They’ve spent that many good times together with the Riesling flowing, it was perhaps only a matter of time before they started inter-breeding. But jokes aside, this is a serious collaboration bringing together two tireless, fearless pioneers. These estates have been pushing boundaries and flying the Riesling flag for decades. It’s a great pleasure to introduce their new wines to the world.
The friendship between Erni Loosen of the Dr. Loosen Estate in Germany and Peter Barry of Jim Barry Wines in Australia’s Clare Valley began in London in 1995. Forged out of a mutual respect for the noble variety, Riesling, this collaboration of ideas pays homage to the winemaking techniques used in their respective homes of the Mosel and Clare.
So it is that we have Walhalla, Erni’s tribute to Clare made in a pure, crisp, steely style from grapes grown on the grand-cru Treppchen vineyard in the village of Erden. And, from brothers Tom and Sam Barry, an “Aussie GG” to perhaps surpass any other Riesling grown on Australian soil. Wolta Wolta comes from a very special parcel on the high-altitude (480m) Lodge Hill vineyard. The juice was wild fermented in a traditional German oak Fuder provided by Dr Loosen and raised in the fashion of the Grosses Gewächs wines of the great Mosel estate.
2016 Loosen Barry Walhalla Riesling Mosel Valley RRP $51
The wine is made from Mosel Riesling grapes grown on the Erdener Treppchen vineyard, raised in the Australian style. By this we mean it’s bone dry, with long aging on the fine lees in stainless steel tanks. Walhalla is German for “Garden of the Gods” where the souls of heroes slain in battle were received by Odin and where they celebrated with all-day feasts and drinking sprees.
Mango, cumquat, sour apple, flowers and a little fresh mint. Quite fleshy and powerful, savoury and juicy, fine dusting of texture, fairly soft acidity, some zest and tang on a solid finish. It’s a bit chunky, but in a good way. 92 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front February 2020
*2017 Loosen Barry Wolta Wolta Riesling Clare Valley RRP $120
This wine is packaged in 3-pack branded wooden boxes
On 17th March 2017, five tonnes of Riesling were harvested from Block 18 (planted in 1979) at our Lodge Hill vineyard. It was a week later than normal as we were looking for a greater hangtime. Juice numbers were very good at 12 baumé with a pH of 3.1 and 7.5g/L TA. Fruit was stored in a cold room overnight to bring the temperature below 10˚C. Once destemmed and crushed, the fruit was pressed into stainless steel for 12 hours to settle, before being racked into the 2,800-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 6g/L, achieving a good acid-to-sugar balance. The wine then sat on gross ferment lees for 12 months at 10˚C before spending a further 11 months in stainless steel on fine lees. Alcohol 12.1%; RS 6g/L; TA 6.5g/L.
Our 2017 Wolta Wolta was bottled on 14 January 2019 and, after spending a year in bottle, was released on 21 February 2020. – The Barry family
Wonderful texture and a high level of complexity. Ripe lime, green mango, white nectarine and spice, gently smoky with a savoury cheese slice character. It’s kind of juicy, but stony and earthy too, fine crushed rock feel, a zing of green apple sorbet, sour yoghourt, and a very long crunchy finish. Weight delivered with finesse. Very interesting (said with a German accent). 95 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front February 2020