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Singlefile Wines

Chloe Davison
14 March 2024 | Chloe Davison

A Guide to Great Southern Riesling

Misconceptions about riesling's sweetness seem to persist to this day —perhaps it has something to do with the international success of the ‘Blue Nun’ German Riesling of the 1980s! Dry rieslings have experienced a resurgence due to their fruit purity, hands off winemaking, and their exceptional ageing potential.  Renowned globally, the Great Southern region stands as a consistent producer of some of the finest riesling wines in the world.

To better understand the history of this varietal within the Great Southern, and Singlefile’s own range of rieslings, we spoke with Great Southern local and wine aficionado, Tracey Whooley,  from the Singlefile Cellar Door. As a finalist in the 'Best Wine Communicator – Cellar Door' category at the 2023 Wine Communicator Awards, Tracey’s passion and knowledge make her the perfect guide for exploring this wine region and variety.

Riesling in the Great Southern

The riesling variety has a storied history in the Great Southern region, with vineyards dating back to the 1960s. Notably, in the early 1970s, a Forest Hill riesling crafted by Dorham Mann garnered attention as it was recognised as the best West Australian white wine at the Perth Royal Show. In 2017, a Porongurup riesling from Duke’s Vineyard became the first white wine to win James Halliday's Wine of the Year award, further cementing the region's reputation for rieslings. 

The Great Southern wine region is known for its cool to moderate climate and diverse terroir, which is conducive to cultivating premium riesling grapes. Each sub-region in the Great Southern features free-draining soils, crucial for riesling's growth, along with sloping aspects that aid drainage and maximise sunlight exposure. 

“The climate is fairly mild, with low humidity and average temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C during the growing season - perfect for fruit development. It makes for a prolonged, gradual ripening period, essential for developing riesling's characteristic aromas, flavours and naturally high acidity,” Tracey explains.  

Singlefile’s Rieslings

Singlefile Wines have prominently featured rieslings since the inception of the winery. "In 2022 Singlefile added ‘The Pamela’ to the collection and now produces three riesling wines, including two single-vineyard varieties," said Tracey. 

'The Pamela' Riesling

Situated in the Porongurup sub-region of the Great Southern, Misery Hill Vineyard has become synonymous with world-class rieslings. The winemaking process focuses on preserving the vineyard's unique characteristics, resulting in a pale quartz-coloured wine with captivating lemon sherbet and lime zest aromatics, complemented by subtle hints of sea salt and talc. This wine is made with ageing potential in mind. 

Single Vineyard Mount Barker Riesling

The Single Vineyard Mount Barker Riesling is produced from the Blue Lake vineyard, situated on the south-west plains of the Mount Barker sub-region. Fermented at a cool temperature, the resulting wine boasts a light and pristine colour, powerful lemon and lime aromatics with hints of honey. The palate is characterised by the powerful acidic drive of the wine. 

According to Tracey, “Its lush texture and complex layers leads to a long, lingering citrus finish, that for me leaves a lasting impression.”

The Great Southern Riesling

With grapes from two vineyards in the Great Southern region, this riesling embodies the quintessential characteristics of the varietal. Similarly with the Pamela riesling, the winemaking focuses on preserving the pristine floral and citrus fruit characters. The free run juice undergoes a slow cold fermentation, ensuring optimal flavour retention. Exhibiting a bright pale gold hue, this riesling entices with classic aromatics of apple blossom and citrus on the nose. On the palate, it is a dry style riesling with vibrant lime zest, Granny Smith apple, and delicate mineral undertones.

Perfect Food Pairings

Singlefile's rieslings are versatile and pair well with various dishes due to their vibrant acidity. Ideal pairings include seafood such as grilled prawns, sushi, and dishes with hints of spice or sweetness like Moroccan tagines or glazed pork. 

The Pamela Riesling is particularly excellent when enjoyed with some fresh Albany oysters, meanwhile for those who have a sweet tooth, Tracey suggests a unique pairing:

“A French macaroon paired with the Great Southern Riesling is delicious, if you're after a sweet treat,” she said. 




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