Thursday, 28 September 2023

Stargazer 2023 Tupelo

Stargazer is one of Tasmania's star boutique labels with winemaker Samantha Connew renowned for producing wines with plenty of palate interest and textural elements. Made in tiny quantities in a difficult year, this is an outstanding tribute to Alsace, a wild fermented white blend that features pinot gris, pinot blanc, riesling and gewurztramer as its key elements. There are waves of flavours on the palate, with ripe white pear, spice notes and honeyed characters, just a smidge of residual sugar, and plenty of length with a stylishly smooth finish. A white wine that red wine drinkers will love for its complexity. All the fruit is from the Coal River Valley, just down the road from Hobart Airport, delivered by several different growers. $35.

Thursday, 21 September 2023

Holyman 2021 Chardonnay


It is always difficult deciding which of the Holyman/Stoney Rise wines to review. Joe and Lou Holyman are consistently excellent producers across both ranges. This is absolutely top-notch cool-climate Tamar Valley chardonnay; pure, precise and poised. There is plenty of action on the palate here with myriad flavours and textures, but the end result is impressively mellifluous. If you find some of this snap it up. It's in the zone. $60.   

Thursday, 14 September 2023

Moorilla Muse 2018 Gewurztraminer

Moorilla winemaker Conor van der Reest likes to push the boundaries a little - and this is certainly not what you would expect in a 375ml dessert wine bottles. It is powerful. quiet dry white wine that has been fermented on skins with wild yeast and is made from very ripe fruit grown at the St Matthias vineyard outside Launceston. Perfect for pairing with pates, terrines, or blue cheeses, we matched it with a sweet and sour pork dish and it more than held its own: It is spicy, rich and intense and has been aged aged for five years in bottle. Higher in alcohol than most white wines and with Turkish Delight/musky aromatics on the nose and with viscous ripe tropical fruit flavours on the palate. Be adventurous. $25.

Thursday, 7 September 2023

The Odd Couple 2022 Pinot Noir


When David Lloyd "retired" and sold his Eldridge Estate wine business on the Mornington Peninsula, he still wanted to keep his hand in. So he journeys to the US each year to make some vino, and also has a joint venture with his long-time friend Michael Twelftree of Barossa Valley producer Two Hands. Lloyd is now based in Tasmania and can oversee the 18-year-old Middle Tea Tree vineyard in the Coal River Valley from where the pair source fruit for their Odd Couple Pinot Noir. The wines are made at Twelftree's facility. The new-release 2022 is an absolute stunner; a gentle, delicate, elegant, nuanced and rather delicious cool-climate pinot that shines when paired with food. It becomes a tad sturdier 24 hours after being opened. $65. 

Thursday, 31 August 2023

Kate Hill 2022 Shiraz

Kate Hill is based in the Huon Valley, south of Hobart, but in addition to her estate vineyard she also sources grapes from around the south of the state and has the luxury of several regular growers providing her with excellent fruit. Although she has a small shiraz block on her home vineyard, the fruit for this excellent new release is sourced from the Coal River Valley, close to Hobart Airport. This is a medium-bodied with classic cool-climate characteristic, laden with savoury and spice notes but beautifully balanced. I've done some work with Kate (disclaimer) and know that she is very proud of the quality of this wine. Pair it with some roast yearling lamb for a special treat. $65.      

Thursday, 24 August 2023

Jones & Jones Invercarron 2022 Pinot Noir


When Tasmania finally decides to introduce regional appellations, Invercarron wines might merit one to themselves. The Jones' family vineyard is the only commercial one in the Jordan Valley, near the hamlet of Broadmarsh, north of Hobart. The Jones family has farmed in the region since 1818 and planted vines just six years ago . The wines are made at Ghost Rock in the north-west of the state due to a family connection - and have built a keen local following in a short time. This new-release pinot is in the zone for immediate enjoyment with bright varietal fruit characters and delightful balance. It has soaked up the 30% new French oak and is very pure, very precise unmistakeably from a cool site - but all the better for that. I'd pair with roast chicken. A solid 94 points from me. $45.

Thursday, 17 August 2023

Lost Farm 2023 Sauvignon Blanc


Lost Farm is the name of the Tasmanian project of South Australia's Angove family - it does not have anything to do with the golf course. This is a very fresh and lively 2023 sauvignon blanc with the grapes sourced from two vineyards in the north of the state: one at Relbia, south of Launceston, and the other in the West Tamar. It paired impressively with a pork mince and aubergine stir-fry with its zingy fruit flavours and crisp acidity complementing the spice of the dish. Sauvignon blanc in Tasmania typically has more tropical fruit flavours than herbal ones; and that is certainly the case here. The price is very reasonable, as well. $28.