2022 Castle Rock Estate ‘A&W’ Riesling


This wine, named in honour of our founders, highlight the greatness of Riesling from the vineyard. It is complex with savouriness complementing the pure Riesling characters.

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Tasting Notes

This wine is named in honour the founders of Castle Rock Estate, and is made to highlight the greatness of Riesling from the vineyard. Hand-harvested and whole bunch pressed, then fermented with some solids and left on lees for 6 months. The result is a wine with some savouriness which complements the pure Riesling characters.

Colour: Very pale straw coloured with hints of green.

Bouquet: A delicate yet fragrant nose, showing lemon and lime characters, backed by some delicate floral and spicy notes. There is a slatey, minerality that adds complexity and interest.

Palate: The palate shows the wonderful delicacy of the variety, with low phenolics and a pure and long, focussed structure. The citrus characters flow through the length of the palate, while the natural acidity is powerful and feature of this wine. Time on lees perfectly balances the acid structure with creamy, silky texture and exhibits a fine and incredibly long finish.

Food Accompaniment: Ideal aperitif wine, will also accompany fish, delicate crustacean and mild Asian dishes.

Cellaring Potential: Excellent ageing potential. It will continue to improve through its first year and then plateau, should drink well for at least 20 years.



96 Points “Near water pure in hue. Restrained and shy nose: torn kaffir lime leaves, stony white rocks, kisses of jasmine blossom, chalky talc, lemongrass stalk and suggestion of richer herb oil. This is such a joy to taste: bright, alive fruit powered with vibrant acidity and stacked with intensity through a long, long linear finish. Green apple, jasmine and slate if you need descriptors. This will only get better and better.” Vinonotebook, Regan Drew

96 Points “Named after the founders of Castle Rock Estate, A&W represents the best of the best. Drinking superbly, this Riesling will also age gracefully. For now, I’ll just be savouring every drop of this exceptional release. Whole bunch pressed and seeing six months on lees, this is focused with pristine fruit. Limes are in the zone – lime juice and kaffir lime leaves. Pretty scents of Jasmine add further charm. Dry, the refreshment dial has been cranked high. A mouthful of green apple peel and apple sours continue to impress with a citrusy tang screaming for fresh seafood. A chalky finish offers something to ponder before you feel compelled to dive back in for more. And I don’t mind if I do – it’s brilliant in every sense. Drink to ten years+” QWine, Nov 2022

96 Points “Anyone who is not paying close attention to what Rob Diletti is doing at Castle Rock, and elsewhere, especially with his Rieslings, is simply not serious about great Aussie wine. The ‘A&W’ selections are a tribute to Rob’s mum and dad, Angelo and Wendy, who founded the estate at Porongurup in the West. This wine is whole bunch pressed, fermented with some solids and then spends six months on lees. Near trout stream clear in colour, there is a minerally, chalky note to open proceedings with spices, grapefruit notes, lemongrass, a hint of ginger and wet slate that it well focused with line and length. There is juicy, slightly mouth puckering acidity, serious length plus immaculate balance too. A wonderful Riesling with ten to fifteen years development ahead of it, though anyone prepared to put some away for even longer will surely be rewarded. To be honest, this score seems rather miserly and I have only given it as I do not want to paint myself into the proverbial corner. I have no doubt that with time, it will go higher.” Ken Gargett, Winepilot

95 Points “The A&W series is named in honour of the founders of Castle Rock Estate and their reserve offering. The 2022 a&w Riesling displays kaffir lime leaves, juiced celery heart and flowering jasmine. Vibrant acidity keeps the wines palate elongated and moreish. Finishing dry and saline. This wine is an alliance between finite acid and plump fruit. The interplay between the two will result in truly age worthy Riesling for many years to come. Drink in advance of 15 years with seared scallops and lemon beurre blanc or in its youth with sliced kingfish and finger lime.” Shanteh Wale, Winepilot, Oct 2022

