The prices for top-notch Tasmanian pinot noir can be stratospheric, which is why it is rewarding to come across one that shines but doesn't break the bank. Stoney Rise is the entry-level pinot from idiosyncratic Tamar Valley producer Joe Holyman and this new release is gloriously gluggable, sensationally sessionable, or whatever phrase you'd like to use to say that it is ridiculously easy to drink. It is all about the fruit, some estate grown, some purchased from local growers, in a drink-now wine that Holyman recommends enjoying with a pizza margherita and some delta blues. It is a juicy, focused little number with dark red fruit notes and restrained oak. One of those wines where it is all too easy to finish a bottle in one session. $28. www.stoneyrise.com.
Saturday, 23 July 2016
Peter Dredge is a hugely talented young winemaker who learnt his trade at Petaluma, who shone at Bay of Fires and is now making wines at Meadowbank in Tasmania's Derwent Valley. I first tried this a few weeks ago at Tasman Quartermasters in Hobart and then again the other day. It is a young red, made in tiny quantities, but it typifies the new wave of on-the-edge (see what I did there) pinots being made by labels like Sinapius, Two Tonne Tasmania and Sailor Seeks Horse.This is a blend of fruit from the Derwent Valley and the Tamar Valley further north, vinified at Moorilla. It's been through carbonic maceration and was them de-stemmed and fermented in open tanks before being basket pressed and matured briefly in older French barriques. As is all the rage it was bottled without fining or filtration. The label has an angry Dredgy raging against the machine; the wine is the opposite; delicate and nuanced. $55.
Saturday, 16 July 2016
Pinot gris can be a difficult grape variety to get right, but Pipers Brook has hit the bullseye with this impressive new release which sits comfortably midway between the gris and grigio styles. There's ripe pear notes here, hints of an open-air spice market, orange peel and plenty of mouthfeel, alongside fresh citrus. It is an impressive cool-climate white that has seen minimal oak and finishes fresh and clean. A very enjoyable wine that would pair with anything from Cajun flathead to old-fashioned roast chook. $34. www.pipersbrook.com.
Sunday, 10 July 2016
A very classy cool-climate chardonnay from the ever-reliable team at Holm Oak in the Tamar Valley. I matched this with a traditional roast pork - and then went to Tim and Bec Duffy's website to see they had made the same food matching suggestion. This is a really lovely wine with lively fruit and brisk acid allied to the merest hint of gunsmoke on the nose and oak (30% new) that is still a little assertive. The wine was naturally fermented and went through partial malo, adding palate interest but not taking away from the citrus/stone fruit vibrancy. There are hints of stony minerality, too, but all the elements come to together brilliantly. $32. www.holmoakvineyards.com.au.