Yesterday evening I tasted a revolutionary Australian Riesling, which didn’t taste like any other Australian Riesling I’d ever encountered before. The packaging was also very striking – an all gold label that actually looked good! – but like a fool I forgot to photograph it. As you can see from the above my first visit to American Flatbread TriBeCa (205 Hudson Street at Canal Street – official opening probably Monday) was pretty exciting. Maybe the so-called “revolutionary” pizza I had wasn’t that revolutionary, but it was extremely tasty, the crust exactly as crisp as I like it, the toppings a great swirl of flavors. The large airy space is really ideal for a restaurant of this kind.
But back to the Riesling. I refer to the 2012 ‘RS14’ from Mac Forbes who’s based in the Yarra Valley of Victoria/Australia, but drew most of the fruit for this wine from the Strathbogie Ranges, which seems have an even cooler climate than the Yarra. It had a yeasty note that’s rare in Australian Rieslings (where many of the big companies fine that kind of stuff out of the wines before bottling), but also interesting apple and floral notes and only a hint of the lime aroma that can be so intense in some Australian Rieslings. 14 grams per liter of residual sweetness (i.e. 1.4%RS) is equally untypical, but it worked really well in this wine, due to its enormous freshness and vivacity. It was sublet, but if it had been a hot steamy New York summer day I could probably have downed the bottle half an hour! Mac has clearly gained a lot of experience of German and Austrian wine growing and winemaking, but instead of copying Europe has adapted a bunch of European ideas to the local conditions in his part of Australia. LONG LIVE THE AUSTRALIAN RIESLING REVOLUTION ! By the way, Mac’s Chardonnay was also unusually grapey and refreshing, his Pinot Noirs strikingly different from the Yarra Valley norm, the regular bottling having just 12% alcohol, yet no hint of unripeness. Thanks go to Volker Donabaum of A.I: Selections for saying, “you have to taste these wines!”