2021 Pikes The Merle Riesling
  • 97
  • 97

2021 Pikes The Merle Riesling

Clare Valley, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
$46. 99 Bottle
$563.88 Dozen
Cellar: Drink now - 8 Years (2021-2029)
ABV: 11.5%
Closure: Stelvin

Named after the family matriarch, ‘The Merle’ is selected from the best parcels of Riesling on the Pikes Polish Hill River Estate. Only produced in exceptional years it’s fermented in stainless steel tanks and spends 3 months on lees to provide additional depth and texture. The winemaking team at Pikes believe the 2021 vintage is up there with their best years.
Brilliant water like colour with greenish tinged edges. Intense lime, citrus and orange rind scents jump out of the glass followed by talc and slatey mineral notes. Racy lime and citrus fruits power across the mouth watering palate underpinned by zingy acidity. Elements of orange rind, talc and chalky mineral characters show a lingering persistence on the back half. Superb flavour concentration finishing dry and very long.
Drink over the next 6-8 years.
Alc. 11.5%

Other Reviews….
This has very intense aromas of lime and wet slate with some sweeter florals, as well as white nectarine. So fresh. The palate has intensity and drive, with the same fresh lime and white-nectarine flavors. Very long and vivid. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
97 points

An imperial standard, of sorts!
Lemongrass, lime cordial, green apples. Huzzah! A touch of blackcurrant too? Perhaps. Attractive, varietal scents. Zingy and energetic to taste, compact, bracing with its core of steely, lemon juice acidity. Pent up, powerful, tight and very long. Bone dry. Excellent, classic expression. A Very Good Example. Drink 2021-2040.
95 points
Mike Bennie – The Wine Front 

Merle Pike is the mother of founders, Andrew and Neil Pike, matriarch of the family, and she would be bursting with pride at what Andrew and his team have achieved with these latest wines (Neil is now enjoying retirement and more likely seen with a golf club in hand than a wine glass). The chief winemaker now is Steve Baraglia. I met Mrs Pike on several occasions and a more gracious and lovely person would be hard to imagine. This wine is a fitting tribute (I always remember her saying that she didn’t know why they turned the sauvignon blanc grapes into wine – it was so much nicer as grape juice).
In the early days, Pikes released a Reserve Riesling but from early this century, it has been named, ‘The Merle’. It is made only from grapes grown on the estate and not produced every year. No 2007 for example. There are some truly brilliant Rieslings made in the Clare Valley, and this sits comfortably with any of them.
Even paler than the Traditionale, if that is possible, again we have the wonderful lifted aromas and pronounced flavours but this wine is more subtle, and even though very early days, there is more complexity. Terrific intensity here, incredible length and perfect structure. This wine offers more chalky soil notes (or at least, that is what it appears to do), along with those beautiful fresh lime characters. This is a stunning Riesling. The flavours explode across the palate. It has a life of twenty years ahead of it and many more, if you can be that patient.
If there is a better Riesling made in Australia this decade, I want to know about it. $55 might seem hefty for a local Riesling but in world terms, this is criminally cheap. This is so close to perfect, it deserves full points but I think it might just get even better and I need the wiggle room. Drink 2021-2045.
99 points
Ken Gargett – Winepilot