Saturday 29 December 2018

Bellebonne 2015 Vintage Cuvee

Natalie Fryar is known as the "Queen of Bubbles" and the former Jansz sparkling winemaker is building a formidable reputation for the quality of the wines under her own label. This 60-40 blend of cool-climate chardonnay and pinot noir is spot on stylistically, fresh, vibrant and pure with beautiful balance of ripe fruit and nutty/savoury notes. It's not for those who want their bubbles to have spent a decade or more on lees, but it is a delightful expression of Tasmanian quality fruit. Fryar says it is "Made by Tasmania".  Try it on New Year's Eve. $70. 

Sunday 23 December 2018

Elsewhere Vineyard 2018 Riesling

Owen Knight and his family took over the Elsewhere Vineyard in 2015. Once one of the gems of the Tasmanian wine industry, it needed some hard work in the vines to re-establish its credentials. Overlooking the Huon River at Glaziers Bay, Elsewhere is one of the southern-most vineyards in Tasmania and produces cool-climate wines of real character. This is a brilliant little riesling made by Glenn James at Winemaking Tasmania. It is full of the joys of life, with classic citrus aromas and lemon/lime/grapefruit sherbet notes on the long, refreshing palate. Crisp and fresh, it would be a perfect companion for a Christmas seafood platter. $34. 

Monday 17 December 2018

Gala 2018 Pinot Gris

The Gala vineyard at Cranbrook on Tasmania's East Coast is producing some outstanding wines at realistic prices. This is a wine that sits midway between the pinot gris and pinot grigio styles, with rich stone fruit complemented by the lively cool-climate acidity found in so many Tasmanian whites. Fresh, clean and very pure, it is a really lovely summer drink with a high refreshment quotient, perfect for enjoying with picnics and salads. $30.    

Monday 10 December 2018

Petrichor 2017 Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir

This is the first release from Petrichor Wines, based in the Coal River Valley just down the road from Hobart Airport. Tim Hodgkinson and Kate Akmentins moved to Tasmania from Sydney in 2014 and purchased 10-hectares at Tea Tree in 2017. They are planting and farming organically but in the meantime have sourced some fruit from a nearby vineyard for this impressive debut. This was made by Tim, whose full-time job is at Pooley Wines, and Thomas New (now of Mac Forbes) and is a single vineyard wine that was hand-picked and destemmed, wild fermented, basket-pressed and matured in older French oak. With minimal sulphur, no fining and no filtration, it is a beautifully balanced wine with contained power, elegance and complexity. Petrichor, incidentally, is the the word for the scent of rain on dry soil. $50.