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Frisk Prickly Riesling 2009

Riesling from Australia
    • WE88
    • JH88
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    Winemaker Notes

    It's a mouth-revving Riesling with a bite that sings with mountain-stream purity, quartz-like acidity coming right at you, bold and unapologetic. You may see notes of lemon sorbet, bath salts and white lilies layered with spices from your favorite childhood pie shop…guess that depends on your childhood. But you can't deny its raciness and versatility, sidling up suggestively to food that's both sweet and spicy. Its intensity will slap you in the face, the oodles of length will have you scrambling for more.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Frisk
    Frisk, , Australia
    Frisk
    Made by a team of maverick winemakers hailing from the far corners of Victoria’s cool-climate regions, Frisk is crafted by seasoned hands. Harvested in the chilly eve and delivered to the winery in pristine condition, prized free-run Riesling juice is fermented with canny yeasts that ensure the wine is sporting plenty of aromatic verve along with a low 8% alcohol. And the prickle? A gentle spritz produced by those clever yeasts, captured to deliver a tickle that will rouse your palate. It’s downright Frisky.

    Nestled into the Northern foothills of the Victorian Alps, the Alpine Valleys harbor a handful of dogged grape growers whose ancestors arrived in the 1850s after a less-than-comfortable boat trip from Italy. With lofty slopes climbing to 2000 feet, vineyards are snow clad in winter and punch through clouds to nab a slice of sunshine during summer. Four valleys are created by the Ovens, Buffalo, Buckland and Kiewa rivers, whose ancient flows dumped granite-based loam that the vines greedily nosh to produce flinty, minerally wines.

    Willamette Valley

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    One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a temperate climate moderated by Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and even winter. Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant difference in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs—the iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and holds water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals; and the silty loess found in the Chehalem Mountains, somewhere in between the other two in texture, is fertile and well-draining but erodes easily, creating challenges for growers but necessitating careful vineyard management.

    The celebrated Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley typically offers supple red fruit, especially cranberry, without the powerful punch often packed by its California counterparts. Elegance is paramount here, and fruit flavors are balanced by forest floor, wild mushroom, and dried herbs—much more in line with Burgundian examples of the variety. Chardonnay too takes its inspiration from the French motherland, focusing on tart, crisp fruit and minerality, rarely relying upon heavy new oak. Pinot Gris here is fleshy and bright, and Riesling is dry, aromatic, and citrus-focused.

    Pinot Noir

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    One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

    In the Glass

    Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

    Perfect Pairings

    Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

    Sommelier Secret

    Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

    OBCFRISK_2009 Item# 108145

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