John Vickery is to Australian wine what Don Bradman is to cricket: a bloody legend who set the standards by which all others are judged — except John’s still alive and still making wine, in conjunction with Phil Lehmann, son of another deadset legend, Peter Lehmann.
Vickery’s forte is riesling: his Leo Buring wines of the 1960s and 70s defined the classic, pure, dry, long-lived Australian style.
So when the young Lehmann coaxed Vickery out of retirement a couple of years ago to finally have a crack at producing some wine with his own name emblazoned on the label, what other variety could they have chosen but riesling?
Echoing John’s great Leo Buring Leonay and Richmond Grove wines of old, only two Vickery wines are produced: a Watervale riesling from the Clare Valley and an Eden Valley riesling from the hills above the Barossa.
The 2016 vintages of both have just been released and they’re gorgeous: the Watervale is pure lime-juicy refreshment, seriously more-ish, with lovely floral citrus blossom aromas leading on to a mouthful of crunchy white grapes; the Eden Valley is also beautifully pure, precise and focused, with a little less of the juicy grapes and more of the citrus cut.
The good news is that these wines retail for $23 a bottle — closer to $20 or less if you shop around and buy by the case.
And I suggest you think about doing just that: they are mouth-wateringly delicious now but you can be confident they will also age slowly and deliciously across the next 10, 15 even 20 years