One of the best and worst things about wine is that nothing is ever definitive. An oenophile can spend all day, every day, studying wine intricacies and some bottles will still break the rules. New World wines, for example, are generally thought to be fruit-forward and oak-driven, with less acidity and more alcohol. And while it’s a fact that Riesling can range from bone dry to super sweet, many people still assume that Riesling will likely have some perceptible sugar. The Alkoomi Frankland River Riesling shatters both stereotypes, as evidenced by the collective sound of awe that echoed around the room at a recent blind wine class.
The Frankland River region is located in Western Australia, about 50 miles from the country’s coast. Although separate from Australia’s more recognized Riesling-producing regions, Clare Valley and Eden Valley, Frankland River’s higher elevation, cool ocean influence, and mineral-rich soil give it excellent potential to produce linear, high-acid versions of the grape. In general, Australian Riesling is known for being intensely acidic and austere, with pronounced lime, mineral, and petrol or almost plastic-like notes.
While the Alkoomi Riesling does have quite a bit of fruit on the nose — candied lime, peach jam — it is super high-toned and fresh, complemented by a touch of spice and hint of petrol. The palate is lip-smacking, with laser-like acidity and textured, zesty lime flavors that cleanse the palate and linger for quite a long time. Somehow the wine manages to be pleasingly straightforward and deceptively complex at the same time. Although wine is a topic that can never be truly mastered, after a few sips from this bottle, you’ll probably be O.K. with that.