Rieslingfreak No 44 Eden Valley Riesling 2020
Fruit for this Eden Valley Riesling is sourced from three different vineyards situated between Eden Valley and Flaxman’s Valley. Two vineyards in Flaxman Valley, being Ben Zander and Michael Mason. Milton Tscharke has a small vineyard located in the heart of the Eden Valley. The vineyards are situated approximately 500m above sea level, and an average yearly rainfall of 650mm. The soils vary from shallow grey sandy loam over shale rock, to loam soil over light-medium clay, with high quartz rock and gravel content. Each vineyard contributes something different to the wine. Eden Valley Rieslings often showcase delicacy and refinement. Rieslingfreak No.44 typically demonstrates this, with an aroma of citrus, talcum powder and white blossom, and flavors of lime and lemon, with a sweet spice background. The wine drinks well young but will reward with cellaring.
The harvest decisions for the 2020 vintage were complicated. Summer was hot, all through December, followed by a very cool January. This was perfect for the ripening of the grapes, in terms 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.