6 Tasmania wineries Dec-19

Tasmania

Tasted December 27, 2018 - January 2, 2019 by graemeg with 141 views

Introduction

Derwent, Coal River, East Coast. No trip up the Tamar this year.

Flight 1 - Stefano Lubiana (6 notes)

Schmick new cellar door (new to me at least) with attached eatery. And a tasting fee, also new to me; 4 entry-level wines for $5, or 6 filtered choices from the sales list for $15, but only $10 of that is refundable on purchase. Nice big stemmed glasses but very small pours, which got a bit lost aromatically I must say. Has a way more commercial air than it used to. Plus food, antipasto, etc, trinkets and the rest. Wines good, but no bargains (widely available elsewhere). Top wines not for tasting at any price it seems (or sold out).

White - Sparkling
N.V. Stefano Lubiana Brut Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{A$39} A 60/40 chard & pinot mix, although to me the strawberry pinot character is much the stronger on the youthful nose. This blend is largely 2015 fruit, along with some 2015. The vintage brut currently for sale is the 2008; this is very much a second string effort it seems, sold young to fund the aging of the flagship. And it does rather miss a yeasty complexity, with its light character, gentle pinot-like flavours (yet not a rose), largish fairly aggressive bubbles and front-palate balance. Medium length finish but wants for complexity.
White
2017 Stefano Lubiana Riesling Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{screwcap, 12.5%, A$33} Biodynamically farmed these days. Also sees some time in neutral Austrian oak, noticeable more on the palate than the nose, which offers a grassy, lychee, talc-like set of aromas. The palate has seemingly soft acid, but it’s still mouth-watering. Lychee and custard apple flavours, light/medium-bodied, and with barely any RS, it’s a pretty attractive mouthful. The oak seems to just fill it out a little, perhaps taking the edge off the acidity with a greasy touch; it’s certainly not noticeable as a flavor in itself. Even palate, medium length finish. Aging this will be interesting.
White
2017 Stefano Lubiana Chardonnay Australia, Tasmania
{screwcap, 13.5%, A$58} Biodynamically farmed, like the riesling. Muted nose; gentle nuts, white flowers. The palate has gentle, medium acidity, a cool quality, all about clean fruit, without a lot of malo character. Light-medium body, light on the oak; beguiling if you’re in the mood, but certainly on the low-key side. And for serious money too.
Red
2017 Stefano Lubiana Pinot Noir Primavera Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{screwcap, 13.5%, A$38} Voluptuous cherry nose, leavened by just a little oak influence, and some of that Austrian! Light in body, low in tannin, fresh medium acidity; it’s pretty light but nicely balanced. Still, it’s a lot of money for effectively a beefed-up rose in style, if not colour. Might put on weight with some time. I like it, but not at the price.
Red
2017 Stefano Lubiana Pinot Noir Estate Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{screwcap, 13.5%, A$62} Crisp nose, gentle red cherries. The plummy flavours are soft and fleshy, the oak subtle. Medium, finely gritty tannins frame the light-medium body; it has good presence on the front and mid-palates but tails off beyond that. Feels like time will help. Some years the better barrels are siphoned off into the “Sasso” flagship, so bear it in mind when dropping your $62…
Red
2016 Stefano Lubiana Merlot Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{screwcap, 14%, A$38} Dark olive, blood plum aromas. Medium-bodied, with softly ripe fruit, a touch herbal, quite astringent finish, despite initially light/medium chalky tannins. Medium length finish, fairly even palate. Flirts a little with unripe flavours but seems to stay on the right side of the line. We’ll see how it ages.

Flight 2 - Bream Creek (8 notes)

At the Taste of Tasmania in Hobart, where I was obliged to purchase for $8 a most unsuitable plastic bowl as a glass (unsuitable for tasting, at any rate). Should have remembered to bring a glass XL5 from a past event. D’oh! Lots of wineries at the Taste – could have spent several hours between nearly all of Tasmania’s most commercially-minded producers at least – were it not for family commitments…

