Monday, March 23, 2009

Leeuwin Estates Riesling

Finally we are starting to see some dry Australian Riesling on the shelves in this area. Being in the middle of America sometimes means that it takes longer for fads or trends or good products to leave the east or west coasts and work their way here. I suppose that this is the time to cite a quote attributed to Mark Twain, "if the world ever ends I want to be in Cincinnati because everything there happens twenty years later." Being just north of Cincinnati I can understand this.

This was the third Australian Riesling I've tried lately, the other two being Plantagenet and Koonowla. This wine is the Art Series from Leeuwin and is from the Margaret River area in western Australia. Of the three the Koonowla was my favorite, but the Leeuwin is by far the most interesting.

One of the little nuances that Riesling throws at you is a hint of kerosene in the nose of the wine. Generally it is subtle and something that fades as the level in the bottle declines. Not so with this wine. This wine is the quintessential wine for smelling kerosene. It was strong, unmistakable and it was persistent. It smelled like lamp oil mixed with white peaches and lime. It was not unpleasant at all, but it was not subtle. If one wants to understand and learn the kerosene smell in Riesling this is the perfect wine.

The citrus and peaches carried over into the taste, along with great acid and and oiliness coming from that kerosene smell. It was dry but had just a touch of sweetness at the end. It was refreshing, but it probably isn't a wine for everyone.

Dinner was Asian inspired. The market was running a special on prime sea scallops from the east coast. I mixed five spice powder and flour and lightly dusted the scallops with the mixture. They were sauteed in a pan in some hot oil for about three minutes on each side, just enough to brown the surface and warm the interior.

Earlier I made a reduction of fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a little sugar, reducing it to a thin syrup. At the very end I poured the reduction into the skillet and glazed the scallops. They were finished with a small dose of Sambal Olec, a hot, Thai chili paste. There was forbidden (black) rice and a small salad dressed with rice vinegar and sesame oil. It was a good and refreshing meal and a very interesting wine.

1 comment:

Edward said...


The meal looks excellent and I can imagine that it would have pair very well with the wine.

Good to see the Leeuwin Riesling, making it to your part of the world, Margaret River is quite a bit warmer than say Denmark and the 'Great Southern' of Western Australia, I wonder if this is the reason for the prominent 'kero' scent. . .