A non-Riesling highlight from 31 vintages of Paulett’s Riesling
|Neil Paulett in full flight|
By any measure, yesterday was a great day for Riesling fans. Or this Riesling fan at least.
My Wednesday, you see, involved a 31 vintage Clare Valley Riesling tasting, held as part of the thirtieth birthday celebrations for the quiet (but worthy) Paulett winery.
While I’m going to explore the full vertical (which was intriguing for a few reasons, notably the damning cork vs screwcap comparisons) in the near future, I want to talk tonight about one of the few non-Riesling based wines of the day – the just released ’47-74′ Malbec Cabernet.
Paulett 47/74 Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Clare Valley, SA) $80
The name is a nod to the two Paulett generations involved in this wines production – Neil was born in 1947, son Matthew in 1974. It’s a cross generational celebration wine then, set to showcase that most underrated beast – Clare Valley Malbec.
What is most intriguing about this red, to my mind at least, is just how vital it was – none of the scorched edged desiccation seen in so many 08 Clare reds, even though this was produced from grapes that saw some heat and a vineyard that hasn’t been irrigated since 1999.
Viewed after a whole line of crisp and pure Riesling this looks perhaps a little oak driven, but the thick, berry jam mid palate and stoutly tannic finish give this so much life that you’d probably pick it as at least two years younger than it really is. Admittedly you’ve got to enjoy hearty reds, but for anyone brought up on a diet of Leasingham Bin 56 you’re going to be impressed by this. That mid-palate sweet fruit concentration is quite typical of some of the best 08 Barossa/Eden reds actually (like 08 Hill of Grace and 08 St Hallett Old Block) yet the tannins are masculine and thoroughly Clare shaped (if you get my drift).
Ultimately this is a winner, if as much for it’s unequivocal regional style as anything else, built in a form that should live for 20 years no sweat. 18/20, 93/100
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Looking forward to the full write-up. I've a soft spot for the label.