White - Sparkling
2012 Bream Creek Cuvée Traditionelle Australia, Tasmania
{diam, A$42} Exactly 6 years on lees (disgorged last October) but doesn’t seem to have much autolysis character to show for it. 60/40 pinot/chardy, and I think the pinot makes the first impression, with a faint strawberry character, with some standard chard grapefruit character. Hefty, vigorous bubbles. Medium weight, clean and crisp, but a short/medium length finish. OK fizz but nothing special.
White
2017 Bream Creek Schönburger Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{screwcap, 12.8%, A$30} Musky, pot-pourri nose that’s a dead-ringer for gewurz. The palate has around 12g/l of sugar, and it’s noticeable in that it fills out and sweetens a little what could have been perhaps a more interesting wine if fully dry. Light-bodied, with low-medium acid, but its inherent lightness keeps it fairly well balanced. Tastes like a thinned-out (by weight, not flavor) gewurz too. But it does finish a bit short to be truly interesting. Just misses the mark for me somehow, thought I suspect I’m not the target audience.
White
2017 Bream Creek Riesling Australia, Tasmania
{screwcap, 13.2%, A$30} Musk, talc, and then a rush of green apples on the intense nose. Sweet fruit, apple-like palate too. Medium acid, light/medium body. Even palate with a medium/long finish. I like, although with a quirky blend of alcohol and weight I’m not entirely certain about aging.
White
2016 Bream Creek Chardonnay Australia, Tasmania
{screwcap, 12.5%, A$36} The big-brother Reserve cuvee carried off some big-shot international trophy, and this might be missing the (presumed) heft and depth of that fruit. This has light nuts and oak flavours and aromas, with a touch of rather sour peach/melon on the palate. Only really light/medium body, the 80% malo not evident in broadness, and the finish medium length. Sound wine, not great, although the price is OK.
Red
2016 Bream Creek Pinot Noir Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{screwcap, 12.5%, A$40} Mild, gentle strawberry aromas. Smoky, subtle strawberry-like palate, but not sweet. Light dusting of oak, light-medium body, lowish tannins, quite fine. Medium length finish. Decent wine, if not quite the bargain that it used to be. Usually repays a few years’ cellaring.
Red
2015 Bream Creek Pinot Noir Reserve Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{screwcap, 13.6%, A$62} This too has jumped in price over recent years. Ripe strawberries, with dusty oak. All all-medium wine (tannin, acid, body), nicely balanced, with dusty tannins, driven by its red fruit but not overdone, stays fresh thanks to sensible alcohol, even finish. I like this wine, even though it’s getting a bit costly in recent vintages. Cellars well. A barrel selection when the vintage justifies it.
Red
2017 Bream Creek Cabernet Merlot Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{screwcap, 13.6%, A$36} Nine months in small oak. Brambles, olives, basil, currants. Low-key palate, not quite green but a bit lean in flavor; medium weight, medium dusty tannins, subtle oak. Despite a medium finish it’s still a bit dilute somehow, giving it an under-ripe quality. Workmanlike, no more.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2018 Bream Creek Schönburger Late Harvest Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{375ml, screwcap, 9.9%, A$30} Smeells very much like its ‘dry’ sibling, being all son-of-gewurz. This is medium dry, with a stopped ferment after late picking giving it a gently sweet palate, but with rather lower acid than it needs to age and evolve properly. Musk and roses and a bit of sugar; needs proper chilling and it’s OK, but not for aging.

Flight 3 - Domaine Simha (7 notes)

Cellar door is now located in a bar in Murray St, right on the Hobart waterfront. Winemaking is as edgy as ever, all biodynamic with the natural approach. Although not to the extent of tolerating overt faults. I think. Trendy, wide, stemless bowls are the tasting vessel; with very small pours the aromatics rather get lost; I’d rather oversized XL5s or equivalent just to have the wine a bit more concentrated in the bottom of the glass, instead of spread so thinly over a bigger area. Also, I’d have some idea of the colour too. Doesn’t seem to be a tasting fee, at least not if you buy wine (and take notes!). Keen and knowledgeable youngsters pouring wine.

