Jim Barry, The Florita Riesling 2004 Clare Valley

31 Jan 2006 by JR
I tasted a great set of young Australian Rieslings the other day, all the most exciting of which came from the Clare Valley. See tasting notes for – guess what? – tasting notes on them. No apologies for choosing yet another Australian wine this week; Australia Day was last Thursday and today and tomorrow sees an orgy of Australian wine presentation in London at the two-day generic wine tasting, in the medieval Guildhall in the City of London no less. There's posh - and a considerable improvement on the Horticultural Halls in Victoria.

We are used to exciting Rieslings from Jeffrey Grosset of the eponymous winery and from Kerri Thompson of Leasingham, but 2004 is the first vintage that the old family Clare Valley firm of Jim Barry is able to call by the name of the famous Florita vineyard. This is the wonderfully mature vineyard that supplied most of the raw material for the great and much-missed Leo Buring Rieslings which showed their mettle over several decades from the 1960s and 1970s. You can find out more background at Fine Australian Rieslings back to 1973. Now not just the vineyard but the trademark belongs to the Barrys who are celebrating with this magnificent bottling, sold either by the single bottle or in a special three-bottle pack. I can do no better than reproduce my tasting note:
 
The Florita Riesling 2004 Clare Valley 17.5 Drink 2006-12
Very firm, concentrated nose. Great depth of flavour and rigour. This is a savoury Riesling – no flowers, no petrol, no bitterness, no austerity. It has the same sort of build as Clos Ste Hune even if it is more earthbound. Lovely texture though. Sleek.

Comparisons with Clos Ste Hune, eh? There is no greater praise in my (dry) Riesling tasting book.

To find a fairly numerous list of stockists in the UK, US and Australia you can try find this wine but I am also told that the following UK retailers also have it:

Handford Holland Park in London W11 and SW7, Philglas & Swiggot around London, Roberson's Wine Merchants of London W8, Eagle Wines of London, Veritas Wines of Cambridge, and www.vinehaven.co.uk.

The suggested retail price is around £15 a bottle. This is a phoenix of a wine and should amply reward cellaring. Although I should also add that several of the other wines described in my recent Australian Riesling tasting notes are also highly desirable.

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