November 11 • Winemaker
There’s aromatic, and there’s pungent.
If you’re a reasonably well functioning adult who can do their own laundry and feed the cat when you feed yourself, then you should know the difference between these two.
Aroma is important. It’s what makes or breaks food, and it also plays a big part in our emotions. I know that when I smell tobacco, it takes me back to my Grandfather who smoked his whole life (next up I’ll be doing a PSA on why you shouldn’t smoke).
When it comes to wine, aroma is pretty important. If you’re someone like me who doesn’t even wait for the pour to be in the glass, then you may miss out on this part of the wine-tasting experience. However, I’m here to tell you to pace yourself and include your nose in the big event, too.
Now usually, wineries are sweating their stuff competing for first place when it comes to taste. We all know – hopefully – what an excellent wine tastes like compared to a horrid one. There are more awards for this type of thing out there that I care to mention.
However, it’s not often that you hear about awards for the aroma alone. Surely, you need more than just the whiff at the beginning to keep you all the way to the end of the bottle?
Let’s open your eyes to the world of wine aromatics with a type of wine, and a winery that makes this type of wine. Riesling, for the uneducated amongst us, is a white grape varietal that usually has a high acidity. It’s used to make wines that range from dry to incredibly sweet and even sparkling wines.
Now, there’s a particular winery located in Margaret River (Australia) that focuses not only the quality of their Riesling but that initial whiff you get at the beginning. In fact, this winery isn’t shy about their reputation for producing one of the most aromatic Rieslings – in the world.
This sounds like a tall order, but it’s achievable – if you care about that side of things. Luckily, because Riesling is so naturally sweet and aromatic, you don’t have to stand there with your nose in your glass pretending that you smell it. Howard Park guarantees that you’ll find their Riesling incredibly aromatic.
With all that’s in the Australian Outback to put you off smelling forever, it’s nice to have a haven of hope you can seek asylum in. Go ahead, inhale some of the best smelling wine you could hope to experience.
Museum Release Riesling: I’m not even going to begin to try and go over the numerous awards that this wine has won over the years. Let’s just say it’s well over twenty.
This 2012 Riesling has had four long years in the cellar to age to perfection. Now, usually I briefly mention the aromas before jumping into the good stuff, but today I’m going to focus a little bit more on what you’re smelling.
You’ll begin with a bouquet of zesty citrus. This beautiful beginning is followed by delicate notes of nutmeal, meringue, nougat and preserved lemon. The flavor is rich and layered – and that’s all you need to know.
Porongurup Riesling: Now, this Riesling definitely comes in second place when it comes to awards one. But I will say that it’s not far behind, and the body count is also impressively high.
Once again, you’ll experience floral notes on the nose of this Riesling, which primarily comes from citrus and floral gardenia. Wet stone and green pear skin will follow these closely if you can pick up on them.
As for flavor, you can expect a gentle, delicate fruit purity.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have a great sense of smell, you’re truly going to miss out when tasting Howard Park Rieslings. The more sophisticated your nose is, the more you’ll enjoy these excellent varieties.
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