Thursday 28 March 2024

Chartley Estate 2023 Chardonnay


Chartley Estate is a small family-owned vineyard on the west bank of the Tamar River that is producing fruit of a very high quality. The talented Peter Dredge is on board as consultant winemaker, ensuring the wines are full of interest. The chardonnays, in particular, tend to sell out quick smart, and that is no surprise. This is medium-bodied and immediately approachable with French oak playing a minor support role on a palate where white stone fruit flavours are the driving force. There's plenty of length here, excellent drive and lots of enjoyment. Look for it in retail as supplies are low. $40. 

Thursday 21 March 2024

Josef Chromy 2023 Pinot Gris


I tried this a few months ago and enjoyed it. Tried it again at a function earlier this month and it had really come together as a deliciously cohesive drink that sits midway between pinot gris and pinot grigio stylistically. It proved an excellent match with finger food on a sunny day. Winemaker Ockie Myburgh has conjured up a cool-climate white with an edgy vivacity that has notes of stone fruit, green apple and subtle spices. It finishes fresh and clean and is definitely best enjoyed chilled. A terrific midweek choice. The Chromy cellar door and restaurant at Relbia, just down the road from Launceston Airport, is also well worth a visit. $36. 

Thursday 14 March 2024

Frogmore Creek 2023 Chardonnay

French-born Frogmore Creek winemaker Alain Rousseau has a natural affinity with the chardonnay grape, as is evidenced by his excellent new release I tasted through distributors Red & White. Made from chardonnay sustainably grown in the cool Coal River Valley, this spent 10 months in oak - no malo - and was released unfined to retain maximum character. This has some lovely, lively fresh white stone fruit flavours allied to some hazelnut characters and bright and breezy natural acid. It made a very amiable partner for a grilled pork chop. Terrific value. $38.  

Saturday 9 March 2024

Apogee Alto 2022 Pinot Noir

Over several decades in the Tasmanian wine industry, pioneering winemaker Andrew Pirie has always taken his craft very seriously. Pirie's obsession with minutiae means that his wines are always seriously good - as is the case with this new-release pinot noir from his tiny vineyard at Lebrina in the north of state. This is a classic,  aromatic and intellectual cool-climate pinot with layers of flavour across the palate. There are multiple textural elements in a wine which is already appealing, but I suspect will reward medium-term cellaring. Classic red fruit flavours lead the way here along with some gentle forest floor funk and soft but obvious acidity on the finish. French oak barrique maturation has added style and substance. Pirie suggests pairing with roast chicken, I went with roast lamb en croute. $65