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The Making of Parawatta Riesling from Eden Valley
Thursday, 20th February, 2014  - David Farmer
Parawatta Riesling 2013

One of the most sensational and unusual wines I have seen for a long time is the Parawatta Riesling 2013. When Ben, Phil Lehman and I were doing our blending trials for our Eden Valley 2013 rieslings back in early July 2013 it was apparent that one parcel was very different expression to the others.

When this was offered to us we snapped it up as a guiding principle of Glug is to bring to our customers wines which will delight but also build on what they know.

I have related the story that Phil had made the wine for a client who owns a famous and historic, grazing property in the lower Eden Valley. The business plan was to start a wine brand around the property name using fruit from an old family vineyard. The riesling was rejected as not being to style and was sold to Glug.

Making enquiries we were told they ran out of water at a critical time and just left the grapes to hang. If vines cannot get water at critical times it may indeed alter the flavour of the grapes and in this case has produced an intense, sweet, lemon ripeness.

We could have blended this parcel of wine with the others, meaning this character would have been lost. We did procrastinate for a few days but fortunately decided Glug customers need to know about this wine. Thus we created Parawatta.

Our label says the alcohol is 11.5% and the other day I was arguing with Ben that this was wrong and bet him it was at least 12.5% or even over 13%.

A sample went to the Wine Clinic to see who was right. Ben had rounded up the pre-bottling figure of 11.25% to 11.5% and the new result is 11.15%, so I was hopelessly wrong.

This figure is quite low as Eden Valley rieslings would normally contain 12.5% to 13.5% alcohol. Parawatta is unusual as full, sweet ripeness has been reached at relatively low alcohols.

I think customers may be interested in the technical detail we accumulate for each wine so the chemical analysis of Parawatta is shown. The other day I asked to see the sugar level and this is 2.64 gm/litre which is dry.

Chemical Analysis for Parawatta Riesling 2013

I have received a few queries over the years about alcohol levels in wine. This is not a simple topic and I will address this in a future article in shopping news.

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