Taste of Tasmania 12/13

Hobart, Tasmania
Tasted Sunday, December 30, 2012 by graemeg with 144 views

Introduction

The annual visit to The Taste of Tasmania was a quick rush job to pick the eyes out of the wineries represented. Get there on opening (11am) is the advice – the crowd is vast by 1pm. It’s hard for wines to really show well in this environment…

Flight 1 - Bream Creek (8 Notes)

Let’s hope the bushfires that raged near their vineyards at Dunalley won’t affect the 2013 vintage too much. Meanwhile, this was a reasonable selection of wine, with the pinot showing a little more depth and promise, although I’m really waiting for the next ‘reserve’ bottling; these are always worth the modest price premium (especially since their existence is very muich vintage-dependent).

  • 2011 Bream Creek Schönburger

    Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania

    {screwcap, 12.4%, A$25} Flowery, gewurz-like nose. Gentle (low) acid, light-bodied. White petal and talc flavours. Dry, with a medium-length finish. Well-balanced, so, satisfying if a bit simple.

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  • 2010 Bream Creek Riesling

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 11.8%, $25} Subdued lime nose. Citric flavours are more overt on the palate; this is clean, dry and linear. Medium acid and weight, and has a medium length finish. Drink inside three years.

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  • 2009 Bream Creek Riesling VGR

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 11.6%, A$25} 19 g/l of sugar here. Similar lychee/citric nose to the dry release. Plenty of acid is present, which is the strength of this wine. The sugar has added body rather than sweetness on the palate. Barely off-dry. Medium body, medium length finish. Not bad at all for a style which everyone is doing but few are getting right. Be interesting to see how this ages.

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  • 2009 Bream Creek Chardonnay

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 13.3%, A$27} Very cool climate. Lightly nutty nose. Figs, stones and mineral impressions on the palate. High acid gives a real cut to this; it’s dry, clean and youthful, and speaks with a Chablis-like accent. Medium length.

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  • 2012 Bream Creek Sauvignon Blanc

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, A$25} Grassy, dry, gooseberry-like wine. Even a bit peppery. Quite pure in a sense; uncompromising. Dry, medium acid; decent but a bit dull. And pricy, too, to be honest, in a way the chardonnay isn’t.

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  • 2011 Bream Creek Pinot Noir

    Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania

    {screwcap, 13.5%, A$24} Sour, starchy dry cherries. Light-bodied, and nicely dry. Medium acidity helps. Chill a little and overlook the short-ish finish. Meh.

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  • 2010 Bream Creek Pinot Noir

    Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania

    {screwcap, A$34} Cherry and oak nose. Spicy-fruited palate offers fresh peppery notes along with light red fruit. Finely grated tannins; a light hand has touched the oak, and it’s just up to medium-bodied weight overall. Medium acid is the key to freshness here. A bit youthful still, should fill out a bit more with time. Price is about right.

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  • 2010 Bream Creek Cabernet-Merlot

    Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania

    {screwcap, 13.5%, A$29} Youthful nose of black olives, dark green herbal hints and a touch of menthol. On offer are ripe but olivey flavours; medium-high authentically cabernet grape tannins, light-ish use of oak, and medium-full body, in the context of cool-climate cabernet. This is not bad, although it’s not terribly exciting; again, the price is right for a boutique producer.

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Flight 2 - Tamar Ridge (5 Notes)

No longer owned by Gunns, and thus acceptable to drink again. Chatty & passionate girl pouring, which was good to see. Wines are pretty well-priced, for what is among Tasmania’s biggest producers.

  • 2012 Tamar Ridge Riesling

    Australia, Tasmania, Northern Tasmania

    {screwcap, 11.5%, A$24} Youthful, floral and lychee-like nose. The palate is bigger and juicier than I expected; it manages an almost tropical level of fruity sweetness. Still dry on the finish, however; the medium acid coupled with the lavish fruit lift this to medium-bodied, with a medium-length clean finish. Pretty tidy and characterful wine for the money.

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  • 2011 Tamar Ridge Chardonnay

    Australia, Tasmania, Northern Tasmania

    {screwcap, A$26} Somewhat old-fashioned chardonnay nose of smoky oak, leesy tones and malo-like aromas. It’s dry, medium-bodied and has a crunchy, mineral/earth like aspect to the texture. The acid seems up to the task of keeping the oak and richness under control, but I think this’ll be best early.

