98-point Wolta Wolta Riesling is freaking good, not breaking bad

Ernst Loosen with Peter, Tom and Sam Barry in the Wolta Wolta Riesling block

“Magic in the mouth; simply beautiful.” That’s what James Halliday had to say about this Riesling as he lavished it with 98 points.

The mingling of Riesling royalty that begat these wines was always going to produce strong genes – and these majestic wines have earned the highest praise.

Mosel legend Ernst Loosen, of Dr Loosen fame, has long been great friends with Clare Valley’s Barry family. The Barrys, renowned for making some of Australia’s finest Riesling under the Jim Barry and clos Clare labels, jumped at the chance to collaborate with Erni on a couple of wines.

The pinnacle is Wolta Wolta, from grapes grown on a select parcel of the Barrys’ Lodge Hill vineyard in Clare and then raised in the traditional way Erni makes his grand-cru dry (“Grosses Gewächs”) Riesling.

The highly original partnership has yielded an extraordinary wines – a true voyage of discovery for those curious in the interplay of new- and old-world traditions, great vineyards and contemporary thinking.

2017 Loosen Barry Wolta Wolta Riesling $116

The Australian face of the Loosen/Barry collaboration. Ernie selected a patch of south-facing vines and wild-fermented and matured the wine in a foudre (shipped from his cellar) for 12 months, then 10 months in tank. Magic in the mouth; simply beautiful. Its vinification looks back centuries to when German riesling was released after 50 years’ maturation. 12.5% alc, screwcap.

98 points. James Halliday, The Australian

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