Bream Creek On The Up

East Coast vineyard Bream Creek (tastings) enjoyed major success at the recent Tasmanian Wine Show. It didn’t win the most successful exhibitor trophy (that went to Pressing Matters (tastings), thanks to its pattern-bombing the show with multiple vintages of its great rieslings of four different sweetness levels). In fact, Bream Creek was unlucky not to win a single trophy. But it scored an impressive number of top awards, especially considering it’s a small exhibitor which only exhibits current releases.

The owner and viticulturalist is Fred Peacock, a legend on the Tasmanian wine scene who has been tending vines on the apple isle for over 30 years. Peacock worked as vineyard manager for Moorilla when it was still owned by the founder, Claudio Alcorso. Today, Bream Creek wines are made by Claudio’s son Julian Alcorso and his team at the contract-crush facility, Winemaking Tasmania.

Bream Creek’s wines have steadily improved over the years (it was founded in 1973, and Fred bought it in 1990), and each year I notice that it’s kicking goals with more varieties and styles. This year, Bream Creek took home 11 medals: five gold medals (including two top-of-class), one silver and five bronze.

Its top wines included its 2007 sparkling wine, 2012 riesling (tasting), 2011 riesling (tasting), 2012 VGR (medium-sweet) riesling (tasting) and 2012 pinot noir (all gold), while its 2012 chardonnay scored a high silver. Bronzes went to its 2011 chardonnay (tasting), 2013 Mosaic (a moscato style made from the rare schonburger grape), 2011 (tasting) and 2010 (tasting) pinot noirs.

The 7.5 ha vineyard is near Eaglehawk Neck, and narrowly missed being burnt during the early 2013 bushfire which went on to devastate Dunalley. A wind-change at the last moment saved Bream Creek. There is no 2013 Bream Creek riesling, not because of any fire-related problem, but because Peacock sold his grapes to Treasury Wine Estates for its 2013 Leo Buring Leopold Riesling. This was made in an austere, very early-picked style which will need a lot of cellar-time.

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