The season which produced the 1999 vintage was ideal for Riesling. Warm spring temperatures lead to early bud burst and flowering. The summer was hot, but the nights remained relatively cool, promoting berry development and maturation, while retaining good acidity. A long, lingering autumn completed the ripening. The grapes were allowed to hang on the vines late in the season to achieve optimum flavour development and also to allow some noble rot or dry botrytis. This fungus concentrates the sugars, acids and flavours, while adding its own special character. Individual bunches and berries were harvested by hand, selecting for the perfect degree of ripeness and botrytis. Teams of experienced pickers worked through the vineyard on 4-5 separate occasions over several weeks, choosing only the best grapes for ARIA.
After harvesting the juice was gently whole bunched pressed and then fermented at a cool temperature to help retain aroma, flavour and freshness. The fermentation ceased prior to dryness retaining 130gm/litre of residual sweetness. This aids longevity, helps provide a beautiful balance and keep the alcohol low to promote elegance.
Peach, nectarine and lime characters predominate, overlain with hints of spicy mango, passionfruit and honey. These flavours extend right through the palate and while the wine is luscious, it is also elegant, with a lingering dry grape-fruity finish.
It has been matured in bottle for a year before release. While drinking beautifully now it will continue to improve in bottle for up to 5-10 years, developing bees wax and toasty marmalade complexities. This wine should be chilled before serving. It is not a dessert wine, but provides and ideal accompaniment for soups, entrees, cheeseboards and fresh fruit. It is also delightful to drink by itself and can be used as an aperitif.
Wine is a natural health food.