention. When it doesn’t, Chardonnay is usually the go-to white alternative. The Costco wine department is saturated with Chardonnays. I counted once, and there were twenty-nine different California Chardonnays available in one club. This is why the Pewsey Vale ‘Eden Valley’ Dry Riesling is a diamond in the rough, and a breath of fresh air for white wine drinkers. Also, at $13.99 a bottle, it’s a great value.
This is a Dry Riesling. I must emphasize this as most people see “Riesling,” and automatically assume that it’s sweet. There is even a “dry to sweet” scale on the back of the bottle, typical for Riesling these days, in order to help consumers better understand the wines they are purchasing. The IRF (International Riesling Foundation) developed this scale in 2008 in order to make labeling more transparent because there were so many variations of the wine.
But I digress. Let’s get to the good stuff. The wine is pale straw yellow in color and has nice, slow legs. The nose brings flint, mandarin, & jasmine. On the palate, the wine is soft & round with less fruit and marked minerality. This minerality is balanced by refreshing acidity and the finish is clean & warm. This would pair wonderfully with an ash-rind goat cheese or herb-roasted poultry.
Wine Spectator gave the 2015 vintage a 90 point rating and listed the 2014 as #33 in their top 100 wines of 2015.
I’m surprised that this wine isn’t flying off the shelves. My best guess is that it’s overlooked and mistaken as sweet, or misunderstood as both a dry Riesling and an Australian Riesling. I would bring a bottle of this to anyone who likes dry white wine. It’s unique & friendly, more interesting than an Italian Pinot Grigio and more subtle than a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. I also give it a 90.
-Review by Erin Hayes
Purchased in Alpharetta, Georgia