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Vickery Wines

Watervale Riesling

Watervale is situated in the heart of the Clare Valley growing region. Boasting a high altitude and cool climate, the Watervale region is world-renowned for the production of high-quality, age-worthy Rieslings. 

RRP AU $23.00 | 2021

Vintages and Tasting notes
2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021
(Click to download PDF)

Wine Press and Accolades

93 points - Jane Faulkner - 2022 Halliday Wine Companion – 10/08/2021

A glass or 2 of this on a Friday afternoon, or any day for that matter, just makes everything better. It’s refreshing yet focused on delicacy, from the lime blossom and lemon balm, to the citrus flavours weaving across the palate. Some talc-like texture, soft acidity and restraint offer short-term enjoyment.

91 points - Huon Hooke - The Real Review – 05/10/2020

This wine is made by the Hesketh group in the style of – and with input from – the legendary riesling maker John Vickery. Sharply defined lemon-lime aromas are edged with mineral notes. The fruitiness is understated and there’s a note of talcum powder, which continues on the palate and finish. It’s well balanced, easy to drink young and will take some age well. (Screwcap)

95 points - James Halliday – 27/07/2020

WVR 262 CK. There’s a generosity to this wine, opening with lime, lemon and apple blossom, then throwing in hints of spice and lemon zest. The palate picks up the pace with flavours from here, there and everywhere. Lovely wine for early consumption.

92 points - Angus Hughson - Winepilot – 12/05/2020

Vickery Watervale Riesling – the holy trinity between John Vickery, Watervale in the Clare Valley and Riesling has been thrilling Riesling nuts for years. And the trend is set to continue under the Vickery label. This wine is fairly classic Watervale with layers of citrus and stony fruits. It is a bit more exotic than usual with a touch of guava coming from the warm season but still showing Watervale purity and focus. A wine that will please Vickery fans and good drinking over the medium term.

91 points - Campbell Mattinson – 17/03/2020

Riesling from the famed Watervale sub-region of the Clare Valley.  Classic flavours of lemon and lime are delivered in elegant fashion. Indeed it feels elegant throughout. Length is satisfying, it feels dry and clear, it feels pure. No-brainer territory.

92 points - Ken Gargett – 04/03/2020

This moves into more floral territory. Citrus notes, notably limes, minerals and crunchy acidity. Has really impressive length and focus. It is fractionally more approachable than the Eden Valley Riesling at this stage – both are delightfully fresh. No reason that this wine won’t comfortably see twenty years. Great value.

92 points - Nick Butler – 31/01/2020

Bright, pale yellow colour, loads of energy. Lime and mandarin skins, white flowers and minerals – a complex nose. An unexpected textural edge and slipperiness to this when sipped, skinsy roundness is tempered by lovely ripe lemon acidity. A lovely young wine.

5 Stars - John Lewis - Newcastle Herald – 01/01/2020

Straw-hued and passionfruit-scented, the Vickery 2019 Watervale Riesling comes from Clare Valley growers Anthony and Chris Koerner and Kym and Rose Castine. The front palate features vibrant ruby grapefruit flavour and the middle palate preserved lemon, lime zest, pineapple and gunmetal elements. Flinty acid refreshes at the finish.

94 points – James Halliday – 08/08/2019

WVR 703 CK. From five blocks on the Koerner and Castine family vineyards, with canopy management seeking to avoid sunburn. The grapes were pressed in Watervale to minimise phenolic extraction, the juice fermented at the Vickery winery. Feels riper and richer than its Eden Valley sibling, but the chemical analysis says otherwise.

93 points - James Suckling – 18/07/2019

A deep and dry riesling with dense and layered character. Medium to full body. Lots of floral and cream undertones with crushed stone underneath. Drink now.

93 points - Toni Paterson – The Real Review – 09/02/2019

Delicate citrus top notes accented by perfumed blossoms. Stylish, long and lemony with an appealing softness. Excellent mid-palate fruit sweetness and weight with ripe citrus flavours. The finish is dry and persistent.

94 points - Huon Hooke – 13/12/2018

Dried flowers, toast and some early development to sniff. The colour is light straw-yellow, also seeming a tad forward. It’s a soft, dry, slightly fuller flavoured wine, with a youthful crispness and good balanced acidity. This has some richness as well as grip and density, and would handle stronger foods.

95 points - Kim Brebach – BWU20 – 13/12/2018

Classic Clare Riesling combining limes and talc with minerals, almost full-bodied, good depth of flavour, chalky texture, great length and fine line of acid. BUY.

9.2/10 - Max Crus – Grape Expectations – 14/04/2018

Not sure what the mysterious code on the label is, but possibly the secret to gorgeous Riesling, and they’ve cracked it.

