The 2020 vintage in Mudgee was possibly the most challenging in the region’s wine growing history: on the back of the drought came the bushfires, so damaging for so many grapes throughout the region.
While many winemakers did not produce wine, there was one shining light, the 2020 Robert Stein ‘White Label’ Riesling.
The location of the Stein vineyards was the main saviour during the horrendous summer. Third generation winemaker Jacob Stein said:
“Our vineyards are located around 90km from the fires, with the smoke drifting into the valley from the South East. We’re located further up the valley, at an elevation of around 600 metres, with the hills at our back. This funnelled the smoke away from the vineyard, ensuring the smoke didn’t settle over us.
“We wanted to test ourselves and to pursue a 2020 vintage. As Riesling is our flagship variety, we wanted to keep it alive, along with ensuring our small family business survived and our wonderful staff remained employed. It was unthinkable to go 12 months without making wine, particularly a Riesling.”
The Riesling was handpicked. Then followed a process of very conservative, pristine winemaking.
“There was less lees work than previous vintages with the goal to make a fruit driven, fresh style.
“The fruit was handpicked after being tested multiple times for taint. It was analytically tested by the AWRI as unfinished and finished wine along with being presented to a number of tasting panels. No smoke taint was evident.
“We initially described the grapes as declassified ‘Dry Riesling’, however we are extremely happy with the wine and are more than happy to present it as a Robert Stein wine,” continued Jacob.
Robert Stein winery made a number of red and white wines from the 2020 vintage but look forward to vintage 2021, with the fruit looking exceptional in a very favourable season to date.
- 2020 Robert Stein ‘White Label’ Riesling (Mudgee, NSW) $35.00
Distribution: Robert Stein wines are distributed by Red+White and are available at their cellar door and online.