I chose tonight’s wine knowing what was on the dinner menu. Smoked salmon fish cakes were being served up so I picked a Riesling as this wine is generally higher in acidity which will cut nicely through the oiliness of the salmon. Riesling used to be my ‘go to wine’ as far as white wine is concerned, however over the past couple of years I’ve been all about Chardonnay but I’m looking forward to revisiting my old friend. We’ll see how it works out.
Knappstein Winery is based in the Clare Valley which is highly regarded for its Rieslings. My interest was pricked when I spotted the winery mentioned in Halliday’s 15 Wine Companion. I chose the 2014 hand- picked Riesling. A lady named Fanny Filgate, kicked things off at Knappstein in 1878, establishing a brewery. The hardworking miners, back in the day, appreciated Fanny’s efforts and got stuck in. Today, these guys continue making beer and their winery is rated at 5 red stars by Halliday. Their 2012 Shiraz is rated at 95 and their 2013 Riesling is rated at 96. Impressive! I’m finding that more and more winemakers today have such diverse experiences, working in old and new world regions. Glen Barry, winemaker at Knappstein has worked in Clare Valley, Sicily, Canada and Napa Valley. We are equally fortunate here in Canberra and surrounds as I know first-hand the wealth of experienced men and women making wine.
I make it habit to not check the back of the label until I’ve tasted the wine, preferring to discover on my own what I find enjoyable (or otherwise). While Elle dishes up the fishcakes, I do my duty and crack the wine. It’s pretty fantastic. I taste rockmelon, green-apple, honey and some subtle grapefruit. The wine really fills the mouth and has a viscous (oily feel). The wine has good length and low-medium level of acidity. My comment on acidity contradicts the back label which I checked afterwards but I didn`t detect the ‘mouth-watering acidity’ – just another example of how subjective wine tasting is and how you shouldn’t take what you read on the back label as gospel! Definitely not a turn off though as this wine more than lived up to my expectations. Retailing at $18, it’s a nice quaff. Really enjoyed the fish cakes with this Riesling. Nice match!