Our seventh release from Whitlands, and the third cool vintage in a row. The Croucher Vineyard is set at close spacing on red volcanic soils, up at around 800m above sea level, and was planted in the mid-1980s. It is proper cool-climate viticulture - something I think Riesling really needs to give full expression. 2022 was a cool, wet and long vintage, very similar in that respect to 2021, but timing the pick around the rain events and the reliable spectre of botrytis was more challenging this year. Harvest was 8th April, which was not that late in retrospect, but another significant rain event forced our hand and we went a little earlier than we would have liked to avoid rot. High acidities and delicate flavours made 100% foudre fermentation the most sensible choice, to add softness and give to a wine that would otherwise be a little ‘strict’. 8g/lt residual sugar was also left to further counterweight the acidity. The resultant wine is very pale, with delicate lemon and Granny Smith apple flavours, characteristic persistent phenolics but s nicely soft and gentle palate. I think it will take a little longer to blossom than some vintages, but time should be kind.
"Fermented wild in foudre and stopped at 7 g/L RS. It sits pale in the glass, smells delicate on the nose, and is then intense on the palate, but soft. This is a gorgeous style of wine. It offers lemon, kaffir lime and chalk notes with the most delicious burst of flavour-carrying acidity through the finish."
— Campbell Mattinson, August 2023
SILVER - 94 points