Friday 31 August 2018

Stoney Rise 2017 Pinot Noir

Winemaker Joe Holyman boasts that his entry-level Stoney Rise pinot noir has not seen a price rise in a decade. At a time when new producers are commanding staggering sums for Tassie pinots, that makes this new release terrific value. It is a medium-bodied red, juicy and red fruit-driven pinot with hints of white pepper and a soft mouthfeel. One for drinking over the next couple of years, Holyman recommends pairing it with gyoza, or steak tartare. $29.

Saturday 25 August 2018

Ghost Rock 2016 Chardonnay

The Arnold family is making some cracking wines from its vineyards at Northdown on the Central North Coast of Tasmania, just outside Devonport. Justin Arnold, son of the founders, has taken over the business and lifted it to new heights. This is a beautiful, modern-style, cool-climate chardonnay with plenty of flavour and matching textural appeal. It was hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed with barrel fermentation and partial malo lifting the texture, along with lees stirring. I love the intensity here; and the counterbalance of a brisk, acid finish. Very well priced, too. $35.

Friday 17 August 2018

Moores Hill 2018 Pinot Rosé

Another gem from Tasmania's first 100% solar-powered winery: Moores Hill on the left bank of the Tamar Valley. Made from pinot noir grapes, this is a classic savoury, pale rosé of huge appeal; matching brilliantly with everything from salads to Middle Eastern feasts or Asian stir-fries. You'll find juicy strawberry and cream characters on the palate, which finishes crisp and dry. Probably best enjoyed slightly chilled - and in its vibrant youth. $30.

Saturday 11 August 2018

Pipers Brook 2017 Pinot Noir

Pipers Brook is one of Tasmania's pioneering wineries; starting back in 1974 when the industry was in its infancy. After a rocky period, the very talented Jim Chatto has righted the good ship and quality from the north coast vineyards is once again looking good. This is an atypical Tasmanian pinot noir in a way, quite big and inky with dark berry and spice characters and very firm tannins. It is an estate-grown and -bottled wine of definition and precision with its serious structure and length earmarking it as one for the cellar, medium to long term. 

Saturday 4 August 2018

Frogmore Creek 2016 Pinot Noir

Frogmore Creek has long been at the forefront of cool-climate viticulture in Tasmania, producing an impressive range of wines from its vineyards in the Coal River Valley. This is a sustainable-grown, hand-picked pinot noir that's delightful when young, but should also cellar well for a decade or so if that is your preference. I like the approach French winemaker Alain Rousseau takes to pinot noir, treading a path midway between some over the uber-plush styles and pale creatures. This is a smoky, silky, textural and full-bodied  number (think Hugh Hefner's pyjamas) with some ripe fruit but also astutely-judged balance. Charming. $40.