94 points - Steven Creber – James Halliday Website – 08/02/2018

WVR 143 CBK. In addition to the Castine and Koerner blocks, this release includes fruit from the 86yo plantings on the Brazel Vineyard. Inviting bouquet, with citrus fruit, citrus flowers and the bath salts aromas which are all so typical. Lovely balance through the palate, the flavours fresh and quite delicate. The natural acidity which is real characteristic of this vintage comes into play as well, with distinctive softness and very fine, subtle persistence on the finish.

95 Points – Tony Keys – The Key Report – 16/11/2017

Vickery ‘WVR 252 CK’ Watervale Riesling 2016: Pale golden colour shot through with streaks of green, it changes colour as the glass is twisted to different angles, the nose for me is defined riesling and gorgeous. Across the palate its still showing youthful awkwardness but the beauty of the wine is apparent, drinks OK now but will drink better later in 2017 and better still in years to come 95 points give away price at $23.

91 points – Toni Paterson – The Real Review – 15/11/2017

Gorgeous, lime aromas plus a little touch of honey. Pleasing weight, energy and intensity. Take care to serve with delicate food that doesn’t overshadow its beauty.

Top 20 Australian Drinks of 2017 - Max Allen – The Australian Financial Review – 09/11/2017

John Vickery is a legend in Australian wine circles. He started his career as a winemaker at Leo Buring 60 years ago, producing Rieslings in the 1970s that are still considered benchmarks of the style. Now, in partnership with Phil Lehmann (winemaking son of another legend, Peter Lehmann), Vickery makes Rieslings that proudly bear his own name on the label. And they’re brilliant: this latest vintage is chock-full of moreish lime-juicy deliciousness, hallmarks of a great young Watervale Riesling.

95+ points – Kim Brebach – BWU$20 – 06/09/2017

Of the 2016s, I prefer the Eden Valley Riesling. Of the 2017s, the Watervale Riesling is the better looking right now. It has the same fruit intensity with more body, depth and length. It also has a creamy mouthfeel once you get past the ripe limes. Already good drinking but has the legs for the distance. 95+ points.

92 points – Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – 06/09/2017

Clare Valley riesling from the Waterfall sub-region. The front label carries the code WVR 143 CBK. Textbook Watervale riesling with its lemon and lime characters to the forefront, though it has more body than has become the norm. More colour too. Lime blossom, juice and leaf, some orange-like notes and that rush of lemon/lemongrass. Flavour – not just acid – carries through the finish beautifully.

Max Allen – Gourmet Traveller – Top 20 Rieslings – 19/01/2017

Legendary Riesling-maker John Vickery releases two supurb-value wines each year and, while I like his Eden Valley Riesling, I absolutely adore his Watervale: a big wallop of almost gin-like juniper and citrus aroma, followed by a moreish mouthwateringly delicious limey flavour sloshing across the tongue.

92 points – Toni Paterson MW – The Real Review – 11/01/2017

Sourced from four different Riesling blocks in the Clare Valley. The florals in this Watervale Riesling are incredibly lovely, and the fruit is supported by crisp acidity. There is a juiciness to the fruit and a raciness to the palate. It is incredibly delicious and intensely flavoured. Perfect for summer drinking

95 points – James Halliday – Wine Companion – 19/11/2016

WVR 252 CK. From the Castine and Koerner Vineyards (red dirt over calcrete soils), fermented separately in stainless steel. Light, bright straw-green; manages to fill the senses with its Catherine wheel of citrus fruits, already with great balance and varietal expression. A prime each way bet, now or later

91 points – Huon Hooke – Hooked on Wine – 14/10/2016

Medium-yellow colour, bright and forward, with a rich ripe lemony aroma, almost tending toasty. The wine is soft and gentle in the mouth, with subtlety and balance. Dried wildflower nuances. The texture is seamless and fine. Drinking well already.

94 points – Kim Brebach – BWU$20 – 14/07/2016

The Watervale Riesling is the more approachable of the two, and is a tad less fine and delicate. That said, it’s another great Riesling that also shows that creamy texture that is the hallmark of great South Australian Riesling.

Max Allen – The Australian – 14/07/2016

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.”

92 Points – Gary Walsh – The Wine Front – 08/07/2016

Freezing cold in Sydney today, just the kind of weather for a nice cool Riesling. Youthful floral perfume, sweet lime and spice. Light bodied, but full flavoured, with juicy citrus fruit, subtle chalky texture and a sweet lime and lemongrass finish. It’s a wine of easy going personality and drinkability, and while it’s pretty fine, it does have a feel of chunkiness: it’s very good all the same.