Tasmania’s sweet and semi-sweet white wines are the undersung heroes of the island state. No doubt that’s because the marvelous sparkling wines, pinot noirs, chardonnays and dry rieslings hog the spotlight. But these wines deserve our attention, as they can be beautiful wines of haunting perfume and refreshing acidity.
Natalie Beath and Erin Robson became friends at university. Their careers embraced wine – Natalie earned a Bachelor of Wine Science and has worked for a number of wine producers in New Zealand and California – Erin joined Montana Wines after university before heading for the UK where she worked in wine marketing for a number of importers and distributors.
The two bottles on the bar – a Lafite Rothschild ’88 and a JL Chave Hermitage ’06 – say it all. They say BYO nights are back. And so, naturally, are the local wine mavens.
Momo 2014 Organic Chardonnay, Marlborough $19 Light, fresh, fruit-focused Chardonnay with gentle white pear, melon and grapefruit flavours, plus a seasoning of nutty yeast lees character. The wine has an appealing and ethereal texture. (Screwcap) Score: 91 ★★★★ – view on bobcampbell.nz Alcohol: 12.5% Aging: now-2019
Thorn-Clarke Sandpiper Riesling, Eden Valley 2015 $19 Dried flower and straw aromas mingle with a touch of spice; the wine is very intense and yet also delicate in the mouth, with refined texture and a long persistence. The track-record shows it will also age well.
Prosecco must rank as one of the most successful wine styles in recent years. This easy-drinking and affordable Italian sparkling wine has hit the spot with drinkers around the globe.
Shingleback Davey Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale 2013 $24 Another amazing bargain from the Davey family of Shingleback. With its deep rich colour and inviting ripe berry and licorice aromas, this wine has intensity and concentration, density and length, fleshiness and drive. Keen value.
Hardys 2014 Heritage Reserve Bin (HRB) Riesling, Clare Valley & Tasmania $28 Sent to me from Australia by Bill Hardy, the box had a large, live and vicious looking spider inside. I hope it got in there by accident. An interesting regional blend with lovely,
Amisfield 2015 Pinot Gris, Central Otago $30 A creamy Pinot Gris with a silken texture and pear, anise, honeysuckle and delicately nutty flavours. Very appealing and ethereal wine, with an impeccable balance of subtle sweetness and fruity acidity that gives it a pleasantly drying finish.
Castagna Adam’s Rib The Red Nebbiolo Shiraz, Beechworth 2013 $35 A 70/30 nebbiolo shiraz blend, not really expressing either variety but a very good red wine. Rich aromas include dark chocolate, dark berries, dried herbs and spices. It’s lush and rich to taste, fleshy and