Monday, 20 June 2022

Domaine A 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon


Here is a treat for lovers of red wines with serious age and complexity. This was made by Domaine A founder the late Peter Althaus from cabernet grapes grown on the unique "hotspot" Stoney Vineyard sight in the Coal River Valley. Althaus's passion was Bordeaux-style reds and this is a wine of intrigue with a serious point of difference. Very savoury with secondary characters coming into play. It has been released when it is considered to be at its peak by Domaine A's new custodians at Moorilla and needs to be treated with respect - and preferably matched with food. $110.

Monday, 13 June 2022

Bay of Fires 2021 Riesling


Bay of Fires winemaker Penny Jones is one of Tasmania's most consistent producers of excellence; and riesling is perhaps the most under-rated grape variety on the cool Apple Isle, producing dry white wines of style and substance. A blend of handpicked fruit sourced from across the Tamar, Coal River and Derwent valleys, this is very pure and linear, with floral and citrus notes allied to brilliant minerality. Long, lovely and refreshing, it is an ideal partner for pan-fried flathead, or Bruny Island oysters. $46.    

Monday, 6 June 2022

Stefano Lubiana 2021 Primavera Chardonnay


Biodynamic, organic, vegan-friendly and seriously delicious - this new-release Tasmanian chardonnay is made for immediate enjoyment, and is seriously seductive in its youth. It is blend of fruit from different blocks on the Lubiana family's Derwent Valley estate, just 30 minutes north of Hobart. The fruit melange has seen some fruit given Austrian and French oak treatment, and some that was stainless steel fermented. This offers both citrus and stone fruit notes and surprisingly complexity for such a youngster. Pair this with an old school roast chicken for a palate-pleasing pairing. $38.

Monday, 30 May 2022

Trial Bay Estate 2020 Pinot Noir


This is the first vintage from Nick Kayes and his partner Saskia, the new owners of Trial Bay Estate, which is located at Kettering on the eastern shore of the d’Entrecasteaux Channel in southern Tasmania. It is a very pure wine from one of the best regions in the country for cool-climate pinot. Trial Bay Estate produces only pinot, with the original block of vines planted in 1997, with a second block of  planted in 2007. Organic practices are followed in the vineyard. From a cooler vintage this is vivacious and seriously slurpable with pure fruit characters and definite varietal character. Only 869 bottles were produced, so move quickly. $45.

Monday, 23 May 2022

Delamere NV Cuvée

Absolutely delicious cool-climate bubbles from one of the best producers in Tasmania for under $40. That's a win. Fran Austin and Shane Holloway at Delamere in Pipers River - in the far north of the state - are known for their range of excellent sparkling wines; and their attention to detail in both the vineyard and the winery. The quality of this NV blend underlines their commitment to quality with its impressively vibrant acid and food-friendly appeal. The 2014 yields, which comprise the bulk of this cuvée, were small, giving concentration of flavour. Think brisk Granny Smith apple, grapefruit and white pear flavours with a hint of brioche and honey. A perfect match for canapes or a mushroom tart. This was a big hit with my tasting group for its vibrancy. $40.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Stoney Rise 2021 Savagnin


Joe Holyman may be best known for his structured and age-worthy pinots noirs, but he loves a little side project or two. This is a case in point, a crisp dry white made from the rare savagnin grape that originates in the Jura region of France. When savagnin was first planted in Australia it was mistaken for the Spanish variety albarino, but it  has now carved out a boutique niche on its own merits. This has a tropical fruit melange of aromas and flavours with some salty elements in the mouth. It paired brilliantly with a Thai stir-fried chicken dish and has impressive acidity and structure. $40.  

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Kate Hill 2020 Shiraz


I have been doing some cellar door work for Kate Hill during the Covid lockdown. Consider me biased, then, but this is a super cool-climate shiraz from the Huon Valley, south of Hobart. Serious shiraz with a cheeky smile. Classic character with blackberry, white pepper and black coffee notes to the fore and well integrated smoky oak adding texture and complexity to the impressive tannin structure. Delightfully soft and a little shy in its youth. Give it time to open up in the glass and pair with dishes like lamb skewers, or vegetarian tarts. $55.