Pikes Hills and Valleys Riesling 2019
Great with Indian food or anything with a hint of spice.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Pikes estate is situated in the picturesque Polish Hill sub region of South Australia’s beautiful Clare Valley. Brothers Andrew and Neil Pike established Pikes Wines in 1984 and continue to manage every aspect of the business today. They take great pride in producing quality handcrafted wines that reflect vintage, variety and region. Pikes flagship wine is Riesling Traditionale which has gained an international cult like following as Australia’s best dry Riesling. The Pikes story in South Australia is one rich in history dating back to 1878 when Englishman Henry Pike, Andrew and Neil’s great-great grandfather, immigrated to South Australia and established the family brewing business called H. Pike & Co. The company used the English Pike fish on the label, which remains to this day a symbol of Pike’s long heritage, now spanning three centuries. Pikes is situated in the North West section of the Clare Valley, in a sub-region known as Polish Hill River. The vines enjoy east to southeast exposure and for the most part are ungrafted, with just a small percentage planted on rootstock. The soils are red brown earth over clay, with slate and broken bluestone subsoil. The property is 240 acres (97 hectares), of which 200 are under vine. The region of Polish Hill is renowned for its black slate, which runs underneath the Pikes vineyards. Pikes aims to produce wines that reflect their varietal, regional, and vintage conditions. They are quite happy to watch over the wines during their formative stage and intervene only when necessary.
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.