Paul and Gilli Lipscombe have made a huge impact since landing in the Huon Valley a few years ago. Not only have they crafted a Jimmy Watson Trophy winner for Home Hill at Ranelagh, they've also converted a derelict vineyard at Cradoc into one of Tasmania's finest pinot noir vineyards. Having sold out of their first three vintages of pinot (2012, 13 and 14) at $45 a bottle, this is their first crack at chardonnay from their own vines and it is an absolute ripper, justifying their faith in the Huon as a first-class arena for chardonnay. This is beautifully put together, linear and crisp, minerally and textural and taut; think tightly-coiled ballerina in style. Great drinking now, but with cellaring potential. I'm happy to give this 93/100. Be quick. Sales have been brisk. $45. https://sailorseekshorse.com.au
Monday 20 March 2017
Tasmania is the "go to" state for Australia's finest sparkling wines and Freycinet Vineyard's Radenti is one of the standouts, if and when it is available. Claudio Radenti only makes sparkling wine in rare years (the release before this was 2002). This a traditional blend of chardonnay and pinot noir fruit from Tasmania's east coast, and offers a glorious amalgam of citrus and brioche aromas. Elegant, long and intense, with a lightness of being, this also has yeasty complexity after four years on lees. A very classy companion for canapes and seafood. $66. www.freycinetvineyard.com.au.
Saturday 4 March 2017
A new vintage from the much-acclaimed Pressing Matters collection of high-quality rieslings at various grades of residual sugar; from R0 to R139. This dry wine (9 grams of residual sugar per litre) is singing a beautiful tune right now, with just a hint of sweetness making it a perfect partner for Thai and Vietnamese dishes and an affordable Australian alternative for lovers of classic German Riesling styles. Beautifully balanced at 12.23% alcohol. Pressing Matters is based in the Coal River Valley and is family owned and operated. Well worth seeking out. $36. www.pressingmatters.com.au.
Wednesday 1 March 2017
Home Hill rose to national fame with its Jimmy Watson Trophy win a couple of years ago, but within Tasmania it had been known for a decade or more as a benchmark for quality pinot noir. This is the No.2 wine in the Home Hill pecking order behind the acclaimed Kelly's Reserve but it offers complexity, immediate drinking pleasure and cellaring potential. Owner Terry Bennett is obsessive in the Home Hill vineyard at Ranelagh in the Huon Valley and Paul and Gilli Lipscombe do a great job in the winery. This is dark and intense, with rich blackcurrant fruit notes, spicy oak and beautiful balance. Gloriously good drinking. Tasmanian pinot at its best. $45.