White
2017 Domaine Simha Riesling Rani Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, 11.5%, A$75} Derwent-based fruit in 2017. A bit cloudy too, but a small pour makes it hard to see. Youthful nose, with pineapple, apricot and a yeasty quality to the aromas. The palate is dry, high in acid, light-medium in body, with almost dirty fruit flavours, but dominated by gentle phenolic texture and finishing medium length.
White
2016 Domaine Simha Sauvignon Blanc Raya Sauvage Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, 12%, A$80} Lemony/gold colour, a touch murky too. Lots of white flowers and lees-type aromas. Elderflower flavours, mineral textures, balanced soft but high level acidity, medium weight, high intensity. Crisp long finish, but still of the earth to some degree. Really interesting, somewhat developed. Will this evolve in some way? Drink now easy I’d say.
White
2016 Domaine Simha Riesling Amphora Lotus Australia, Tasmania, Southern Tasmania
{screwcap, 12%, A$65} Picked on a flower day. Fermented in amphora, aged on lees. No filtering, fining, any of that. Lemon/gold colour. Developing nose of seashells, minerals, rosewater. Mouth-watering, cheek-puckering texture of acid, but it’s not harsh, feels all natural and is offset by the skin tannin characters. Tastes of grapes and ferment notes, yet feels clean and crisp on the palate. Fascinating.
Red
2017 Domaine Simha Pinot Noir Nature Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, 12.5%, A$60} The least avant-guard of the wines on offer here, this verges on mainstream Tassie pinot, presenting sour cherry, smoke and spice aromas, with a whole-bunch-ferment, Beaujolais-like character. The palate is savoury and spicy, with a distinctly wild character to it, medium-high acid, light/medium body and low dusty tannins, with no oak apparent. The medium length finish is clean and lightly fresh, lying evenly on the tongue. Nice wine. “Nature” isn’t on the bottle label, but is named thus on their listing.
Red
2016 Domaine Simha Pinot Noir Amphora Lionheart Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, 12.5%, A$65} Picked on a biodynamic fruit day. Same amphora-ferment technique as the Lotus Riesling. This is quite youthful, with a black cherry, roses and violets nose. The palate adds an extra element of pepper and spice to give it a fruity but savoury character. Low-medium dusty tannins, medium weight and a medium long finish. Lots of dimension and interest here, and possibly aging potential as well.
Red
2016 Domaine Simha Pinot Noir Rama Derwent Valley Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, 12.5%, A$85} Chiefly distinguished by smoky spice, cured meats and red dirt on the nose. Whole-bunch ferment. Medium body, low/medium dusty tannins; savoury palate with a minerally textural aspect, not swamping the red/cherry fruit but giving the wine a long, intense, interesting and even finish. I gather the pinots further up the hierarchy (Rana @ $150, Raja @ $250) extend the finish and intensity, less so the weight. Anyway, this is a very nice wine, although the value is a bit marginal by local standards (but looks good beside burgundy…)
Red
2015 Domaine Simha Pinot Noir Amphora Beauregard Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, 12.5%, A$65} A late inclusion to contrast with the Lionhart fruit day wine. This comes from the flower day, by contrast. It’s certainly less fruity, with a really earthy quality, nutmeg, dark but mild strawberries. Just medium acid, and perhaps surprisingly lighter, softer, more airy on the palate that the fruit variant. Light body, spicy texture, with low/medium dusty tannins. Medium length finish, a bit on the front palate. For me, a distinct notch below the Lionheart.

Flight 4 - Domaine A (10 notes)

Changed hands earlier this year; sold after 27 years by retiring second owner Peter Althaus to MONA proprietor David Walsh, who’s installed Moorilla Estate’s Conor van der Reest as chief winemaker, with a bit of consulting advice from Althaus still. For now, Althaus’ wines are still the selling inventory; likely to continue for some time as the current release flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is 2008, even the pinot is only 2010. Packaging changes likely to come before stylistic ones (if at all) Big, fine-rimmed tulipy tasting glasses but very small pours; the modest wines were a bit lost in all the space. Tasting fee not evident, certainly not applicable if you buy wine.

