Frisk Prickly Riesling

Made by a team of maverick winemakers hailing from Victoria’s far comers, Frisk is crafted by seasoned hands. Harvested in the chilly eve, prized free-run Riesling juice is fermented with canny yeasts that ensure the wine is sporting plenty of aromatic verve. And the prickle? A gentle spritz courtesy of those clever yeasts, captured to deliver a palate-rousing tickle.

Nestled into the foothills of the Victorian Alps, the Alpine Valleys harbor a handful of dogged grape growers whose ancestors arrived in the l850s after a less-than-comfortable boat trip from Italy. With lofty slopes climbing to 2000 feet, vineyards are snow clad in winter and punch through clouds to nab a slice of sunshine in summer. The vines here greedily nosh ancient deposits of granite-based loam to produce flinty, minerally wines. It’s a mouth-revving Riesling with a bite that sings with mountain-stream purity, quartz-like acidity coming right at you, bold and unapologetic. You may see notes of lemon sorbet, bath salts and white lilies layered with spices from your favorite childhood pie shop …guess that depends on your childhood. But you can’t deny its raciness and versatility, sidling up suggestively to food that’s both sweet and spicy. Its intensity will slap you in the face, the oodles of length will have you scrambling for more.

At one of the blending sessions, a cellar hand wanted to taste the wines ‘blind’. Not being able to cover the labels, he made a makeshift blindfold from a lab cloth and told his colleague to pour the wines into a few glasses. Reaching for the wine glasses he inadvertently ‘frisked’ them to make sure he had a firm grip (a point duly noted by his co-workers in snickering tones) and then proceeded to tell all and sundry that he got a kick out of the ‘prickle’ of the wine as he swallowed. And so for a wine that is indeed fresh, frisky and just a touch prickly, it’s quite an apt name. Need we say more?

Tasting Date: March 2011
Varietal: Riesling
Country: Australia/Victoria/Alpine Valleys
Retail Price on Tasting Date: $8.99


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