Riesling isn't the first thing you associate with Australia, to say nothing of wine from Australia. There is a surprising amount grown on that continent though. I had a few samples from some bigger producers sitting around and decided to open them all at once to do a mini exploration of the Barossa region. Three wines isn't enough to form a working knowledge of Aussie riesling but it's still important to pay attention to similarities across each wine.
First, some history. According to historical records, riesling was first planted way back in 1838 in the New South Wales territory. From then until the 90's, it was the most planted white variety. Chardonnay took it's place during that decade. Figures. These days we can find rieslings at almost every price point from Australia, and the grape is finding success in the Eden Valley area, where the cooler climate helps keep that ever-important acidity alive.
One of the themes that carried through each wine was how the citrus elements - lemon and lime - dominated the flavor palette. My experience with German and Pacific Northwest rieslings has mostly held the citrus elements as more integrated, contrasting against stone fruit richness. Not so in Barossa, where these three all showed strong citrus with only the barest hint of stone fruit flavor.
I wasn't sure what to expect with these wines but they pleasantly surprised me. I'd happily drink the Jacob's Creek Reserve because it's so fun and zesty. I admire Jacob's Creek for keeping quality high despite producing a veritable ocean of wine. If you are looking for inexpensive yet reliable riesling that is just slightly off the beaten path, these might be for you. Consider them a good introduction to one of the many facets of the grape.
These wines were media samples for review purposes.