Thursday 22 February 2024

Stoney Rise 2022 Pinot Noir


It is hard nowadays to find a decent bottle of Tasmanian pinot noir for under $50. Production costs are high, most producers are small scale, and demand has rocketed over the past few years. Thank goodness, then, for Joe Holyman and his Stoney Rise label, which offers value with a capital V.  There is immediate drinking pleasure on offer here with a pinot made from a blend of 85% estate and 15% grower fruit. You don't need to think too much about this one; it is effortlessly drinkable with plenty of bright red fruit flavours and impressive drive. Maturation in old oak puncheons has added palate interest. The 2023 vintage has just been released but there should still be some 2022 in retail. $35.

Thursday 15 February 2024

Apogee Deluxe 2020 Vintage Rosé


Andrew Pirie has been at the pinnacle of winemaking in Tasmania for five decades and even though he has tiny production numbers under his Apogee label, his wines are always worth looking out for. This is an outstanding recent release sparkling rosé with impressive aromas of florals, red berries and flint leading on to a palate this is pure, delicate and dry. This is a blend of : 75% Pinot Noir, 17% Chardonnay and 8% Pinot Meunier that finishes mid-weight and flavoursome with what Pirie describes as a finishing "citrus tang". A perfect partner for poultry dishes. $82.

Thursday 8 February 2024

Bream Creek 2021 Reserve Pinot Noir

You can choose just about any Bream Creek wine to review: the quality is excellent across the board. From a purely selfish point of view I wish I had not opened this one, however. It is going to be even better in 4-5 years if you have the patience to cellar it. It is a powerful, concentrated cool-climate pinot that it is still a way from its prime. The Bream Creek team choose just 10% of their best fruit in barrel for this reserve blend - and it is a ripper. Pair with Chinese roast duck or pork. $70.

Thursday 1 February 2024

Craigie Knowe 2021 White Label Sparkling Rosé

This is summer in a bottle: a pale, fun but elegant rosé that delivers plenty of flavour and refreshment when served well chilled. It was one of the standouts at a Red & White trade tasting this week. It comes from a family-owned and -operated wine producer that was a pioneer on the East Coast of Tasmania 45 years ago. It is delicate, crisp and dry with strawberry and redcurrant flavours on the palate. Perfect as a aperitif, or perhaps paired with a prawn cocktail or seafood platter. $50. 

Thursday 25 January 2024

Josef Chromy 2023 Pinot Gris

Tasmania produces such outstanding sparkling wines, and table pinot noirs and chardonnays, that other varieties tend to sit in their shadows. Pinot gris is one such example, with this offering delightful aromas and textures from a winery that should be on the radar of any wine lover visiting Tasmania with its excellent cellar door and on-site restaurant. Think melon and stone/tropical fruit notes, a hint of spice and plenty of summer refreshment. Made 100% from fruit grown in the north of Tasmania, this can be paired with anything from dim sums to spicy Portuguese chicken. $35.

Thursday 18 January 2024

Domaine A 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon


This is definitely not what most wine lovers would expect from a Tasmanian red. It's made from cabernet sauvignon for heaven's sake. It is 10 years old and still on sale through cellar door. And it is a triumph for lovers of classic Bordeaux-style wines, a tribute to the foresight of the late Peter Althaus who realised that his little hotspot vineyard in the Coal River Valley could enable grape varieties like cabernet and merlot to shine on the Apple Isle. This is a mature textural and savoury wine, certainly, but it retains intensity and style alongside its secondary characters. Made with minimal intervention, this spent 30 months in French oak and was bottled unfined and unfiltered. It was brilliant with a chunk of Red Leicester cheese. $115. 

Thursday 11 January 2024

Bream Creek Vineyard 2022 Reserve Chardonnay


Looking for an excellent example of precise, pleasurable cool-climate Tasmanian chardonnay? This one delivers in spades. Fred Peacock and his team at Bream Creek on the Tasman Peninsula have built a formidable reputation for consistency and value - and this lives up to those levels. It is a serious wine made from the top 15% of the chardonnay produced. Think white peach, zingy grapefruit and well judged oak in a support role. Delicious with poultry dishes, this one. It is, sadly, sold out at cellar door but you might find some in retail outlets. It's certainly worth a look. Oh, and if you are in Tasmania, the Bream Creek cellar door is one of the best in the state. $50.