2015 Tasmanian pinot noir is a year to stock up on. Here are my recommendations.
My latest sparkling and Champagne tasting yielded many superb wines. I do expect high standards from top Champagne houses, while the ‘discovery’ excitement comes from local producers releasing smart wines.
Five gold medals were awarded to the 2013 pinot noirs entered in this year’s Tasmanian Wine Show, an impressive hit-rate of 10%. My tasting notes for the 49 wines have been posted on the app, together with the 2013 rieslings, 2013-14 pinot gris and grigios
Ask a mainland Aussie winemaker what other region of Australia he or she would like to make wine in, and the most common reply is Tasmania. Global warming is one key reason: at the southern extremity of Australia, Tasmania is least likely to be affected by rising temperatures – or at least it will be affected later than most other regions. Another reason is that Tasmania specialises in the grape varieties and winestyles that we are demanding more and more today: delicate dry and semi-dry whites, fine sparkling wines, and lighter-bodied low-tannin reds such as pinot noir.
Bay of Fires Chardonnay, Tasmania 2013 $43Struck-flint, reductive notes combine with straw, grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas and flavours. The trademark smoky oak is less obvious than in earlier vintages. It’s tight, firm and lively on the palate with racy acidity and clean lines. A
The Tasmanian Wine Show this year had a gold-medal strike-rate of more than 10%, which is extraordinary – most wine shows award around 4 to 5% gold medals. It’s a stark illustration of the high standard of wine in Tasmania. And this success-rate was achieved
The 2013 Australian riesling vintage appears from my recent tastings to be a very good one, perhaps not outstanding but certainly very worthy – and fairly consistent in that the “usual suspects” performed well. The stars in my recent tasting of more than 60 wines
In a hot and thirsty country like Australia, cool is now cool. As vignerons across the continent lament increasingly hot summers and earlier harvests, Tasmania holds most of the aces. Warmer regions like the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale were front and centre of our palates for most of the 20th century, but public taste and winemakers’ aspirations have both moved on. Few attempt to make fine white table and sparkling wines in hot regions any more. They’re now growing their grapes – or buying them – in higher altitudes or more southerly latitudes.
Semillon sauvignon blanc blends are still big business. They haven’t been killed off by New Zealand savvy just yet. Holding off the attack this month are some superb Australian sauvignon blancs: Ross Hill Pinnacle Series (tasting), Robert Oatley Finisterre (tasting), Bay Of Fires (tasting) and Willow
Frankland Estate is one of Australia’s greatest riesling producers, the 2013 releases adding more lustre to an already lofty reputation. They’re among the exciting new releases in my latest upload of 60 riesling reviews. The flagship Isolation Ridge (tasting), from the Smith-Cullam family’s own vineyard,