Crawford River Noble Dry Riesling 2022


Noble Dry was born in 2011, when we left a section of a single block for one week following a downpour and subsequent warmth toward the end of the season. The result was a high percentage of early onset Botrytis, which results in colour and flavour change to the berry, without the active, grey mould or shrivel encountered when the fruit is hung for a longer period.

In 2022 the conditions were not exactly the same however this wine is made with early onset Botrytis from the same area of the same block. As with any seasonal variation, the wine is a slightly different version, with this wine being a little off-dry.

Delicate spice, vanilla, jasmine and roasted apricot jump out of the glass here. Edges of stone fruit appear throughout the palate, which is laced with ginger spice, mineral undertones and a chalky definition. The texture counterbalances the hint of fruit sweetness and the integrated acidity creates a wonderfully persistence finish. Balanced and drinking beautifully now. Winemakers notes


95 points – Mike Bennie, The Winefront

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Producer Profile

Founded all the way back in 1975 by John Thomson, whose daughters Belinda and Fiona have now taken the reins, Crawford River is in Australia’s coolest GI, so site selection is imperative. It is no simple task to ripen grapes in these climes. The growing season is long, but the proximity of the Great Southern Ocean moderates the potential of extreme weather and unusually warms what would otherwise be too cold a climate.

The estate is not certified organic, too much bureaucracy, but the vineyard is grown without any synthetic fertilisers, pesticides or fungicides. The vineyards are all picked and tended by hand. Composting is organic and the farm’s sheep help keep down the weeds, their hooves aerate the soil and their waste fertilises it too. Yields are moderate. Yields that are too low for Cabernet and Riesling produce wines that are too concentrated and inelegant. When you drink any bottle of Crawford River you cannot help but notice the poise, balance and coolness.

The winemaking is simple and classic. Whites are fermented and aged in tank, with a combination of whole bunch and crushed fruit, depending on vintage. Reds are all destemmed, cold soaked for a week and fermented in open top fermenters. Absolutely no plunging occurs until after fermentation as the extraction is easier to control and the fruits freshness is better retained. Ageing occurs in French oak, for 24 months, depending on vintage.

Riesling is what’s forged Crawford River’s reputation and they are certainly incomparable. Immensely powerful, and in the best of vintages full of dry extract and heft. They have piercing acidities to make the mouth water, but there is volume of fruit, pillowing the structure. The Cabernet based wines are supremely elegant and fragrant, with a combination of freshness and power that is reminiscent of St Julien. In the Australian landscape they are quite singular. Medium bodied, with supple textures and long fine tannins.

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