“Grosset gets so many accolades as a Riesling Master, but Neil Pike is the man for me. Lime Finger, he’s the man, the man with midas touch” – Gary Walsh
With 36 years of making one of Australia’s most respected Rieslings Neil Pike would be forgiven for resting a little at least on his laurels. We are thankful he hasn’t with this superb single vineyard partnership with Grant Arnold. With such success with his Polish Hill River Riesling he was previously blending this single vineyard into his main blend. Since 2012 he wanted to show how superb this low yielding/poor soil single vineyard was outright.
The Gaelic Cemetery vineyard was planted in 1996 and is different to the slate soils of Polish Hill. Red/Brown Loam with Quartz and Iron deposits make for low yielding, less vigorous vines equaling smaller berries/less shading. The smaller skins add more phenolics to the Riesling finished style, a point Neil is keen to emphasize along with the riper notes. The riper notes are also due to the fact that the GCV is in the North part of the valley, which is a touch warmer.
“Now this is something special, for those seeking bold, Australian red wines, at a prime time, from low yielding vines, in a region that does these varieties in a blend seemingly well. I wouldn’t drink a load of this, but geez, it’s impressive no matter what your proclivities are. Glorious perfume of blue berry fruits, Indian ink, black olives, dark chocolate, faint herbal notes. It’s soupy, generous and flows impressively and with authority through the palate. Loads of flavour, formidable concentration, yet freshness of feel and a lick of savoury, secondary dried fruits and spice helps impress in the complexity stakes. Tannins pull the wine in at a lovely, lazy pace. The finish is a touch muddled with dusty, leathery notes, but overall, such satisfaction in this bold, rich, deep wine” – 95 points – Mike Bennie