From one of the most beautiful vineyards in Tasmania, from a grower who is meticulous in his vineyard and also a winemaker of great skill comes a cool-climate estate chardonnay from a hillside location that is dignified, elegant and beautifully balanced. OK, there are the hipster inputs of compost teas, natural minerals and plant-based preparations, but the end result is a studious chardonnay with mineral and malo characters that would be best enjoyed lightly chilled with a poultry dish, or cellared for a year or two. Steely, linear, biodynamic, organic, vegan-friendly and bloody delicious. Made in tiny quantities. Be quick or miss out. $100. https://www.slw.com.au/
Sunday 23 January 2022
This is a very strong contender for the accolade of best-value chardonnay in Tasmania. From husband and wife team Tim and Bec Duffy in the Tamar Valley, it delivers a whole lot of drinking pleasure at a very fair price. This is reminiscent of a quality quaffer from Macon or the Cote Chalonaise with impressive aromatics and a blend of citrus and stone fruit on the palate together with some zingy acid. Fermentation in old oak is barely noticeable - this is all about the fruit and youthful appeal. Perfect for summer imbibing. I'd snap some up now. This won't last long. $25. www.holmoakvineyards.com.au/
Sunday 16 January 2022
At a time when many Tasmanian pinots with lesser pedigrees are fetching serious prices, this "junior" offering from Freycinet Vineyard offers excellent value. Designed for immediate pleasure, or short-term cellaring, this is drinking beautifully right now and has beguiling quaffability and lovely balance between bright red fruit and savoury characters. Maturation in mainly older French oak barriques has added interest and there is a delightful softness on the finish. I challenge you not to empty the bottle once you have opened this; a wine that winemaker Claudio Radenti says can be enjoyed with or without food. $40. www.freycinetvineyard.com.au
Friday 7 January 2022
This is a quintessential summer wine; fresh, lively and perfect for country picnics. The Pooley family, among Tasmania's best premium producers, have probably never made a bad wine and this is made with the same care and attention as some of their premium pinot releases. Picked when it was very cool, this has perfumed aromas, a beguiling texture and a dry palate with "peach iced tea", raspberries and sea salt. Lovely balance; delicious refreshment. It may be a rosé, but it is a serious wine in the style of some Provencal pinks. $50.