Riesling 2018 La Violetta ‘Das Sakrileg’ Great Southern, Western Australia
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The 10th vintage of this now iconic Australia Riesling and it’s a cracker!
Sebastian Crowther, Master Sommelier
Riesling (reez-ling) is the most important grape in Germany and one of the most ancient varieties too. It is likely that it originated in the Rhiengau regions, on the north bank of the Rhein river and said to have been first documented on the 3rd of March 1435 by Klaus Kleinfisch, cellarmaster at Schloss Katzenelnbogen in Rüsselsheim near Frankfurt.
The Great Southern is a huge wine region at the southern tip of Western Australia. It has five official subregions – the inland GIs of Mount Barker, Frankland River, and Porongurup; and the coastal GIs of Denmark and Albany. Albany is the site of Western Australia’s oldest permanent settlement and the spot from which Britain formally claimed Western Australia for the crown, on Christmas Day 1826.
The fruit for this wine comes from three of those Frankland and Denmark and Mount Barker. The Frankland vineyard is primarily composed of ironstone while the other two sites are on sandy loam over clay and granite.
Andrew Hoadley is one of the most creative, passionate, interesting and humorous men working in the Western Australia wine scene. ‘Hoads’ as he’s known to his friends started producing wines under the La Violetta label in 2008 while he was still working for another, larger, winery in the Great Southern. Before being lured west by the quality of Great Southern grapes, winemaker Andrew Hoadley worked all over Australia’s cool and hot zones and in Piedmont, Abruzzo and Washington State. He now lives on Mt Shadforth, just out of Denmark town, and makes the wines in a small facility in the countryside.
The name ‘La Violetta’ derives from an old Piedmontese song celebrating intoxication.
This is the eleventh vintage of this wine and in its short history has become a little iconic amongst Sommeliers. Called ‘Das Sakrelig’ because it breaks all the rules of traditional Riesling winemaking in Australia. Extended lees contact, fermented in large old oak with wild yeast, some malolactic fermentation and unfined or filtered. The nose leads with lime juice, white peach and grapefruit. Lots of savoury complexity built in too. The palate is electric and alive. A vibrant tang of acid helps the palate burst with flavour. As this wine has more texture an complexity than its counterparts, this enables you to up the ante with regards to food. Try putting this alongside a Pea and goat’s cheese risotto. With regards to service, certainly not a wine to be drunk to cold, 10ºC – 12ºC would be ideal.