Rieslingfreak No 10 Eden & Clare Valley Riesling 2022
No.10 is a dry style of Riesling, showcasing the very best that South Australia has to offer. The unique complementary combination of Eden Valley and Clare Valley Riesling really shines in this super premium blend. The bouquet is deceptively restrained, a broodingly complex miasma of sweet spice, lemon zest, rose petals and Native Australian finger lime that entice you in and draw you close. The palate is equally seductive; enthralling in its silken subtlety, with a soft, velvety texture and gentle acidity that imparts a lithe elegance and graceful persistence to the finish. A wine of noble elegance and ultimate poise, Rieslingfreak No.10 will drink beautifully in the vibrancy of youth but will also reward many years of patient cellaring.
95+ points Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate
95 points James Halliday
95 points Huon Hooke, The Real Review – Bob Campbell MW
Clare Valley (59%), Eden Valley (41%)
The 2022 vintage was a picture-perfect Riesling vintage for South Australia. 2021 was the second-wettest winter on record in the Clare Valley, while summer was cool and temperate. This combination was perfect for creating thriving grapevine canopies in the spring, and slow ripening of the grapes over summer. This combination encouraged full flavour development at lower levels of sugar accumulation, while maintaining higher acid levels in the fruit. Grapes were machine harvested at night and fruit was in the winery by morning – the preferred method for Riesling. Instead of pressing his Riesling, John uses a spin and drain method, where they spin the press every 10 minutes, to extract the free run juice – this ensures that the berries are treated very softly, whilst maintaining the purity of the juice. The juice then settled for about 5 days. Once the juice was clear, and solids were settled at the bottom of the tank, the wine was racked and the juice was ready for fermentation. The wine was then fermented at around 55 degrees for 10-12 days, until it reached his desired sugar level, at which point the wine was chilled and sulfured, to stop the ferment. The Riesling was then hot and cold stabilized, to remove all haze and crystals, before being filtered and bottled. Time lapse from harvest to bottling is roughly 3 months. Wine was released soon thereafter, in June.
Rieslingfreak was established in 2009. John Hughes grew up on a family vineyard in the Clare Valley, South Australia, and has been driven by the versatility of the Riesling grape. His passion for Riesling was noted in his university days, where he always had a bottle or two of Riesling to share, and soon became known as the “Riesling Freak”. Rieslingfreak No.10 is considered the ultimate multi-regional blend that captures the very essence of the vintage and is the definitive expression of Riesling. The blend was originally created in 2017 to celebrate John and Belinda’s Wedding, initially only made to serve exclusively to family and friends on the big day. After deciding to release this wine as Rieslingfreak No.10, this blend has come to represent the very best of Rieslingfreak. Sourced from only the very best parcels from across the Clare and Eden Valleys, No.10 is only produced in minute amounts from the most exceptional vintages. This is an extremely limited release of only 42 dozen. 2022 Rieslingfreak No.10 is a blend of 59% Clare Valley and 41% Eden Valley; and is the perfect balance of luxurious richness and pure, refined elegance. The growing season for 2022 heralded the arrival of La Niña, with soaking winter rains refilling dams and aquifers to levels not seen since 2016. The abundance of available water and mild spring temperatures were perfectly suited to support strong shoot growth and excellent fruit potential across the Clare and Eden Valleys. A freak hailstorm hit Eden Valley on the 28th of October, causing localized damage to some vineyards, impacting the fruitfulness of the vines and reducing the potential crops for this vintage. Thankfully this event occurred before flowering and fruit set, so the undamaged canes and unscathed vineyards still yielded good amounts of high-quality fruit across the region. Summer rainfall was low across both regions, but thanks to the wet winter and spring there was plenty of soil and supplemental water to keep the vines fresh and to support ripening. Daytime and nighttime temperatures were cooler than average across the region, with the entire season being remarkably mild and temperate. The cool temperatures and plentiful water ensured a long, slow ripening season with remarkable acid retention in the grapes.