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Cherubino, Laissez Faire, Riesling

Cherubino, Laissez Faire, Riesling

Let it be… shockingly sharp!

Let it be what it wants to be.  With his Laissez Faire range, Larry Cherubino makes whatever the variety, vineyard and vintage give him with minimal intervention: no chemical adjustments, no cultured yeasts and no SO2 until bottling.  In cool 2014 nature gave him late-ripening Riesling with concentrated flavours, low sugar levels and ferocious acidity. Just like normal Riesling, in fact, but turned up to 11.
He went with it.  This is bone dry, uncompromisingly intense wine in the Australian style associated with Clare Valley, but from even cooler vineyards much further south.  Something of a masochistic pleasure ‐ but we love it ‐ this has a heavenly herbal and floral nose, searing citrus palate and mouthwatering mineral finish.  It’s so beautiful that it hurts… literally.
So you were expecting McCartney’s Let It Be?

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Available at £16.97 per bottle


This light-bodied but astonishingly intense white rather suits being served cold, between 8 and 10°C.  Give the pouch a couple of minutes out of the fridge before pouring.  Go easy on the first mouthful ‐ a sip, not a gulp ‐ or your eyes will water, your nose run, and your face twist like you’ve just sucked a lemon.
When first opened this smelt a little bit reductive.  It soon blew off in the glass, with the telltale scent of bruised petals returning with each top-up.  It’s not bad enough to absolutely require decanting (and your pouches will be fine) but if you have a bottle you’ll enjoy it more if you do.  Aim for half a hour in advance, though longer won’t hurt: this has years of life ahead of it.
You need food with this!  At the very least, some salty nibbles (the saltier the better).  Sharp dry Rieslings are brilliant with food, especially dishes with pungent flavours, hot spices or high acidity that would cause problems for most wines.  Try smoked salmon with black pepper and lemon juice or, to be more Antipodean, Thai cuisine.  Not only will this wine stand up to green curry, it could even handle Som Tam salad.
Salads generally, in fact.  This wine could have been made with sharp salad dressings in mind.  I’ve just lunched on an M&S oriental salad pot while writing these notes, and it was astonishing how well the two worked together, with the soy and ginger dressing taming the wine’s fearsome acidity.
Cherubino’s own website recommends “prosciutto-wrapped tiger prawns with pickled veg slaw”, which is a testament to Riesling’s range.  From a wine’s point of view that’s not so much a dish as an assault course: a particularly sadistic episode of I’m a Wine… Get Me Out of Here!  Cured meat and shellfish together is tricky enough, but the biting acidity and pungent flavours of pickled vegetables should steamroller any wine.  Not this one!

about this wine

Western Australia
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AppellationPorongorup GI
Larry Cherubino Wines
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