White
2017 Domaine A Sauvignon Blanc Stoney Vineyard Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{diam, 13.5%, A$36} Closed. Really closed. Stones? Flowers? The palate is oddly confected, with a bit of residual sugar and a watery sort of texture; I still can’t find flavor in the palate either. Hint of honey on the finish. Seems built on the sugar and a bit of oak treatment. Maybe time will release something of interest.
Rosé
2017 Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon Stoney Vineyard Rosé Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, 13.4%, A$29} Pale onion colour and faint rose-petal nose. The palate is bone-dry, with a musky, dusty quality. Light/medium body with medium high acid, but not screechy. Even palate, medium finish; tidy little wine.
Red
2017 Domaine A Pinot Noir Stoney Vineyard Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{diam, 14.5%, A$38} Deep garnet/ruby colour. Perfumed nose of roses and plums. Hefty. Palate has the same aromas in super-jubey flavor form, richly fruited. Medium dusty tannins, medium/full bodied with lots of acid. It’s a big wine in a lot of ways but it’s not crude or clumsy. Medium length finish, good even presence along the tongue. Sees no oak at all, which is amazing for the structure it has. Should age nicely in the medium term, even at the modest price.
Red
2014 Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon Stoney Vineyard Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{diam, 13%, A$38} Actually 90% cabernet, with 5% each of franc & merlot, and 2% PV to round it out. Lovely cabernet nose of currants and herbs. The palate has a generous lacey texture, with medium chalky tannins, medium acid, and medium weight. The palate is nicely even too, and it avoids any leafy green notes. Bats above its weight. Good wine.
White - Sparkling
2012 Moorilla Muse Extra Brut Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{11.1%, A$54} With common ownership, and no fizz in the Domaine A portfolio, I guess it makes sense to offer this premium fizz at the cellar door. Four years on lees, with two in the bottle post-disgorgement. No malo. This is as dry as you get. Lightly developing nose of nut and grapefruit with a mild cheesy twist on the end. The palate passes on a hint of the cheese note, laced with orange pith and grapefruit. It’s very high in acid and really makes the mouth water, but it all seems in balance, with creamily-textured medium-sized bubbles. Not much yeast evident for the sur lees; maybe that’s a function of the acid. Medium long finish. Seems like it needs another decade of cellaring. Decent value, in context.
White
2015 Domaine A Sauvignon Blanc Lady A Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{cork, 14%, A$60} Masses of French oak on the developing nose. Coconut and vanilla aromas dominate, but with an underlying stoney, slatey quality that rules out chardonnay as the grape. The full-bodied palate has low/medium dusty tannins and medium/high acid to support the oak, with a savoury, earthy expression of sauvignon blanc fruit in an unfamiliar guise; tangy with nutty overtones. Big even palate, long finish, and still needs time to integrate; but you still gotta like that oak.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Domaine A Pinot Noir Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{cork, 14.5%, A$90} Developing nose, a touch glue-like initially, just a hint, then a subdued plum and earth note follows. On the palate the plums fight the hefty oak, a touch resin-like, even after 8 years, but there’s high acidity, medium/high chalky tannins and a medium/full weight. Big mid-palate and good balance at the front and back; some warmth on the finish. A monster pinot – but not a grotesque one – that wants years more aging, and fingers crossed that the dreaded minty character (see older vintages) doesn’t show up this year.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Domaine A Merlot Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{cork, 14%, A$85} It’s easy to prove the 50% new/old oak mix when there was just one barrel of each to make this wine. So, 50 cases made. The nose is how I’d expect a 2011 from almost anywhere in southern Australia to present; herbaceous, a bit leafy on the nose, open and leafy on the palate, with brambles and herbs, although with a bit of plum fruit too. Mind you the Coal Valley is just about the driest place in Oz to make wine (700ml/pa rainfall) so they possibly escaped the worst of the vintage. Perhaps I’ve a Pavlovian response to the vintage label. Anyway, I still think this is about ready to drink, with medium gritty tannins, medium weight and length, and an even but rather low key palate. Quality doesn’t justify the price for me.
Red
2011 Domaine A Petit 'a' Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{cork, 13.5%, A$45} Cabernet, Merlot, PV in a 66/32/2 mix. Fleshy-smelling nose, a hint of tinned tomato, some mint, fumey coconut oak despite it being aged only in old barrels. The palate tastes per the nose, but the mint dominates a bit; it has medium chalky tannins and medium weight. With the pick of the merlot going to the single varietal & the CS blend I have the sense that the merlot is dragging this down a bit. Finishes medium length. A bit of a vintage victim I think.
Red
2008 Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{cork, 14%, A$120} I reckoned on a hint of TCA with a bacterial twist in a bottle apparently opened 72 hours earlier. My concern prompted a new example, which was perfect. Check your sample if you want to sell $120 wines… The fresh bottle was only barely developing, with sweet blackberries and gentle cedar aromas. The palate presents a perfectly aging trajectory of cabernet fruit, long and even, with currents, herbs and cloves, gentle warmth, medium/full weight, medium/high acidity, great intensity and medium/full powdery tannins. No nasty green, no mint, no eucalypt. Nothing out of place. Had I more disposable income, I’d have bought up on this. Lovely wine, with another decade in front of it easily; this is clearly still improving.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 5 - Pooley Wines (9 notes)

