Something fruity from Sandalford that hits the spot

WINEMAKER Paul Boulden explained to me that this wine is a blend of 50 per cent Mt Barker fruit and 50 per cent Margaret River fruit, which was being cropped at between one and 1.5 tonnes per acre, allowing the fruit to fully express itself.

Sandalford Riesling 2001 rrp $21.99 16.00 points

The wine showed some spicy cinnamon, sherbet and limey aromas, with a palate that had plenty of weight and zingy fruit. I will make a point of following how this wine ages over the next five or so years.

The whole idea about drinking wine is to enjoy the experience! Sometimes, however, tainted wines interrupt this enjoyment.

Wines that are affected by TCA (trichloroanisole) give a wet bag, musty, mulched leaf smell to the wine and take any vibrancy out of the product.

It is hard to get an exact figure on the number of wines that are ‘corked’ but, in my experience, up to 6 per cent of wines at tastings have a degree of cork taint.

So, what do producers do about this problem?

One of the best ways to avoid cork in bottles, Stelvin Closures are gaining momentum around Australian wineries.

Producers in the Clare Valley got together as a group and 15 producers bottled all, or part of, their 2000 riesling under Stelvin.

This year even more wineries have taken up the cause and some of those Clare producers who bottled only half have now bottled their entire current vintage under this closure.

Western Australia is not too far behind. Sandalford this year has been the first to jump aboard this taint-free train, and others like Howard Park, Houghtons and Frankland Estate have suggested that they will be following the trend with the next vintage.

WA currently doesn’t have the ability to bottle Stelvin Closures, a problem that will be well and truly rectified over the next few months in time for vintage 2002.

Riesling with Stelvin Closures is, I believe, only just the beginning, as consumer acceptance has been stronger than many anticipated. With that in mind, I have heard whispers that a NZ producer is looking to bottle its sauvignon blanc under Stelvin. Now that would be a treat!

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