The 2017 Tasmanian Wine Show was as fascinating as always, revealing a bounty of excellent wines. All of my 400-odd tasting notes were recently uploaded to the app, with the main categories of interest, as usual, being the pinot noirs (2015 the main vintage under the spotlight), sparkling wines – a category that continues to grow yearly and which yields an almost embarrassing number of top medals – and riesling, the traditional Tasmanian hero (heroine?).
The 2015 vintage has been a ripper across the nation, Tassie included. And there is no shortage of wines as there was in 2014. It’s a year of normal yields.
The 2015 pinot noir class contained no fewer than 57 wines, from all corners of the state and all regions. There were five gold medals, 12 silver and 20 bronze awards: a medal strike-rate of 65%, which is very strong indeed. The five golds came from East Coast (Lisdillon), Huon Valley (Home Hill Kelly’s Reserve), Pipers River (Bay of Fires) and two from the Tamar (both Goaty Hill: regular and Family Reserve).
The silver medallists came from Derwent Valley (Dawson James, Derwent Estate and Laurel Bank), Coal River Valley (Clemens Hill, Nocton Reserve, Clemens Hill Aurelia Old Clones and Clarence House), East Coast (Freycinet Louis), Huon Valley (Home Hill Landslide), Relbia (Josef Chromy) and a couple of blends (Heemskerk and Abel’s Tempest).
The 2015s were typified by deep, youthful colours, bright aromas and flavours with pin-point ripeness and very few showing over- or under-ripeness. Tannins were soft, ripe and generally well-balanced. There were few ‘try hard’ wines showing over-oaking or over-extraction, and many highlights – some quite beautiful wines. They showed the twin advantages of an excellent vintage coupled with thoughtful and increasingly experienced, winemaking. I would expect that quite a lot of the wines that scored bronze medals will show even better in a year or two.
In short, 2015 Tasmanian pinot noir is a year to stock up on. I commend the wines to you.
Full results at the Tasmanian Wine Show website.