This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Australian Riesling under £15 went to O'Leary Walker, Polish Hill River Riesling, Clare Valley, South Australia2008 (12%)

Tasted against:

  • No other Golds in this category


O’Leary Walker’s story began in 2000 when David O’Leary and Nick Walker – both graduates of Roseworthy Agricultural College – decided to pool their talents to produce ‘wines of personality and character’, from some of the best vineyard land in South Australia.

O’Leary cut his teeth at some of Australia’s most well-known wine companies such as Petaluma, while Walker is responsible for what many think are some of the finest Eden Valley Rieslings of the 1980s.

Although its winemaking facility is in Leasingham in the Clare Valley, O’Leary Walker also produces wines from grapes grown in the Barossa, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and Adelaide Hills, focusing on varieties that shine in each of these areas.

This Trophy-winner, however, comes from two Clare vineyards, one of which is biodynamic. The vines (Geisenheim clones) are planted in sandstone and slate, with a covering of grey loam acid soils and rock.

Polish Hill is colder than the other famous sub-region of Clare, Watervale, with the grapes generally ripening two to three weeks later. O’Leary Walker says this is the key: ‘The later ripening combined with the soil profile produces fruit with elegance, finesse and intensity, always with a bit of chalky bath powder, that expresses the classic terroir of Polish Hill River Valley.’

Written by Decanter