Wines come chiefly from two sites; the original mid-80s plantings at Cooinda Vale and the newer Butcher’s Hill vineyard surrounding the cellar door just outside Richmond. So the chardonnay & pinots get single vineyard bottlings, along with a blended entry level offering. Chardonnay is new; grapes used to go into Penfolds Yattarna but are now back in family hands. $5 to taste five basic varietals, $15 to taste the single vineyard pinot & chard as well, but all refundable on a single bottle/head purchase. Big glasses with stems, decent sized pours. Smaller CD than the more commercial Frogmore, for instance, but probably as busy.

White
2018 Pooley Riesling Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, 13%, A$36} Talc and apples on the nose. Bone dry palate, but juicy with ripe fruit, High acid, medium weight, medium long finish. Flavours of lychee, apple custard, musk. So fresh and intense. Another top Tassie riesling, which trend nearer to a Rheingau style of dry riesling than the citric-laced examples from Clare. This has an even palate and great cellaring potential. ‘Like’, as they say.
White
2018 Pooley Riesling Margaret Pooley Tribute Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, A$65} This has a little residual sugar and a bit of lees contact after fermentation, all of which give it a slightly more textural quality, but to my mind less intensity and purity, than the standard bottling. This has musk and apples on the nose too, but also a skin-and-honey feel to the medium/full-bodied palate. Medium/high acidity, long even finish. Lovely wine, maybe with aging potential, but I think the price is steep.
White
2017 Pooley Sauvignon Blanc Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, A$50} 50% ferment on skins, 50% in barrel and left on lees; it’s about texture and not competing with Marlborough! There’s some gooseberry and the tiniest hint of tropical fruit on the nose, but also some leesy character and expected oak. The palate is tangy with medium/high acidity, medium weight, some skin character tannins, quince sweetness, and a dry, medium length finish. Not too much oak. Aging is a mystery. I remember hearing about the intent to take the SB away from the commercial style a couple of years ago; this is the impressive result.
White
2017 Pooley Chardonnay Cooinda Vale Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, A$65} Nuts, figs, sandalwood. Medium weight, with an even soft palate of gentle butter and peach, medium acid, dry, medium/long finish. Classy wine with a good future ahead (I imagine – these grapes went into Yattarna previously). Instructive to taste side-by-side with Butcher’s Hill.
White
2017 Pooley Chardonnay Butcher's Hill Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, A$65} Figs, dates, red earth; stronger and earthier than the Cooinda Vale wine. Medium/full-bodied, with oak and butter, dry even palate, medium long finish. Has a burnished quality compared to Cooinda; this was my slight preference, but they’re both pretty good. There’s no aging evidence for these wines yet, but there’s no doubting the grape quality.
Red
2017 Pooley Pinot Noir Australia, Tasmania
{screwcap, 13.5%, A$46} Perfumed roses, violets and strawberries. Soft oak hint on the nose, but very discreet. Medium/high acid, low/medium powdery tannins; the palate is light/medium bodied, vivid and fresh, with roses and raspberry flavours, clean, dry and crisp. Could have been tart, but it isn’t. Finish of just medium length. Good for a few years.
Red
2017 Pooley Pinot Noir Cooinda Vale Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, 13.5%, A$65} Tasted beside Butcher’s Hill; interesting to see the differences. This has a tangy, spicy raspberry nose, with a similar palate, although it also finds a plummy richness with dense cherries. Medium/high acid, quiet oak, medium tannins; the polished medium/long finish is a step up from the Estate bottling. No shortage of fruit, but it’s the structure that really impresses; this should sail through a decade’s real improvement.
Red
2017 Pooley Pinot Noir Butcher's Hill Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, A$65} Dark ripe cherry, malty oak and earth; a much darker-hued nose than the Cooinda bottling. This has just medium acid, low/medium dusty tannin, and a spice and clove flavor to te dark fruit that implies it will make a greater impression than Cooinda, but in fact it’s not so. It’s about the same weight, but the finish is noticeably shorter than its ‘older’ sibling. Still a nice wine, with some evolution in front of it, but I’d plump for Cooinda for the moment.
Red
2017 Pooley Syrah JRD Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{screwcap, 12%, A$50} Spicy, white pepper, cool climate nose. The palate is a lot less strident than you might fear, with spicy ripe cranberries and cherries. Dips a bit on the mid-palate, but otherwise has medium/high acid, low oak, medium chalky/powdery tannins. It tastes ripe but savoury, cool with a medium length finish. I think this will age well, but not in a blockbuster style.

