Sometimes there are silver linings in dark clouds, in this case the sour economy being that dark cloud.
With the average price of a bottle of wine sold in the U.S. falling a number of wine distributors seem to be in need of immediate cash flow. Bargains are showing up. Case in point is Grosset Rieslings from Australia. They have been difficult to find in this area and when they did appear they were very expensive.
Imagine my surprise during a recent walk through at one of the stores I frequent when I spied several cases off the Grosset Watervale Riesling from 2006 at a very nice price ($14). The story from the retailer was 'the old cash flow problem' with the distributor. While putting three bottles in a case I noticed that some of them were from the 2005 vintage. The price was the same. Three of each came home with me at that price.
Last night there was some pan seared halibut with an orange juice and ginger reduction sauce with just a little Thai red chili paste added for some heat. I opened a bottle of the 2005 vintage.
The first thing out of the glass was fruit. There was lime and other citrus on the nose and then wisps of kerosene added their dimension to the wine. The taste was bone dry with the lime nicely balanced by tart acid and a jolt of what can best be called raindrops on dry slate. There was nothing shy about this wine. It stood up to the heat in the sauce and the acid cut the richness of the fish. At the very end there was a subtle hint of grapefruit to refresh the palate for the next sip. This was a delicious wine and would be very good at it's original $30 price, but at $14 I wish I had bought more.
Other Australian wines that made up the case plus three bottles that came home with me, including some reds from Cullen Winery in Western Australia, a lone bottle of Grosset Polish Hill Riesling, a Grosset Gaia from the 1998 vintage and a couple bottles of Clonakilla reds from the Canberra area.