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.  

Monday, 3 July 2017

Milton 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé

This is one of the best rosés to emerge from Tasmania each year - the product of beautiful Freycinet Coast pinot noir fruit. It is as vivacious and tempting as a strawberry ice cream cone of a hot summer day. This is made in a dry, pale, European style from vines that were first planted 25 years ago. Good work from the Dunbabbin family and a delicious companion to salads, picnics or a Lebanese mezze platter. $26. 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Tolpuddle Vineyard 2015 Chardonnay

Tolpuddle in the Coal River Valley is one of the finest chardonnay vineyards in Tasmania. Planted in 1988 (which makes it an old vine site in Tassie) it was purchased a few years ago by the savvy team from Shaw+Smith in the Adelaide Hills. Lavished with care and attention ever since, it is producing wines of style and distinction. This new release is a stunner; combining structure and elegance. Think citrus and Ganny Smith notes, flinty minerality, a fine line of precise acid and, most of all, glorious drinkability. I'll give this 97 and it's worth every cent of $67.  

Monday, 27 March 2017

Sailor Seeks Horse 2015 Chardonnay

Paul and Gilli Lipscombe have made a huge impact since landing in the Huon Valley a few years ago. Not only have they crafted a Jimmy Watson Trophy winner for Home Hill at Ranelagh, they've also converted a derelict vineyard at Cradoc into one of Tasmania's finest pinot noir vineyards. Having sold out of their first three vintages of pinot (2012, 13 and 14) at $45 a bottle, this is their first crack at chardonnay from their own vines and it is an absolute ripper, justifying their faith in the Huon as a first-class arena for chardonnay. This is beautifully put together, linear and crisp, minerally and textural and taut; think tightly-coiled ballerina in style. Great drinking now, but with cellaring potential. I'm happy to give this 93/100. Be quick. Sales have been brisk. $45.