Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Riesling 2017
Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Riesling 2017, Clare Valley, Australia
(from £10.99, Majestic)
We’re big fans of South Australian Riesling in this household and the Lodge Hill is a lovely wine – dry, tangy and invigorating in its limey, green apple purity but also softening wonderfully when paired with the right food.
That food was Paul Foster’s pickled mackerel with tomatoes and sourdough on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen. A beautiful dish which majored on simplicity and elegance of flavour – but which also posed quite a few challenges on the wine front.
Mackerel is a popular fish on these shores but its oily texture can ruin many a wine. The key is to avoid the usual tactic when you’ve got a challenging ingredient, which is to play it safe and rein back on the wine front. Instead, with mackerel you need to go big, and introduce lots of tangy citric flavours and a really vivid acidity to cut through the fish.
This Riesling is perfect. That said, it is a very young vintage – we actually tried the dish with the 2016. As a general tip, Riesling does keep very well, developing richer, more mellow flavours to add to its inherent freshness. So don’t be afraid to buy a few of these and stick some away to crack open at a later date. To let you into a secret, I thought this was tasting just too young when I tried it in studio, so I decanted the wine and gave it lots of air before we served it, also not serving it super chilled either.
It worked, because everyone in studio liked it. ‘Delicious,’ commented show host Matt Tebbutt. ‘Great,’ said Paul, while fellow chef Freddy Bird termed it, ‘faultless: a perfect combo’.
It’s not the cheapest bottle but good Riesling rarely is. On the mix-six price (£10.99), its very decent value in the context.
(Peter, 7/10, July 2017)