Thursday 28 December 2023

Henskens Rankin 2014 Blanc de Blanc D2


Making traditional method sparkling wines is an expensive and time consuming process, which is why many of the sparkling wines in Australia are created by larger producers. But there are also mavericks like Tasmanian duo Frieda Henskens and David Rankin who make tiny portions of artisan sparkling wines - often in batches of fewer than 1000 bottles. I served sips of this to several wine lovers as a Christmas function and the almost uniform response was "absolutely delicious - but never heard of them". This is the second disgorgement of a 100% chardonnay-based bubbly that offers a delightful blend of zing, salinity and intensity. It finishes delicate and dry with florals, crisp green apple and lightly savoury notes to the fore. Delightfully different and perfect for New Year's Eve. $110.    

Thursday 21 December 2023

Hughes & Hughes 2023 Chardonnay


Jonny and Matthew Hughes are very much in the groove with their recent releases. Mewstone is the estate label and the Hughes & Hughes wines are made from grower fruit. This is a pretty stunning chardonnay that is a blend of quality fruit from the north-west and south of Tasmania. It ticks a whole lot of boxes; underwent natural ferment and then malolactic fermentation to add texture and palate interest, along with some lees aging. It is unfined, so retains a certain wildness, but also has classic citrus and stone fruit characters in impressive synchronicity. Fewer than a 1000 cases were made. $43. 

Thursday 14 December 2023

Stefano Lubiana 2022 Pinot Noir


Every wine that the Lubiana family make is excellent. The attention to detail; organic and biodynamic farming techniques and generations of experience are all key factors. This is a beautifully balanced cool-climate estate pinot noir that is grown, made and bottled on the family estate overlooking the River Derwent, 30 minutes north of Hobart. If you care, it is Vegan friendly, but more important to me is its varietal charm with berry and dark cherry fruit characters in harmony with savoury notes and subtle oak. Far too easy to drink. We paired it with a veal schnitzel, but it would also pair well with poultry, pork and mushroom dishes. $75.  

Thursday 7 December 2023

Devil’s Corner 2022 Mt Baudin Chardonnay


An impressively elegant cool-climate chardonnay with waves of peach, grapefruit and cashew flavours on the palate. This is a new addition to its premium range for East Coast-based Devil’s Corner but the fruit is sourced from sister winery Tamar Ridge’s Kayena vineyard in the north of the state. There is some deft work from winemaker Tom Wallace here, allowing the fruit to take centre stage. A wine with length and purity of spirit that could almost certainly age well but is delicious in its youth. $70.