The 2020 vintage in Mudgee was possibly the most challenging in the region’s wine growing history due to bushfire issues. While many winemakers did not produce wine, Robert Stein was fortunate that its 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,” said winemaker Jacob Stein. “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 result is the 2020 Robert Stein ‘White Label’ Riesling. The Riesling was handpicked followed by very conservative, pristine winemaking.
“There was less lees work than previous vintages with the goal to make a fruit driven, fresh style,” Stein explains.
“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.
“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 are grateful to have been in a position to make wine from the 2020 vintage when so many of our colleagues and neighbours didn’t. This has allowed us to retain all of our staff who continue to inspire and support the business during the ongoing challenges.
2020 Robert Stein ‘White Label’ Riesling (Mudgee, NSW) is priced at $35 and distributed by Red+White. It’s also available at the winery’s cellar door and at robertstein.com.au
Categories: New releases