It was a confused summers night weather wise, the evening air was chill. We sparked up the bbq along with the wood fire for a cosy night in to enjoy our vertical tasting of Coonawarra Riesling, all from the same small vineyard located on the Terra Rossa strip.
After a feast of various charr grilled treats we cleared the table in anticipation for the tasting bonanza. There was much deliberation over what would be the ultimate seating arrangement, bottle & glass placement and who would do the honours of pouring.
The bottles were concealed in repurposed bakery paper bags, shuffled and numbered. The aim of the tasting was to successfully guess the Rieslings’ vintages in order. We didn't have to work out exact years, just which wine was oldest through to which was youngest. Eyes gleamed across all angles of the table as we cracked the lids and started the pour.
In appearance, the four Rieslings gave nothing away - they looked identical. The deeper golden tinge we were expecting from the 2006 Riesling was nowhere to be seen. Individually we swirled, smelled and tasted the wine trying not to give too much away. Notes were scribbled…. Was the session morphing into a competition?
It was clear to us all there were two younger rieslings - the vibrant acidity gave that away and two older rieslings- showing attractive tertiary (ageing) characteristics of honey and kerosene. But in what order would we place them? An extra generous sip was needed on more than one occasion to instil confidence in our decisions.
One by one the bottles were revealed in quite a dramatic fashion (...maybe a little over the top?!) The table screamed for joy, groaned, belly laughed and high-tenned. A mixture of victory and loss. In the end it didn't matter whether we could taste what wines were made in which year, we were happy with our own interpretations, indulged a little more in our favourites and shared many a laugh on a night that sparkled with friendship..