Pinot Noir is the most capricious of grapes; but also the most captivating. In Tasmania, pinot is generally made in one of two styles; the fresh, up-front fruit-driven jubey style for immediate enjoyment and the savoury, structured style for cellaring pleasure. This is the first release of pinot from the re-born Wobbly Boot Vineyard in the Coal River Valley and it falls very much into the second category. There is impressive fruit, certainly; dark and spicy, but this has the architecture and chewy tannins to suggest it will mellow and improve over the next five years, at least. Good work from consultant winemaker Alain Rousseau.
Ninth Island, the entry-level label of Pipers Brook, invariably offers good value for money. This is a vibrant and minerally chardonnay that's particularly food friendly, with a little more mouthfeel than with many simpler chardonnays. It is fresh and unoaked, showing off the quality cool-climate fruit (think citrus zest and ripe stone fruits), and would match particularly well with moules and frites, pan-fried fish fillets or old-fashioned roast chicken and stuffing. $22.50. www.pipersbrook.com.
Steve Lubiana loves experimenting with Austrian varieties, and this is one of the first commercial releases of gruner veltliner in Tasmania (Joe Holyman also has some planted at Stoney Rise in the Tamar). Farmed biodynamically at Granton, north of Hobart, this is a fascinating take on the grape variety and has spent time in Austrian oak casks to add depth and texture. The young vines are not, as yet, producing wines that are particularly varietal but this is a very good drink that would match well with poultry or game dishes like pheasant or partridge. One of a number of outstanding wines in the Lubiana range. $38. www.slw.com.au.
There are very few vineyards in Tasmania that can match Milton for the quality of its aromatic whites. The 2015 pinot gris from the Dunbabin family's vines on the Freycinet Peninsula on the East Coast of the island state was exceptional, and this is another stand out. A gold medal winner, this is enticingly floral with lime and grapefruit flavours to the fore on the palate, which finishes crisp and clean. This paired very well with Cajun spice-crusted John Dory fillets but would also work with Asian dishes, or make an enjoyable after-work tipple. $25. www.miltonvineyard.com.au.