Thursday, January 11, 2007

Riesling from Down Under: the 2004 Kilikanoon Riesling Mort's Block

In the past when I've heard Kilikanoon, I've thought shiraz. Turns out that Kilikanoon Wines makes some mighty fine riesling, too.

Today's wine comes from the 'Mort’s Block' vineyard located in the Watervale region of the Clare Valley, where the grapes suck up nutrients from soils that include a limestone layer. Maybe this accounts from the lovely lime and mineral flavors in this excellent QPR wine. The 2004 Kilikanoon Riesling Mort' s Block ($11.95, Chronicle Wine Cellar) is a zesty example of a dry riesling. Don't be alarmed if you smell a whiff of rubber or petrol at first--this blows off pretty quickly and can actually be a characteristic of riesling wines. Once you pour it, you will see a pale straw color and the petrol will begin to be replaced by hints of lime blossom and a clean, gravelly smell. On your palate you will have the clean, piercing taste of lime accompanied with lots of minerality. Perhaps if I'd had it earlier in its lifespan the fruit would have been more pronounced, but I loved it just the way it is drinking now. (I know, the label says 2003 but I really drank the 2004!) What a refreshing, steely wine.

We had this wine with Rachael Ray's Country Captain Chicken, a tomato and chicken dish made with curry and golden raisins, but its pronounced lime-ness would make it an excellent match with any food that you normally have margaritas with--such as fish tacos with guacamole.

Riesling is so versatile and easy to pair with food, given its low alcohol and fresh flavors, that it deserves to be more fashionable than it is. Be a trend setter: pick up a dry riesling and give it a taste. My guess is it will soon become your go-to wine for spicy foods, Indian food, and light, flavorful meals.

7 comments:

Faye said...

The best part of eating in when you are trying to save some cash is can be a good bottle of wine that costs less than taking the family out for fast food. I found a great red called "Seis" that was fantastic with a beef stew made with the same, a side of braised leeks, a bowl of green olives, and a pile of baby arugula covered with shavings of any hard Spanish cheese, olive oil, and lemon. The trick is finding good dinner menus to drink you wine with. Check FAYEFOOD.com Monday through Friday.

Dr. Debs said...

Welcome Faye! I agree, there is a real joy in finding the perfect wine to go with the perfect meal--even more so when it doesn't break the bank. That's why I love rieslings and beaujolais so much.

Sonadora said...

Thanks for the rec Dr. Debs. I'm always keeping my eye out for new rieslings to try as it's probably my favorite wine!

cookingchat said...

I too like rieslings, will have to try this...maybe next time I have Indian food, that is a good match!

Dr. Debs said...

David, if you can't find the 2004 where you are, you might want to look for a later vintage. This one is not the current release. I've found Kilikanoon wines pretty consistent from vintage to vintage.

nathan waks said...

Hi Guys
Nathan from Kilikanoon here! Glad you are appreciating the joys of slightly aged Riesling. The petrol is part of the fun, and depending on the vintage will be accompanied by honey aromas as well. These replace the lime, lemon which typifies a young Clare Valley Riesling. Now that we do all the Rieslings in Stelvin screwcaps, you can cellar these for 10 years or more and see how they evolve. The food pairings can change quite a bit as the wine ages too!

Dr. Debs said...

Nathan, thanks so much for stopping by--not to mention thanks for the great wine!It was a great experience to taste an older new world riesling, since I've only ever had older German rieslings. I think the screw-cap is a great thing, since a lot of those older German wines have cork taint. I'm looking forward to trying out some of your reds, and I'll be reviewing the Blocks Road Cab and the Medley blend in the upcoming month or so. Hope to see you back here soon.