2017 'The Merle' Pikes Polish Hill River Estate
|Origin||Australia, South Australia|
Neil and Andrew Pikes' mother is called Merle and lends her name to this top cuvée of outstanding Riesling. It is without doubt one of the benchmarks for Clare Valley Riesling, a real reference point Merle's fruit comes from two specific blocks - the Gill's Farm and Hill Block which have great vines, rooted deep in blue slate soils. They constitute the oldest un-grafted vines that the Pikes have - and the quality is off the scale! This wine is a very fine example of the best New World Riesling, dry and crisp - with beautifully succulent acidity that zips right through the limey, citrus, almost sherberty hit - and the beautiful intense mineral core that flows on and on. This is immediately delicious but has huge capacity for ageing too. L&S (May 2018)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The Merle has never made the 100 Best grade until this year. Interestingly, 2017 Traditionale Riesling is a wine which appears regularly and it would be taking the plaudits this year, again, such is its beauty, exquisite citrus tones and stunning, icy freshness. But I am delighted that the reserve level, single vineyard Riesling has made the cut and I am certain that this is on account of the vintage. In years gone by, The Merle can be a little rich and intense for my tastes, but in 2017, the raciness and brittle crunch of lime juice fruit, which so many wines possess, is at the heart of this wine, too. It means that The Merle has a slightly larger and more imposing frame than Traditionale but it is no less dramatic and refreshing. Under the bonnet there is more stuffing and this will propel it forwards for a decade, so there is no hurry to devour this wine, but I am certain that you will see its immense charms, like I have, from day one. Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Jun 2018)
Pears and sage. Clean and lean. Grey wet stones. Very stony and firm and mouth-washing. Rather good. Wonderful vertical acidity, reminds me of a cold sea washing on a stony pebble beach. Bit of green apple and citrus but it's so not about the fruit. This is all about structure and direction. Drinking range: 2018 - 2027 Rating: 17 Tamlyn Currin - www.JancisRobinson.com (May 2018)
Pikes Polish Hill River Estate
Owned by the Pike brothers, one of whom (Andrew) was for many years the senior viticulturist with Southcorp, the other (Neil) a former winemaker at Mitchells. Pikes now has its own winery, with Neil Pike presiding.
Generously constructed and flavoured wines are the order of the day, but wines which also have a restraint and a drinkability far ahead of some of the 'maximum one glass' reds that seem to dominate Australian shows and exports.
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