95-to-98 point Australian Rieslings - April 2018

The April 2018 edition of Decanter ( featured a panel review of Australian Riesling - from across Australia's cooler regions - drawn from all of Tasmania, South Australia (especially the Clare and Eden Valleys), Western Australia, NSW and Victoria.

There were 2 Exceptionals (98+), 14 Outstandings (95+) and 66 Highly Recommendeds (90+). The first two categories average just £17 a bottle. 

Let us tell you more.

Of those two Exceptionals (a rare accolade indeed), one remains firmly unavailable in the UK.

The other one - the Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2014 - could be sourced, as we had it ... but we have now well-and-truly (really, we really have) sold out of our allocation of both this and its older, highly-rated sister (the 96-point 2010 Aged Release version).

But... we have taken stock of the "current" 2017 'standard' and 2012 Aged Release versions - and both are quite excellent. We understand a strong instinct among customers to plump only for the rated vintages; however, we do recommend the information on vintage quality that we've included on the 2017 vintage's product page. Wine Enthusiast rate the 2017 Clare valley vintage as a 97-point year, and 2012 as a 93; high scores indeed. The 2017 vintage is rapidly becoming recognised as the best Clare Valley Riesling vintage for some 20 years.

We've tasted (quite extensively) all 4 of the Pauletts wines, and, frankly, they are hard to pick apart, aside from the gathering age effect. The 2012 is a particularly fine choice for Riesling 'petrolheads'!


Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2017




Pauletts Aged Release Polish Hill River Riesling 2012



The 4 remaining Outstandings are quite excellent (I personally rate the Lehmann Wigan as the pick of the whole review, but then I go mad for the whole 'petrol thing') and will make up an excellent Riesling case:

  • There was the 96-point Peter Lehmann Wigan 2012 (again, with all the age development flavours from 6 years in the bottle); <the 2013 is now current vintage>

Peter Lehmann Masters 'Wigan' 2013



  • And then the 95-point and celebrated (but a-bit-more-pricey) Grosset Polish Hill 2017 (£30.60); alas the 2017 has all gone, and 2018 is now the current vintage:

Grosset Polish Hill Clare Valley Riesling 2018



The entire field (that we stock) from this panel tasting - or their available-vintage equivalents - along with their reviews from Decanter - can be seen and bought below.

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Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage of this wine was a huge hit when it featured in Decanter ( recently. The current 2017 vintage is now newly available and also superb; indeed, as the below vintage table (also from Decanter) shows, 2017 is already talked of by some as the best Riesling vintage in Australia for over 15 years.

The 2014 vintage was awarded 98 points and rare Exceptional status by Decanter ( in their April 2018 edition review of Australian Riesling  (see blue link below) .

Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2014 - April 2018 Decanter review

See also here for Decanter's assessment of Australian Riesling vintages (click blue link below).

Decanter Australian vintage summary

Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the climate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.

Pauletts' reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide,this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.

The Clare Valley yields one of the world`s great styles of Riesling. This youthful, aromatic, dry wine has intense mineral and floral aromas on the nose. These aromas follow through on the palate leading to flavours of lime, citrus and white blossom. Tropical fruits and citrus dominate the fresh, racy acidity and a distinct minerality comes through on the palate leaving a fantastic, clean finish.

This wine is a good choice to accompany seafood, especially prawn, crab, oysters and bass and mildly spiced Thai stir fry and seafood curries.

ABV = 12.8%.

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