Crawford River Riesling 2022

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Henty, New South Wales, Australia

Style: White Wine

Variety: Riesling

Closure: Screwcap

Crawford River Riesling 2022

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Crawford River

Country: Australia

Region: Henty

Vintage: 2022

Critic Score: 96

Alcohol: 13.5%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2040

This is one of the most straight up delicious releases I have tried. Moreish to the max. It just nails everything so well - Mike Bennie

Crawford River is ideally suited to the growing and making of diamond-like rieslings of towering longevity. My love affair with Crawford River Riesling began many years ago, and burns as brightly today as it did when I first tasted it."  James Halliday

Crawford River riesling needs little introduction. They are arguably the greatest Riesling producer in Victoria and, for many wine lovers, the greatest Riesling producer in Australia. The 2022 Crawford River Riesling is their 47th release and another benchmark wine that will age superbly.

"This is one of the most straight up delicious releases I have tried. Moreish to the max. It's succulent in texture, which is important, which means it's juicy but also has chalky pucker. perfect. It's fragrant, flavoursome and very refreshing. Extension of flavour is significant too. It just nails everything so well."   Mike Bennie

"This wine always takes a while to wake up and will continue to come out of its shell in the coming year. It leads with crushed rock & chalky minerality. Following on the nose is citrus, fruit and florals. Layers of kafir lime, white nectarine & apple blossom. The palate is textured and complex with the minerality continuing on the palate which is a hallmark of this site. The fruit is layered and intense with nashi pear, white nectarine and grapefruit with soft acidity lending incredible length to finish. This wine is ready to drink however will benefit from more time in the bottle.

The fruit for this wine is sourced from the original Crawford River vines. In 1975/6 our first Riesling blocks were planted on two gentle ridges lying side by side. Sharing a similar NNW aspect and very similar soil composition, both blocks have a dominance of gravelly, ironstonerich, free draining clay loam. A further block planted in 1977 tends to a WNW aspect, has less gravel, more sandy loam, and closer proximity to its limestone base. We find the combined expression of these soils to be delicate, showing white florals aromatically and layers of mineral, textural intensity throughout the palate. All our Riesling clones are G198.

The 2021/22 growing season got off to a rocky start, with the Victoria weather throwing a combination of heavy rain, wildly oscillating temperatures and destructive winds.  From the end of November though, the clouds cleared, and the season flipped on its head to become relatively dry.  December proved a relatively warm month and resulted in terrific fruit set across varieties. The end of the season was mild, meaning ripening progressed very evenly. Colour, acid and tannin all developed beautifully, as did flavours, leading to fabulous fruit being harvested. 

The fruit is carefully hand harvested and taken to the winery when flavours are at a peak. This wine is made with a large percentage of whole-bunch pressed fruit, along with some crushed fruit.  A short, natural settle in tank preceded spontaneous fermentation with naturally occurring yeasts. After fermentation, the wine spent around 5 weeks on lees prior to racking, sulphur addition and blending. Cold stabilised. Not fined. Bottled September 2022."  Crawford River

Expert reviews

"Crawford River are one of the more anticipated releases with unnerving consistency and quality. Interesting that these wines have been part of the make up of my work, in various guises, for now over 20 years too. This is one of the most straight up delicious releases I have tried. Moreish to the max. It's succulent in texture, which is important, which means it's juicy but also has chalky pucker. perfect. This one has a lime sorbet bent, green apple sherbet too, a splash of gin n tonic perhaps – all of that sounds pretty delicious as a thing to consume. It's fragrant, flavoursome and very refreshing. Extension of flavour is significant too. It just nails everything so well. Drink: 2023-2040."   Mike Bennie, The Wine Front - 96 points

"Bright lemon and lime glints in the light while aromas of lime, lemon meringue and jasmine jump out. There is undoubtedly a rich plushness here, but it's built as texture, not overt sweetness, and character is built by layers of spice and stony minerality. Carries very long and lingers with a remarkable seamlessness for such a youthful wine. Drink: 2023-2035."  Stuart Knox, The Real Review - 96 points

About the winery

Crawford River Winery

Belinda and John Thomson

In 1975, John and Catherine Thomson planted their vineyard at Crawford River, in far south-west Victoria, with Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a relatively unexplored wine growing region, but they were inspired by its geographical and geological potential to produce superior quality grapes. The cool, southerly latitude together with the maritime influence, complex soil structure and favourable micro-climate create a terroir which has justified the initial vision. The area is now known as the Geographical Indication (GI) of Henty. 

More plantings followed in 1976 and 1977 and the addition of a winery in 1981. Two further small plantings occurred in 1994 and 2001, however, they are now in the phase of replanting to ensure the longevity and future resilience of their special site. The wines are crafted exclusively from hand-picked and selected fruit grown on the estate vineyard, where they are subsequently processed and bottled on-site. 

Belinda Thomson took over from her father John as Chief Winemaker and Viticulturist in 2014 and is now the creative force behind the vineyard and wines. After studying Viticulture and Oenology in NZ in 2002 and staying on to work for several years, she returned to work with her father in 2005 after overseas harvests in France, Germany and Spain. A hunger for knowledge together with a passion for family led her to combine responsibilities at Crawford River with extensive international experience across a range of countries, before returning full-time in 2014 to her family estate. In 2020 she was a finalist in the Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year list, as well as being included in the Top 50 Young Gun Vineyards of the year awards.

Crawford River Vineyard

The Crawford River Vineyard lies at the alluvial edge of a volcanic lava flow. The 11.5 Ha vineyard has its roots in an unusually complex, mineral-rich soil base. Gravelly, friable, basalt loam overlays permeable clay which in turn lies above a limestone base created by an ancient, risen seabed.

Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon are the two main varieties in the vineyard, with smaller plantings of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

All major activities such as picking, pruning, leaf-plucking, shoot-thinning and green pruning are done by hand. The vineyard is maintained without the use of herbicides or insecticides and organic practices are used wherever possible. They have a bio-dynamic test plot that Belinda prepared and planted with Riesling in 2014. 

Wine region map of Victoria


Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.