TN: A couple of highly polished rieslings

Both with dinners over the course of a couple of nights, under screwcap.

Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2001
Thick colour with some green tinges still. Now I know thick isn’t an ordinary way to describe colour, but here it seems apt. Lime and salt on the nose, reminiscent of a margarita without the tequila. Some bright fresh grassy notes too. The aromatics are generous in the mouth too, lovely assertive Riesling. Very lively. Large scale but nicely proportioned. Small hints of kerosene at the back end, but otherwise I suspect under screwcap this is almost immortal. 91 (+?)

Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2005
No lighter than the 2001 and perhaps less green-hued. Quite a creamy nose - actually not typical Riesling, and more evocative of a Chablis. Seashells, churned butter (go figure!) lemon and salt. This would be fun to put in as a ringer in a Raveneau line up! More mid-palate presence than the '01, richer fruit, but less poise and energy. Fans out with a long finish that encompasses florals and stone fruit, lick of salt there as a backbone but much more in the background. 90 (+?) though lower if you require high typicity

It is fortunate that I’m a fan of the disintegration of aromatic compounds, as recently proven to occur when you are crass enough to not finish a bottle or even - gasp - make the schoolboy error of decanting, simply because your silly mind is playing tricks on you (laughing all the way) and fooling you into thinking the wine superior after some air. Because the oxidation (or was it nitrogenation, given what air is largely made of?) of the phenols and ethanol into Pu239 was just up my minds alley in fooling me. As it were. Both wines were better on 2nd / 3rd nights (in my delusional opinion).

Thanks for the notes, Rauno. Grosset Rieslings have gotten hard to find locally but I did buy some of the 2014 Polish Hill from an out of state retailer recently. My first bottle, years ago, was an absolute revelation – I had expected something on the residual sugar side and marveled that it was such a precise, brilliant dry wine, and the lime notes were a complete, and wonderful, surprise.

I’m like you: I often kid myself that some wines actually improve with air. Silly me, and I’m glad to have read that thread pointing out the error of my ways.

Am I correct in guessing you two are taking potshots at somebody here who scoffs at decanting? What thread do I need to find to get the reference?

Jan, yes, gentle potshots about a thread started earlier this year titled “The Myth of Letting Wines Breathe”:

Hmm. These signs of joyful trophy hunting suggest that there is an elephant in the room. Or is it perhaps just a measly gorilla? [wink.gif]

Amazing. Do you have an alert set up for every this subject comes up? Like, say, the Bat Symbol but in the shape of a decanter?

Sure! I trained that gorilla to monitor the forum for me in his free time. Regrettably, his perceptions aren’t always that reliable so I have to rely on my own wine interests (for example Riesling) to sniff out the rest. [wink.gif]

What joyful trophy hunting signs? Don’t tell me Grosset’s become all Roulot / Coche in some markets! So, Anders, if Riesling is indeed one of your own wine interests, any comments or questions about the actual wines?


I had a bottle of the '05 last week and thought it was quite typical. It has some smoky mineral/petrol development sneaking in. There was the usual lime in spades and plenty of citrus blossom.

Best Regards

The reference was not to Grosset but I think I saw several people talking about potshooting. [wink.gif]

I have tasted some Grosset Riesling but that was pretty long ago now. One reason I haven’t tried again is that I didn’t like the style very much. If memory serves, I found it a bit oily, not as fresh as I usually like my Rieslings, and a bit too much in the direction you describe in the second of your two notes. Lemon and lime is right up my alley but Chardonnay is hardly a favorite grape of mine although I tend to find Chablis a better incarnation than many others. A second reason is that I visit the big “Rieslinglake” here in Europe with a fair amount of regularity (Alsace, Germany, Austria) and have the privilege of buying most of what I drink ex-cellar at prices that wine imported from across the globe and sold via ordinary retail have difficulties matching.

Jeremy - my notes on the '05 in context of being next to the '01 of course, so that probably accentuated my feeling. Did you pick up any similarity to Chablis or a certain “creamy” element?

Out of interest, I have no idea how the various vintages theoretically “stack up” as I’ve never had a weak one as such. Any info on relative characteristics / merits of Grosset vintages?

So, you have absolutely nothing to offer other than an attempt to ruin another thread?

Hi Rauno,

I didn’t think of it as creamy. It is perhaps not as piercing as the '02 and is rounding off a little with age.

Best Regards

I’m holding onto a 2002 Polish Hill- the last bottle several years ago was quite unyielding as a PnP.

I was explicitly asked by the OP to provide my opinion on the topic of the thread and did so sincerely. Can you please explain in what way my granting his request constitutes an attempt to ruin the thread?

So a trained gorilla interferes with basketball exercises that are really mind games while drinking creamy lime flavored Riesling while it’s trainer tries to ruin multiple threads? Got it. You guys are strange. Can we just talk about wine now? That’s what I’m here for. If I wanted to learn about primates I’d go to the zoo.

The Polish Hill can be quite firm in youth with searing Chablis like acidity, whilst the Watervale is often more open and less angular. I have recently drunk the '12 and '13 Polish Hills which seemed to be a little less foreboding and less reliant on acid than some vintage in the past.
The Clare valley really is aunique place to grow Riesling. Can be bloody hot and dry in summer and bloody cold and wet in winter. The altitude gives it its precious diurnal variation preserving the acidity in the grapes.

I’m of the opinion they probably add acid in a lot of Clare Rieslings…more specifically Grosset from which I’ve yet to have a great Polish Hill.

Love Aussie Rieslings…but that one just never seems to come around…

Cheers for the notes Rauno. I’ve got a handful of Grosset Rieslings (Polish Hill and Springvale bottlings) that I’m trying to forget about for at least another decade. I find Australian Riesling stylistically across the board to be my preferred dry Riesling worldwide. I can’t really say that about any other Australian wine. I’ve never come across an Alsatian or German Riesling that displays the frontal attack of bracing and mouth puckering acidity that their Aussie counterparts routinely show. Even the Kiwi and Willamette Valley offerings I’ve looked at have had more residual sugar and lower total acidity than my palate enjoys. That said I’ve yet to have a Finger Lakes example. I’m not sure why Australian Riesling is so acidic but I can say it’s an acid lovers dream. They’re wonderful summer wines. Plus given the sweet Riesling memories of the collective Australian psyche these bottles are insanely good value for money.

Interesting Kevin. How old have you had them? While clearly acidic, neither the '01 nor '05 were so to a fault, for mine. Just the sort of backbone I like.