94 Points “Rob Diletti has done some winery tinkering (oh, and you can read my profile of Rob here) with the A & W Riesling, although it’s not reinventing the wheel (in Alsace, this would be normal winemaking). That translates to ferments that include some solids and matured for six months on lees, which is slightly different from the usual winemaking mode (which typically sees clean juice fermented and bottled quickly). With a big 9.4g/L TA and a pH of 2.9, this was always going to be a firm beast, and what do you know? Chewy too. Powerful but sour is one vibe. It’s not even ‘fruity’ either, which will scare some people. But you know what? Forget looking for fruits and admire the structure. It’s a compact and savoury style that deals more in the mouthfeel than aromatics with this chewy phenolic sort of grapefruit pith palate. It’s brooding Riesling but so enjoyable in its length and power, and presence. I like that shape so much. Still, I’d come back later for peak drinking, as it’s just a bit brutal now. Best drinking: probably later. Give it three years.” OZ Wine Review, Andrew Graham, Mar 2023

93 Points “Hand-harvested and whole bunch pressed, left on lees for 6 months. Porongurup. Zesty enterprise, mint and jasmine, lemon balm. Pure and slippery, a touch of talcum powder upfront, bone dry with arrowlike acidity. Starts zingy then cushions slowly towards the end to leave you with a slaty aftertaste. Solid. Very good.” Winefront, Kasia Sobiesiak

92 Points “A more loose-knit expression of Castle Rock’s white grape staple, riesling, here we have a wine redolent of gin and tonic, fennel and lime, with flavours similarly set in a broad, softer tone of texture. It’s still very refreshing, the citrusy tang at the core delivered in a pink grapefruit zing. It feels a bit more approachable immediately and yet offers up quiet complexity for the riesling geeks amongst us.” 2024 Halliday Wine Companion, Mike Bennie

91 Points “Pale appearance, water-white; very restrained bouquet, mineral, talc and shaved-almond. In the mouth it’s very restrained, delicate, light on fruit and high in lemon/citrus acid. The balance is good and there is decent length: the wine is just very shy and hiding in its shell. It demands patience, and will likely bring rewards. Drink 2024 to 2034.” Huon Hooke, Nov 2022

Harvest Date: 2 April 2022
Bottling Date: 15 August 2022
Alc:: 11.5%
pH: 2.90
T.A.: 9.4g/L
Residual sugar:0.35g/L
Minimal sulphites used

Here’s a few older vintage tasting notes for those that have some of our wines in their cellars. These notes were written upon release of each of these wines.

2022 Castle Rock Estate ‘A&W’ Riesling

2021 Castle Rock Estate ‘A&W’ Riesling
95 Points “The pinnacle of rieslings made at Castle Rock, and a scintillatingly true, pristine expression of Porongurup. Green apples, white spring florals (jasmine, stephanotis, honeysuckle), crushed chalk and hints of juniper. Fine saline acidity is the thread that pulls it all together. It is delicate, but it is so long; the flavour enduring, dragging out the finish. You must be prepared for a quiet wine here, however once you are attuned to the tone it is possible to hear the reverberations long after the wine is gone.” Wine Companion 2023, Erin Larkin

2020 Castle Rock Estate ‘A&W’ Riesling
97 Points, Wine Companion

2018 Castle Rock Estate ‘A&W’ Riesling
96 Points, Wine Companion

2017 Castle Rock Estate ‘A&W’ Riesling
92 Points, The Real Review, Toni Paterson MW

2016 Castle Rock Estate ‘A&W’ Riesling
97 Points, Wine Companion

2015 Castle Rock Estate ‘A&W’ Riesling
94 Points, The Real Review, Huon Hooke

2013 Castle Rock Estate ‘A&W’ Riesling
94 Points, The Real Review, Huon Hooke

2012 Castle Rock Estate ‘A&W’ Riesling
93 Points, The Real Review, Huon Hooke