Paul Cluver Dry Encounter Riesling 2016

I didn’t realise that Paul Cluver make 3 different Rieslings. I assumed that there was only the sweeter version (Close Encounters). When I spotted Dry Encounters...I had to pick up a few...just to figure out what was going on....and coz Elgin Riesling!

Paul Cluver Dry Encounter Riesling 2016

The Wine:

I was feeling slightly snotty on this evening, so there’s not much more than petrol, lime, apple, peach and blossoms on this medium intensity nose. Waxy floral floor polish? It’s lovely (hell yeah to the petrol), but I really needed to stick my nose deep into the glass for a while to open myself up to the aromas.

Off dry, high acidity, with a medium to medium+ body. I’m curious about whether this has seen oak (turns out 20% large old oak...whoop!). It’s not often that I both smell and taste the petrol. But this finish is like a lazy languished float along a kerosene canal steeped with garlands of lime and you swallow it’s as though you’re trailing your fingers through the liquid and those fruits rise to the surface mid finish...the peach almost bursting in the centre of your mouth, followed by the lime and apple (we are in Elgin, an apple growing area, after all!)...before sinking back into the weighty kerosene depths.

Vini + Viti:

Mostly 28 year old Riesling planted on soil with a ferricrete top layer over decomposed Bokkeveld Shale and light clay , along with a smaller quantity of grapes from younger blocks planted on duplex soils dominated by shale.

Harvested at night. Sorted in both the vineyard and in the cellar. Limited skin contact before fermentation.

"Pressing is always gentle. Only free run juice is fermented. After settling, the juice is fermented using a selected yeast culture. Fermentation is stopped on some of the wine, generally the batches with the highest acidity. The wine with lower sugar levels is left on the lees this adds a creamy texture to the wine. The wine is then blended, stabilised and prepared for bottling. 20% fermented in large 2500 l oval oak vats."

Final Thoughts:

Tasted on a Leaf and Fruit day according to the Biodynamic Calendar for the SH.

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