Loosen Barry 2021 Wolta Wolta Release

A friendship like no other!

A remarkable 29-year friendship unfolded between Ernst Loosen of Dr. Loosen Estate and the Barry family back in 1995 at the London Wine Fair. Sprouting from a mutual respect and deep admiration for the noble variety Riesling (an unsurprising reason why this excites us so much at CellarHand…), this collaboration of ideas lead to two epic winegrowers deciding to honour each other’s winemaking techniques on their home soil. And, from this collaboration, Wolta Wolta Riesling was born – German craftsmanship on Australian terroir.

Wolta Wolta is a dry German-style Riesling, an “Aussie GG” if you will, crafted within the embrace of the Barry family’s Clare Valley vineyard. Its name, meaning ‘Good Water’ in Aboriginal, was the original name given to the land on which the Barry’s famous The Lodge Vineyard is planted, with a very special parcel of this site selected and grown for the Wolta Wolta Riesling.

Once picked, the fruit is sent to a traditional German oak Foudre, provided by Dr Loosen, where it undergoes wild fermentation, after which it is then raised in the fashion of Erni Loosen’s world-renowned Grosses Gewächs wines – extended time on lees before being transferred to stainless steel for an additional year before release. 

It is no simple task for an Australian winemaker to make a German-style Riesling (and vice versa with Erni’s Walhalla wine, made in an Australian style from his Erdener Treppchen vineyard in Germany) but when each winemaker can draw on over 40 years of experience to their counterpart, the collaboration has birthed a truly extraordinary project. Fueled by passion, camaraderie, shared wisdom, and a collective love for Riesling, this project weaves together two strong family narratives, experiences, and the bonds of friendship. 

2021 Loosen Barry Wolta Wolta Riesling RRP $120

This collaboration of ideas pays homage to the winemaking techniques used by the Loosen family for generations, and the vineyard practices of the Barry family.

On 24th February 2021, six tonnes of Riesling was hand harvested and sorted from Block 18 (planted in 1979) at our Wolta Wolta vineyard. We harvested the fruit at 12 .0 Baumé. Fruit was stored in a cold room overnight to bring the temperature below 10˚C. Once destemmed and crushed, the fruit was then pressed into stainless steel for 12 hours to settle, before being racked into the 3,000 litre German oak ‘Fuder’ cask. The light lees were racked which assisted a wild ferment to take place after five days. Fermentation took four weeks with the temperature maintained at 18˚C. When residual sugar was below 10g/L, cooling was turned on to arrest the fermentation at 5g/L, achieving sugar- acid balance. The wine then rested on full yeast lees for 16 months at 10˚C before being transferred to stainless steel where it sat on fine lees at 1˚C for a further 1 month. Our 2021 Wolta Wolta was bottled on 23rd August 2022 and, after spending 18 months in bottle, will be released on 1st March 2024.

Aromas of oyster shell, sea breeze and fun flint with a brown lime backing and fresh citrus. The wine has a silk-like softness in its acid and the fruit weight starts early and drives deep through the palate. There’s a richness to the fruit, starting with yellow melons and exotic fruits moving through citrus, brown lime and mineral, wet slate. It’s laced with tension and softness. – Sam Barry

An excellent riesling that’s streamlined and graceful. Exquisite and pithy citrus, pickled quince, sea salt and subtle stone fruit nuances. The acidity is juicy and filigreed, the mouthfeel is medium-bodied and the finish is dry, It’s electric but relaxed all at once due to the stream of juicy acidity and gentle chewiness. A collaborative German-Australian effort that is as good as it gets on Aussie shores. 96 points. Ned Goodwin, JamesSuckling.com Feb 2024