Friday 30 November 2018

Sun of a Bull 2018 Pipers River Gewurztraminer

Alex Russell is an experienced winemaker who specialises in alternative varietal wines in South Australia's Riverland region. He's now turned his focus to a region with completely different climate and terroir, cool-climate Tasmania. On the evidence of his first releases he seem to have a good handle on aromatic whites with the riesling the other standout for ,me in the range. Gewurz is German for spice and this gewurztraminer made using PIpers River fruit has spicy/tropical aromas with lychee and Turkish delight notes on the palate, which has some appealing crispness. This is off dry and delicate but has enough personality to match impressively with Thai or Vietnamese cuisine with some chilli. $25.

Saturday 24 November 2018

Bay of Fires 2017 Chardonnay

Both the 2017 Bay of Fires Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are in top form; impressive statements of cool-climate quality. The fruit for this wine doesn't actually come from anywhere near the Bay of Fires, it is a blend of fruit from East Coast Tasmania and the Derwent Valley. This is a chardonnay of excellent balance with both stone fruit and citrus flavours, with wild yeast allied to quality French oak to produce a complex wine that is drinking well now with impressive length, but can confidently be cellared for three or four years. Look out for this one on special as I've seen it priced well under the RRP of $50.    

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Laurel Bank 2016 Riesling

Laurel Bank is one of Tasmania's best-kept wine secrets. Established by Kerry Carland in 1986 at Granton, just 20 minutes north of the Hobart CBD, the Laurel Bank vines are next door to those of Stefano Lubiana, overlooking the Derwent River at Granton. This is a delightful riesling, older as a current release than many of its compadres, but drinking superbly. There is a fragrant floral/citrus nose leading to a nicely-rounded palate with stone fruit, grapefruit peel and flinty elements in harmony. There is a crisp finish but also some mouth-filling juiciness. Ready to enjoy right now. $25.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

MacLean Bay 2018 Pinot Rosé

This is an ideal wine for enjoying chilled over the fast-approaching summer months. Made from pinot noir grapes grown on a small vineyard outside Bicheno on Tasmania's East Coast, it is estate-grown and hand-picked, has strawberry fruit flavours and finishes dry with bright, fresh acid crispness. Terrific with picnics and a star with Lebanese dips and bread. The two previous vintages of this sold out, so it might pay to be quick. Good work from consultant winemaker Alain Rousseau. $35.

Thursday 1 November 2018

Home HIll 2017 Kelly's Reserve Pinot Noir

Move quickly to snap up the new release of what has become recognised as one of Tasmania's icon wines; a Jimmy Watson Trophy winner back in 2015. This is one for the cellar; intense, dark and brooding with mushroom and black cherry to the fore, and remarkably good given 2017 was a difficult vintage in the Huon Valley in Tasmania's deep south. This is hugely aromatic with spice notes, darkness and complexity. The tannin structure suggests it will a be a wine for the medium-to-long haul, but don't dilly dally, yields were down in 2017 and production was limited. For those on a tighter budget, the Home Hill 2017 Estate Pinot Noir has already amassed seven show trophies and is more immediately accessible than it senior sibling, while sharing much of its intensity. Have bob each way and buy a half case of each. Good work from the Bennett family and winemakers Paul and Gilli Lipscombe. $75.