Friday, May 4, 2012

Updated Review: ***+ $ d'Arenberg The Dry Dam Riesling, McLaren Vale, Australia - BEST VALUE

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By way of background:The Dry Dam Riesling from d'Arenberg is from McLaren Vale, Australia, frankly better known for its shiraz than its riesling.  But let's see what this one shows us. The 2007 vintage is finished at 11.5% alcohol.

Original Tasting, February, 2010:

In the glass: The Dry Dam shows as very light yellow in the glass.

On the nose: Poured slightly cool, this riesling sports a nose that is brimming with sweet slate stone.

On the palate: The first element on the palate is a brisk, almost effervescent note of lightly sweet lemon curd plus a bit of motor oil overtones (in a nice way).

And the finish: Clean, lengthy finish lodges in your cheeks with sweet acids and does wrap up with a touch of residual sugar.

In summary: Overall, solid, full, classically-inclined riesling experience.  Does seem to want age or air to show its full potential. Rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale. Outstanding value.

Jay Miller at Wine Advocate gave this 90 points and said, "The 2007 The Dry Dam Riesling reveals aromas of mineral, petrol, and spring flowers. Crisp, dry, vibrant, and intensely flavored, it should evolve for 5-7 years and drink well for a decade thereafter."

Josh Raynolds of the International Wine Cellar also allowed 90 points, writing, "Pale yellow. Wet stone, melon and peach on the nose, with intriguing smoke, mineral and kerosene qualities gaining power with air. Brighter citrus flavors dominate the palate but give way to richer melon and pit fruit flavors with air. Finishes with refreshingly bitter grip and impressive cling. This is already complex enough to drink but should cruise along nicely for at least another four or five years."

Following a five-day decant under vacuum in a partially-filled bottle: This wine has not budged a millimeter in its aroma or its palate after this very lengthy decant.  Suggests to me that a decade-long storage would be no problem, either.

Updated review, over two years later,   May, 2012:  Still light yellow in the glass, with clean, sleek slate remaining in the nose.  The lemony acids have softened, blending nicely with the softer, balanced, sleek fruit.  Gains a plus for poise on top of its prior three stars.  Awesome best value, especially now five years from vintage date. 

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