“Upper echelon Riesling here. Such filigree and finesse. Ludicrous price for how good it is.” Mike Bennie
Frankland Estate’s Alter Weg is one of the best Australian Riesling’s we’ve tried in years. We recently saw this in a line up of fifteen Australian, French, Austrian and German Riesling’s stretching up to $500 per bottle, and we marked this in our top two wines. We did some digging and couldn’t believe the price, $30. On further digging, we saw that dialled in wine guy Mike Bennie (Wine Front, Gourmet Traveller) agreed, marking it 97 points which is absurd for a wine of this price.
We shouldn’t be surprised however, as everything coming out of Frankland Estate in Western Australia’s underrated Great Southern region has been serious quality of late, and Riesling has always been their leading hand. The Alter Weg is their latest addition to the range, introduced only a few years ago. Alter Weg translates (from German) as ‘the old way’, and it refers to the approach in the cellar/ winemaking. If you have heard us talk about German Riesling, you’ll remember it is the traditional approach of light skin contact and large neutral oak vessels that build flavour and texture that we enjoy. This is contrary to many Australian Rieslings which rely of free run juice and stainless steel for their lime driven, steely wines. Frankland Estate push the limits with this ‘old school’ winemaking, with ripe Riesling fruit pressed straight to barrel where is undergoes natural (wild) fermentation. The wine is left in this old oak on lees for ten months before bottling.
When we tasted it, it was the texture, ripeness and purity that we loved, without losing any of the freshness and acid drive of high quality Riesling. There is confidence and ease to the wine and absolute deliciousness. Flavours of apple skin, lime juice, tangerine, spice and smoke drive the wine. It will stand up to most pork and chicken dishes, from terrines to sausages and roasts. Though it also makes the perfect aperitif. It will also benefit from time in the cellar, ageing with ease for ten years. We snapped up the last three dozen of this wine, so it will be first in, best dressed. We hope you love it too.
Tom and Dan