IN ITS 40th year, the Robert Stein winery in Mudgee, New South Wales is showing that the way of the future is not the Mudgee Mud gutsy reds of yesteryear, but firmly in the exceptional riesling being produced.
Jacob Stein, Bob's son and winemaker, has pictures of the Rheingau wine region in the cellar door, so it's no surprise his wines are almost Germanic in style.
They are made to show "fruit intensity" but also there for the long haul. Recent accolades include trophies for Best Riesling in the NSW Small Winemakers' Awards and the Cowra Wine Show.
Dry Riesling, 2017
The definition of dry, off-dry or sweet depends on the amount of residual sugars left after fermentation.
Robert Stein includes a handy scale on the back label so you're given an indication of how sweet the wine will be.
This is almost completely dry, only a couple of grams per litre of sugar.
Smells like an energising dip in a freshwater lake.
Curry leaf and lime leaf aromatics.
Earl Grey tea, mineral edge and light lime juice. Effortless and seamless.
RATING: 9.5/10 RRP: $30 ALC: 11.5%
RS10, Half-Dry Riesling, 2017
This retains 10g of residual sugar, pushing it to off-dry status.
Some fermentation in old French oak for complexity.
Sweeter lime sorbet on the nose and come-hither smokiness among floral blossom.
Acidity is structural with a rich lime fruit wraparound. Pair with white mould soft cheese.
RATING: 8.5/10 RRP: $35 ALC: 11%
Dry Riesling, 2011
The back-label scale declares about 5g of residual sugar: still in the dry range.
Developing nose of lime marmalade, mild kerosene (acceptable to a level in older rieslings), pineapple core and golden delicious apple.
Still crisp on the palate, with citrus fruit (almost mandarin) and earthy toothsome texture: this runs the same mineral line allowing longevity. Has many years ahead.
RATING: 9/10 RRP: NA ALC: 11%