Wow – what a wine! It’s 6.5% alcohol, with delicate but ripe flavours of citrus, tropical fruit, rose petal and honeysuckle. The secret to this wine lies in John's expert balancing of the higher sugar content with much higher acidity, higher than in the No. 3 and No.4, to balance the sugar. The result is a clean, vibrant finish, that doesn't appear overly sweet.
In the mouth it’s viscous yet light and delicately crisp, highlighting John’s alchemic ability to balance the entire composition. Why aren’t winemakers in Australia making more wine like this?
"Rieslingfreak No.8 is harvested from the Polish Hill River vineyard. Schatzkammer is a German word meaning ‘Treasure Chamber’ and where German winemakers store their treasured wines. The No.8 is made in a German Kabinett style. Due to European labelling laws, we are not legally allowed to use the word ‘Kabinett’ on the wine labels and therefore we have used the work Schatzkammer. A play on the word Kabinett, as it is my treasured wine! For this wine, each year we source from a few rows that are planted east/west in the Jaeschke Vineyard. This is definitely our best No.8 yet. Harvested nice and early at 9.2 Baume, we finished with wine that is only 6.5% abv, with 58g/L sugar and 10.2g/L acid. The balance of this wine is amazing, and probably John’s wine of the vintage. Harvested early in the season, this Riesling is low in alcohol. Made in a sweet Kabinett style, it retains great amounts of acid, balancing out the sweetness and fruit perfectly." Winemaker's notes.
Over 10 years John has amassed quite a haul of awards, including gold medals, trophies, plenty of high scores and praise from critics. Not surprisingly, Halliday rates him 5 stars. Every year there’s some new gong and this year’s no different, with John being awarded:
- Barossa Winemaker of the Year 2021.
- Huon Hooke Top 52 Wineries of 2021 (the only Clare winery included).
- Gourmet Traveller Wine Best Barossa Small Cellar door 2021.
- Gourmet Traveller Wine, Finalist for Winemaker of the Year 2021 (announced 30th Sep).
And all for a fellow who only makes riesling. Incredible!