Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Paulett 2010 Polish Hill River Riesling

Hindsight, as has frequently been remarked, delivers 20/20 vision, but at least I now know what I'll be doing should similar circumstances arise.

But, as I do so often, I'm getting ahead of myself.

As remarked elsewhere the approach of summer means that I'm turning my thoughts to Rose and Riesling, and there has been a fair bit of deck clearing and space generating in the wine rack as I try to cut down on the cases on the office floor in anticipation of incoming Gamay, Alicante Bouchet, Big Men in Tights and, of course, Riesling.

I'd been giving serious thought to a call to Kilikanoon for a mixed dozen - eight of the Mort's Block and four of the Mort's Reserve seemed like a sound concept - when a phone call from Pauletts had me revising the plans.

Given the $20 RRP for the current Polish Hill River, the $45 they're asking for the 2006 Aged Release and the POA beside the 2009 Antonina $290 a dozen freight free for an eight-two-two mix seemed like a rather good price, and it took all of about ten seconds deliberation before I was providing credit card details.

$250 for the Polish Hill River part of the package, around a notional ninety for the two Antoninas and somewhere between (on prior form) $18 and $24 for freight suggests a probable regular price of around the full $360, so $290 wasn't a bad deal at all.

It took a week or so for the wine to arrive, which was fairly impressive in itself (other shipments from the same post code have taken close to a fortnight) and I was licking my lips in anticipation after I'd had a glance at Mr Halliday when I'd put the phone down.

96s for both Polish Hills and a 97 for the Antonina and a comment that Neil Paulett reckons the Antonina is the finest riesling he has produced tends to do that to you.

There's a regular routine associated with incoming wines involving photographs and data entry into the Bento database, and while I wasn't quite ready to go through all that around three on a Friday afternoon I was inclined to have a look and a quiet gloat over the contents of the package.

I guess the top view that revealed a dozen similarly shaped bottles should have prompted an 'Ullo. 'ullo, what've we got 'ere, given the fact that the Antonina comes in a high-shouldered custom made container rather than the regular Riesling bottle we've come to know and love, but I grabbed random bottles from around the box, only to discover all of 'em sported a 2010 Polish Hill River label.

A quick phone call to the winery resulted in an instruction to take the box back to the Post Office and send it back C.O.D. They would, I was assured, have the right box on the road first thing Monday morning.

Proceeding as instructed I ventured downtown on Monday and did as I was told, noting along the way that there was a cost of around $65 for the shipment!

That is, as you'd note, rather more than the freight I'd been charged previously and suggests the Australia Post predominance in the wine shipping business comes on the back of significant discounts for large volumes. Steve Doyle quoted me a figure in the thirties when I put in an order for a Bloodwood dozen, and that was coming from Orange. Steve sends his stuff through another carrier…

Regardless of all that, and given the expectation that Pauletts wouldn't have been slugged the whole $65 when the box turned up on their doorstep, I was thinking that next time something similar happens I'll be asking them to take me on trust and send me another box containing what I ordered and bill me for what I actually received.

Now, having tried one of the 2010 Polish Hill River I'm wishing that I had. Hindsight, 20/20 and all that.

Paulett 2010 Polish Hill River Riesling (5*  $20) Pale straw that almost gleams in the glass, an abundantly fragrant nose that sits about half way between a firm statement that this is Clare Riesling and standing yelling it from the rooftops. Make that two-thirds of the way towards the rooftops.
Once it hits the palate there are the regulation citrus and lime notes, the characteristic minerality to match what's on offer on the nose and an elegant finish that's all class. Looking at this I should have kept that other box, shouldn't I? This one's up there with the very best the Clare Valley can offer, and I've still got the Antonina and the Aged Release to get to!

1 comment:

  1. Nice Blog mate. If your still up for a case we can send it back again same deal if you like discounted and Freight Free (a perk for being part of our family) just shoot me an email

    cheers ali p