Jim Barry Lodge Hill Riesling 2017
Jim Barry purchased the Lodge Hill vineyard in 1977 as he was sure it would “produce some of the best Riesling in Clare.” Situated on the eastern ranges of the township of Clare, Lodge Hill is one of the highest vineyards in the Valley - at an altitude of 1575 feet - and is ideal for producing steely, minerally Rieslings, distinctive to the area.
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Jim Barry planted this vineyard at the end of the 1970s, on a ridge rising to 1,575 feet, the north-facing slope devoted to shiraz, the south face to riesling. It grows on loam over clay before hitting slate bedrock, a vertical uplift that allows water to drain down through it. In Clare’s cool, late 2017 riesling vintage, Barry produced the best Lodge Hill we can remember. It has the depth of a classic Mosel wine with the zingy acidity of Clare, the intensity of flavor tightening around scents of white flowers, earthy radish and searingly dry peach. It seems to capture the fresh winds of Clare in its clarity and power. Built to age. Best Buy
This bottling offers a delicate nose of peach, lime blossom and white pepper followed by a palate that is tight and focused, with mouthwatering acidity, chalky minerality and a long lime and apple finish.
From the heart of South Australia, Jim Barry was a legendary and beloved Clare Valley identity. Since 1959, Jim Barry Wines reflect the Barry family's commitment to making table wines with an emphasis on quality and enjoyment. Jim Barry's philosophy of winemaking was very simple: own the vineyards to develop the best fruit flavors possible and retain these flavors during winemaking. The rich, full-bodied Jim Barry wines distinctly embody this simple winemaking philosophy.
The Clare Valley is actually a series of narrow north to south valleys, each with a different soil type and slightly different weather patterns along their stretch. In the southern heartland between Watervale and Auburn, there is mainly a crumbled, red clay loam soil called terra rossa and cool breezes come in from Gulf St. Vincent. A few miles north, in Polish Hill, is soft, red loam over clay; westerlies blowing in from the Spencer Gulf influece this area's climate.
The differences in soil, elevation, degree of slope and weather enable the region to produce some of Australia’s finest, aromatic, spicy and lime-pithy Rieslings, as well as excellent Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec with ripe plummy fruit, good acid and big structure.
Clare Valley is an isolated farming country with a continental climate known for its warm and sunny days, followed by cool nights—perfect for wine grapes’ development of sugar and phenolic ripeness in conjunction with notable acidity levels.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.