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There are few Australian winemakers that dare to tackle the ‘off-dry’ wine style made famous from the cool vineyards of Germany and Alsace, France. But Jeffrey Grosset is one of them.
Many years ago, Jeffrey noticed that a particular corridor of the Rockwood vineyard in Watervale produced much higher naturally acidity. Over the next five vintages, he kept this fruit separate, tinkering with different levels of residual sugar, and the balance of picking times for just the right amount of acidity.
He released the first vintage of Alea in 2012. Since then the wine has gone from strength to strength, becoming an essential part of the Grosset white offerings. The 2016 is one of the best to date, the balance impeccable between searing acidity and luscious, sweet citrussy fruit.
A cool bottle of Alea next to a fresh, spicy Asian dish is one of the loveliest combinations in Australian wine.
What It Tastes Like
“The 2015 release raised the bar for Grosset Alea Riesling and this 2016 matches it, at the very least. It’s stellar. It brings orange blossom to the table of lime and lemon, and builds a bolt of intense flavour to both the mid palate and to the finish. It’s a ‘you won’t be disappointed’ wine.” - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
95 points “The wine has a beguiling fragrance which emphasises citrus blossoms, intense and focused. The sweetness is so restrained it’s barely off-dry (half-dry would be overstating it) and the palate is beautifully balanced. If tasted on its own, it would probably not be obviously in a dfferent sweetness category. A gorgeous wine which will surely age magnificently.”
- Huon Hooke (huonhooke.com)
94+ points. “The 2015 release raised the bar for Grosset Alea Riesling and this 2016 matches it, at the very least. It’s stellar. It brings orange blossom to the table of lime and lemon, and builds a bolt of intense flavour to both the mid palate and to the finish. It’s a ‘you won’t be disappointed’ wine.”
- Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
94 points “… a carefully balanced wine that shows Bickfords Lime Cordial scents with honeysuckle, and a palate that stretches into the distance on tense, cool acidity, equal to the gentle sweetness apparent. Charisma plus.”
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
The Alea comes from a narrow corridor of hard red rock with poor, orangey, red loam topsoil in the Grosset Rockwood Vineyard (ACO certified organic) at Watervale.
As the early fruit from the vineyard reminded Jeff of the great German rieslings, he decided to take a very different approach to the creation of Alea. The aim was to make a wine generous, succulent and long.
With its first vintage in 2012, ‘Alea’ is the most recent of the Grosset rieslings, the result of three years of painstaking experimentation.
The Grosset Alea 2016 has bright voluminous aromas of white flowers and kaffir lime and a generous, almost fleshy mid-palate with potent lemongrass and lime flavours. Almost dry, the palate is succulent and long with a tight fine structure and exhuberant sweeping acidity on a clean dry finish.
This may be the Grosset white for a range of Asian dishes, or as an aperitif.
Ageing Potential: First vintage 2012 so as yet unknown, however probably 15 years Source: Grosset Rockwood Vineyard (ACO certified organic) Fruit Flavours: Kaffir lime with hints of white flowers and herbs Profile: Almost dry, underpinned by a linear acidity: fragrant, generous, succulent and long Fining: Nil- suitable for vegans and vegetarians
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2022
About the Producer
Jeffery Grosset has set a blistering pace for winemakers in the Clare Valley since 1981. He is regarded by many as the premier Riesling producer in the country and has been recognised internationally as one of the finest winemakers in Australia. His attention to detail, both in his organically farmed vineyards and his winery, has given rise to a portfolio of effortlessly articulate wines that are the envy of many.
The Clare Valley knows what it does, and does it very, very well. Riesling and Shiraz are the rockstars of the region and with some of the most famous wines in the county coming from this small pocket of SA, the Clare’s reputation for quality only grows year on year.
Riesling is the king of white grapes. With unparalleled versatility, it rightfully carries the ‘Noble’ name tag. We make extraordinary Riesling in Australia, from far and wide. From the classic searing, razor-sharp styles in the Clare and Eden Valleys to the fragrant and enchanting wines of the Great Southern, Australian Riesling is a chameleon that can take on many forms. Sweet, steely, lean or textured, the world of Riesling is a thing of wonder that should be explored by all true lovers of wine.
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