Koerner 2020 Grace Riesling
I have a confession to make and it's all about mancrushing on the Koerner brothers, Damon and Jono. They are happy, smiley and have a particular joie de vivre. They also make some very clever wine. Part of a new breed of makers who are less about intervention, they have me fast becoming more enamoured by the natural wine movement
It's been said I am also a whore for a good drizzle of riesling, and so my man crush and my wine crush become my latest thing. It's the 2020 Koerner Grace Riesling and it's blowing my little mind. Let's start with the fact they hand harvest and sort the fruit in the Gullyview vineyard in Watervale in the Clare Valley. After crushing and destemming, it sits on skins for 12-18 hours before being decanted in to amphorae, and this is where things get interesting.
Amphorae are as old as time itself - usually clay or earthenware urns which are sealed and buried in the ground. Theirs are ceramic and the wine sits and does its natural ferment in these for about 2 months, before aging in stainless steel tanks on very fine lees for the better part of a year. Wild yeasts play their part and there is no fining or filtering.
At the end of the process, come bottling, they have a very pretty wine, with a distinctive lemon peel nose and herby floral aromatics. There is a flint like minerality in this, with a loads of citrus acidity and terrific length. It's a rich mouthfeel with the gripping of the inside of the cheeks, which gets me every time. A crunchy green apple like texture and fine residual sweetness has me reaching for more and more and more.
It's a lovely and very clever bottle of wine, with some of the typical Clare Valley/Watervale signatures, delivered in a not so typical way.
$45 at Blackhearts and Sparrow
SA | 2020 | Clare Valley | 11.1% ABV