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Australian Riesling over £10

Find out who won the regional trophy for over £10. And the winner is...

2005 Wigan Eden Valley Riesling

Twice in a row is not a bad achievement for the 2005 Wigan Eden Valley Riesling but then those lucky enough to have come across this wine before will not be surprised by its runaway success.

Wigan is Peter Lehmann’s best and most delicate Eden Valley Riesling of the vintage. It’s bottle aged for five years at Lehmann’s Tanunda cellars before release.

2005, as a vintage, was relatively mild compared to 2004 which experienced hot, summer weather. As a result of a milder summer, the 2005 Wigan is remarkably fresh, retaining that steely, classic, Eden Valley finish that brings longevity.

The Rieslings grown in the Eden Valley’s high, cold hills, on soils of low fertility, have a capacity to age for many years. ‘They commence life as wines of great purity and end up as wines of great complexity’, says Andrew Wigan. The grapes

come from 11 growers in the area with different vineyards used according to the season.

Peter Lehmann’s Reserve Riesling was first made in 1987 and renamed Wigan in recognition of chief winemaker Andrew Wigan’s effective lifelong commitment to the company.

After joining the Peter Lehmann winemaking team at Saltram in 1976, Andrew Wigan has headed the winemaking department for 32 vintages. The original painting for the Wigan Eden Valley Riesling’s, with its lichen on the vine by Barossa artist Rod Schubert, label is typical of the old Riesling vines in Eden Valley and hangs in the kitchen of Andrew Wigan’s home.

Andrew Wigan was raised in the town of Ararat in Victoria, and grew up drinking John Vickery’s great Eden Valley Rieslings made at Leo Buring in the 1960s and 1970s. Inspired by the delicate, flinty style, he always wanted to try to achieve the same for his own Rieslings at Peter Lehmann.

The business of improving the Rieslings started in the mid-1990s. ‘No stone was left unturned’ says Andrew Wigan, while the introduction of the screw cap in 2001 ‘had a massive impact on quality’.

Written by Anthony Rose

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