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  • 2012 Tamar Ridge Pinot Noir The Devil's Corner

    Australia, Tasmania, Tamar Valley

    {screwcap, 13%, A$22} Sappy strawberry nose. Gentle although still a bit chewy (grape tannin) on the light-bodied palate, which does manage some presence even on the middle of the tongue; light-medium bodied with a short-medium length finish. Dry, and simple, but fresh. Quaffer atr a reasonable price (for pinot…)

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  • 2010 Tamar Ridge Pinot Noir Kayena Vineyard

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 14%, A$32} Good Tasmanian pinot and well-priced. Savoury, fruiy, chewy. All medium: acid, tannin, body. Alcohol melds nicely. It has a bit of a raw feel to it now; 3 years rest will help and may bring out more character because it’s just a bit anonymous-new-world-pinot at the moment, although it’s well enough balanced to have some promise.

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  • 2011 Tamar Ridge Riesling Botrytis Kayena Vineyard

    Australia, Tasmania, Tamar Valley

    {375ml, screwcap, 9.5%, A$25} The purest nose of lime and honey; the botrytis characters here are more of a seasoning than the main ingredient. Palate tastes of smoke, lime and honey. Definitely sweet, but the acid is there, and the fruit profile leaves a clean, tangy finish. Medium weight, and a nice effort.

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Flight 3 - Josef Chromy (5 Notes)

The biggest trouble here was getting some feedback from the very small pours coming from behind the bar. Some of these weren’t more than 10ml, I reckon, which makes it tough to assess, never mind the blending of residuals in the glass.

  • 2011 Josef Chromy Riesling

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 12%, A$25} Floral nose. Citric flavours, talc-like texture and that piercing, driving acid I often find in Chromy’s riesling. I kind-of like it, but it’s dangerously close to screeching… Dry, medium length; definitely wants some time to settle.

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  • 2010 Josef Chromy Chardonnay

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, A$30} Oak, yeast, and stones was all I really got from a very small pour. Somewhat buttery tasting; the oak is certainly obvious. Dry, medium-bodied, but wearing its cool-climate origins with the lean, stony flavours. Good for the shorter term.

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  • 2010 Josef Chromy Pinot Noir

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 13.5%, A$30} Light cherry nose. Quite tart, acidic (youthful) palate, savoury and dry, almost crunchy, with dusty cherry fruit flavours. Light-medium body & tannin; medium length finish. Solid effort, wants a bit of time. And a bigger tasting sample…

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  • 2011 Josef Chromy Riesling SGR (Sixty Grams Residual)

    Australia, Tasmania, Tamar Valley

    {screwcap, 7.5%, A$25} Soft nose of floral, lime aromas. Light-bodied & minerally palate. Clean finish: the 60g/l of sugar leaves the wine about medium-dry, with a medium-length finish. Not profound, but useful.

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  • 2011 Josef Chromy Riesling Botrytis

    Australia, Tasmania, Tamar Valley

    {375ml, screwcap, 9.5%, A$30} Some rich apricots tinge the lime and honey aromas. It’s medium-sweet on the palate, quite luscious, but the acid is a bit deficient, and the flavours tend to sit on the tip of the tongue, with a subsequent hollowing-out of the mid-palate. It’s OK, but not competitive at the price, and is best young before its structural deficiencies become too obvious.

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Flight 4 - Stefano Lubiana (4 Notes)

A couple of new releases I didn’t taste at the cellar-door last January, hence the brief list;

  • 2011 Stefano Lubiana Riesling

    Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania

    {screwcap, 12.5%, A$30} Youthful nose of green apples, talc and lychees. Juicy, yet chalky, palate of malic-type flavours; dusty, dry finish, great presence – medium-full bodied for dry riesling I would say. Long finish. Top effort with years ahead of it.

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  • 2012 Stefano Lubiana Sauvignon Blanc

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap A$30} Spicy, pear-like nose. Pears and spices on the palate, has something of a grape-skin texture; not exactly tannic, just tactile somehow. Dry, with medium acid and a medium-long finish; this is a wine to convert the anti-SB brigade, of whom I am usually one; but then this doesn’t taste typical. But it’s still pricey for the grape, in my book.

