Friday, 10 November 2017

Bream Creek 2016 Riesling

There is a sure-fire way to ascertain whether a wine is a winner. That is when you suddenly see a bottle with much lower levels than any of the wines you are tasting alongside it. This wine has that quality - and was recently named top Tasmanian riesling at the International Riesling Challenge in Canberra. It's a little masterpiece from vigneron Fred Peacock and his team on the Tasman Peninsula, crisp and dry with bright lemon, lime and Granny Smith apple notes along with terrific length and acidity. The vines producing fruit for this wine are up 40 years old - and are reflected in the intensity of the fruit. Riesling is well suited to the Tasmanian climate, and is a good match with the seafood, shellfish and Asian-accented dishes. 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Bay of Fires 2016 Chardonnay

With Penny Jones and Ricky Evans having seaminglessly continued the winemaking excellence of the now departed Peter Dredge, the new-release 2016 Bay of Fires is once again among Tasmania's finest chardonnays; cool-climate and beguiling in style. This is a blend of fruit from three different regions of Tasmania; the Coal River Valley, the Derwent Valley and the East Coast and offers classic notes of stone fruit and bright citrus. It has undergone natural ferment and been matured in French oak but the bright fruit is the star on a long, intense palate, with quality oak playing Robin to the fruit's Batman. Beautifully balanced, dry with a crisp acid backbone, and absolutely delicious. $45.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Stefano Lubiana 2016 Estate Pinot Noir

You will rarely go wrong with wines produced by Stefano and Monique Lubiana at Granton, just north of Hobart. The Lubianas are obsessed with quality above all else and farm organically and biodynamically, producing wines with flavour intensity and quality. Compost teas, natural minerals and plant-based preparations are not a guarantee of success - but here everything comes together beautifully to produce a pinot noir that sings with its elegant composure and impressive structure with fruit and savoury characters knitted together. This is 100% estate grown, vinified and bottled and has impressive balance. A simply lovely cool-climate pinot. $50.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

MacLean Bay 2017 Pinot Rosé

A deliciously fresh, crisp and dry rosé from a vineyard just north of Bicheno on Tasmania's east coast. I first tasted this is a sample and was hugely impressed. I then had a couple of glasses at the East Coast Wine Weekend in September - and enjoyed it again. Goodness knows how impressive it will look when the days are warmer and it can be slurped chilled on the deck late in the afternoon. MacLean Bay was formerly known as Diamond Island and is now owned and operated by go-ahead duo Simon Will and Scott Williams. This was made by Alain Rousseau at Frogmore Creek and is lip-smackingly good. Pair with a Middle Eastern mezze plate, or a humble kebab. $28.  

Monday, 11 September 2017

Wellington & Wolfe 2017 Session Riesling

This is the debut release from a new label, the brainchild of winemakers Hugh McCullough and Natalie Fryar. It is a delicious, lip-smacking young riesling made using fruit sourced from the Pipers River region in the north-east of Tasmania. Self-confessed "riesling nut" McCullough says his wines are "made for the outdoors, for friends, for deliciousness: reisling for any session". From a very good vintage, the fruit saw some skin contact before being basket pressed. Lees contact added texture and body to a palate that ranges from stone fruit to grapefruit flavours and features enticing crisp natural acid.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Beautiful Isle 2016 Red Delicious

Many Tasmanian wines are deadly serious; economies of scale making it difficult to produce cheap and cheerful bottles on the Apple Isle. Much kudos then to Cynthea Semmens and David Feldheim, who have managed to produce a range of bright, quaffing wines under the Beautiful Isle label that offer immediate drinking pleasure and won't break the bank. The Beautiful Isle range is labelled as a tribute to the vibrant apple crate art of Tasmania’s Apple Isle hey day. This is made from a blend of cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir, with some merlot, shiraz and cabernet franc thrown into the mix, a field blend from the fruit salad vineyard that is Marion's Vineyard in the Tamar Valley. It is a fun and juicy red wine designed for enjoying with pizza, pasta or whatever comes to hand. $

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Dr Edge 2016 Southern Tasmania Pinot Noir

Peter Dredge, known as Dr Edge to those in the wine industry, is a vastly experienced but still youthfully energetic winemaker who worked at Petaluma among others, before being made chief winemaker at Bay of Fires in Tasmania - and establishing a reputation for excellence. Dredge now works in cahoots with Gerald Ellis at Meadowbank in the Derwent Valley, for whom he is producing some enticing wines, as well as making his own range of four Tasmanian pinots, all from the same vintage, as well as his Dr Ongo "pet nat" bubbly. This pinot from Tasmania's south (Derwent Valley) was my favourite, edging out one made from east coast fruit, one made from Tamar fruit and a blend of all three regions. They range in style from Iggy Pop to this more classic style that's still got a lot of rock 'n roll in its soul, say Bruce Springsteen. Floral aromas, juicy fruit-driven palate with power and elegance. Outstanding. Be quick.