An aromatic and toasty single vineyard Riesling from Coonawarra
This outstanding Coonawarra wine is a tribute to Patrick Tocaciu, a master and lover of Riesling. Block 5 Aged is a multi-award-winning wine, bottled soon after harvest and cellared for a minimum of 5 years prior to release. Unoaked and dry.
This Riesling comes from Block 5 within the Skinners vineyard, a gravelly limestone vineyard in northern Coonawarra. Winemaker Luke Tocaciu says, “Riesling likes to struggle a fair bit, you don't want it to grow too vigorously. This specific location gives Block 5 Aged excellent acid structure and a steeliness from the stony soil.”
The 2014 vintage was one of the longest in memory, starting early in mid-Feb and finishing at the start of May. Warm conditions over summer were followed by cool Coonawarra nights over an extended growing season. This allowed for great flavour development and natural acidity.
WINEMAKER'S NOTES — 'A LONG TERM GAME'
Luke describes the process of creating this exceptional Riesling: “Block 5 Aged Riesling came about from having different vintages available in cellar door. We had always had the young Two-Blocks vintage on show, but also one of our older Rieslings available to educate our customers and see what they thought.
Everyone was really interested to see the difference between a younger style and an older style of Riesling. There was also a lot of interest from local restaurants to pair it with the fantastic local produce in our region.
I saw the opportunity to put our Riesling down for a few years, releasing it later as a purposefully aged Riesling. The Aged Riesling is 100% Coonawarra fruit, which is more acid-driven and inclined to age better. It is made in a similar, minimal intervention way to our Two-Blocks Riesling. It is cellared in bottle for a minimum of 5 years before we release it.
The wine industry is a long term game. You have to have patience. Vines take a few years to establish, earning trust from your customers as a new brand takes time and some of the most prestigious wines in the world are cellared for decades. Being able to make wines in this style is incredibly rewarding. Putting select parcels aside (as long as we’ve got room), looking at them every few years, working out the optimum time to release it and finally drinking it — it's a privilege.
Riesling goes through a rollercoaster of flavours as it ages. It’s bright and exuberant when it’s fresh, then it dips down and loses a bit of fruit in years two and three. As it gets older, it starts to develop more character and depth. Around the five year mark, you’ve still got some fruit freshness but are starting to get some of the toasty characters coming through.
With the development of screwcap, we can age Riesling for 30, 40+ years. As long as you’ve got the patience to keep it in your cellar, Rieslings can get better and better as they get older.”
Skinner Vineyard — Northern Coonawarra