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  • 2011 Stefano Lubiana Pinot Noir Primavera

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 13.5%, A$35} Bright cherry nose. Cherry flavours, quite savoury style. Not much tannin (or indeed oak) here; it’s a light-medium wine for tannin, body, but has cleansing acid. Price is getting jup there; this was mid-$20s a few years ago. This is an OK wine, but you’re better off spending the extra $10 to get the regular bottling.

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  • 2010 Stefano Lubiana Pinot Noir

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 14%, A$45} Deep, quite intense and youthful nose of black cherries and dark earth. Palate has some warmth and richness, ripe black fruit, and fine, quite soft dusty tannins. Oak is integrated too. It’s not more than medium-bodied, but coats all of the tongue evenly, before a balanced, medium-length finish. A little bit young and anonymous right now; desperately needs a few years cellaring.

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Flight 5 - Panorama (8 Notes)

A grim collection indeed. I kept tasting on, but the tempranillo was the only shining light. I don’t think there’s much wrong with the vineyards; what Tower Estate in the Hunter does with the pinot grapes from Panorama Vineyard is a wonder to behold. Odd that the proprietors make something far less impressive. Oh well…

  • 2010 Panorama Chardonnay Non Oaked

    Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania

    {screwcap, 13%, A$25} Juicy-smelling, tropical fruit nose. It is dry, but light-bodied, with simple peachy fruits and a shortish finish. Nondescript.

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  • 2008 Panorama Chardonnay Estate

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 14%, A$30} Cheesy, sweaty, almost greasy-smelling nose. Age without proper development. There’re the remains of some floral-like fruits on the palate, but there’s a nutty-accented loss of freshness that suggests this is past its best, or hasn’t coped with too much oxygen in the winery. Kind of medium-bodied, but with a short finish. Pass.

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  • 2010 Panorama Sauvignon Blanc

    Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania

    {screwcap, 13%, A$25} Punngent, soupy, fermenting pears. There’s a sweaty chemical character to the palate, a weird tinned vegetable character. Dry, with some acid, but not pleasant. Avoid.

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  • 2010 Panorama Pinot Noir

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 13%, A$20} Pinot-based, but bland and flavourless. Olive-skin colour, light-body but there’s little to taste here.

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  • 2008 Panorama Pinot Noir Estate

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 14%, A$30} A soft fruity, raspberry nose doesn’t prepare you for a swingeingly oaky, tannic palate. It’s dry and big, but the fruit is reticent – some cherry-like flavour there somewhere? – and finishes medium-length and dry. Not friendly, which is fine, but doesn’t seem to have the stuffing to support the tannic structure. At four years old, I’m not sure it’ll improve from this point either.

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  • 2008 Panorama Tempranillo

    Australia, Tasmania

    {screwcap, 13.5%, A$29} Meaty, almost funky nose. Lovely ripe palate of clean earth and black fruit. Ripe, balanced dusty tannins, and plenty of them, but the fruit can stand it, and there a decent whack of fine acid to bind everything. Medium-full bodied, and with a medium-long finish. Nice wine.

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  • 2008 Panorama Tom

    Australia, Tasmania, Coal River

    {twin-top, 13.5%, A$30} They didn’t think cabernet should be under screwcap, so they used a twin-top…? Lightly herby nose. Decent-ish bordeaux-wannabe blend, with leaf and herbs dominating a currenty note, but all in an easy-drinking style. Medium body, but a short-medium finish. OK, but not really worth hunting down.

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  • 2004 Panorama Sauvignon Blanc Noble

    Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania

    {375ml, screwcap, 11%, A$25} Well, the screwcap hasn’t saved this. Nine years in, that smells of rotting cabbage and leaves. It’s medium-sweet, but the palate is a mix of smoke and chemical flavours, almost a bacterial note. Medium weight, but not good. Well past it, in fact. Why would you pour this at a public event?

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Closing

No real surprise that Lubiana was the stand-out of the displays I visited. There was nothing world-beating overall, but prices weren’t unreasonable either. Riesling from Tamar Ridge & Bream Creek’s pinot were the pick, after Lubiana. What’s with Panorama, I don’t know…

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