Flight 6 - Freycinet Vineyard (11 notes)

The grand ol’ man of the East coast. My first visit in 20+ years, and although I recall a somewhat hostile experience all that time ago for whatever reason, today’s visit couldn’t be more friendly. No charge for tasting (it seems), certainly nothing above the cost of the wine I purchased. Standard XL5 glasses, small pours, bottles all served from a big gas machine and at correct temperatures.

White
2017 Freycinet Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Wineglass Bay Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{screwcap, A$27} Fresh, youthful tropical and gooseberry fruit aromas. Somewhat in the Marlborough style initially, although there’s a pleasant floral tartness and lychee twist to the light-bodied palate, and medium/high acid which lifts it above the usual commercial dreck. Has presence on the mid-palate too, and a medium length, dry finish. Nice effort.
White
2018 Freycinet Vineyard Riesling Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{screwcap, 13%, A$28} Youthful, lime-like and slatey. Bone-dry, accentuating the medium/high but natural feeling acidity. Light-medium body, with brine, lime, talc and musk flavours. So juicy, yet not sweet. Intense impression on the front and mid-palate; medium length finish. Another nice wine.
White
2017 Freycinet Vineyard Riesling Louis Schonburger Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{screwcap, A$25} Light gewurz character, with a lime twist. Light-bodied, with medium acidity, it tastes of sweet musk and lime, with a floral note. Soft texture, low-key, not objectively sweet perhaps but certainly feels juicy. Almost medium length finish. OK but unlikely to develop.
White - Sparkling
2011 Freycinet Vineyard Radenti Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{A$55} Last stock of this. Six years on lees, which has given a light autolysis character to the nose and palate. More chard than pinot, yet it’s a strawberry character which is most obvious to me. Mild yeast flavours too. Light/medium body, with medium-sized creamy bubbles. Soft, integrated palate. Medium length finish. Nice wine but lacks depth & persistence at this price.
White
2017 Freycinet Vineyard Chardonnay Louis Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{screwcap, A$25} Peach, melon and apricot. All fruit nose. Light palate, oak-free, dry, with tropical fruit flavours. Not terribly focused on palate; low/medium acid doesn’t help. Short finish. A bit dull, but then the price is low too…
White
2016 Freycinet Vineyard Chardonnay Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{screwcap, A$38} Tropical fruit – much like the ‘Louis bottling’ but also with some barrel and yeast character. Medium weight, medium acid. Some figgy flavours too, with a soft cedar note; even palate. Finish on the short side of medium length; might build a bit with time.
Red
2016 Freycinet Vineyard Pinot Noir Louis Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{screwcap, A$38} Floral nose; cherries, roses, violets. Sees old oak only. Medium/high acid, but light body. Dry and dusty palate, with cherries but mostly a dusty, savoury quality. Little oak, medium length finish. Decent value, light, but lacks concentration.
Red
2017 Freycinet Vineyard Pinot Noir Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{screwcap, 14%, A$65} This takes all the good aspects of the Louis and greater adds depth of fruit and a seasoning of fine French oak. Floral flavours with some red fruit, savoury and seasoned, ripe but subtle; even palate, medium weight, medim acid. Low/medium dusty tannins, medium long finish. Not a big finish but a persistent one. Good wine, although not really a bargain (unless you compare to burgundy…)
Red
2014 Freycinet Vineyard Cabernet Merlot Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{screwcap, 13.5%, A$38} Currants and herbs, basil, twigs. Mild cedar. Curranty palate, cedary, very Bordeaux-like. Medium weight, with a nice even mid-palate, medium/high acid, medium powdery tannins. Tidy wine with a medium length dry finish. Has moved a touch off primary at four years but should age for a decade easily. No green unripe character. Very nice.
Red
2013 Freycinet Vineyard Shiraz Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{screwcap, A$60} Evidence of climate change is all over Tasmania, with cool-climate shiraz now widely on offer. This is the first vintage of this; offered at this age now that it’s settled down a bit. It has plenty of spice, black pepper, blackberries and minimal evident oak. The palate is juicy and fragrant, with savoury characters and flavours, a sound mid-palate, low/medium finely gritty tannins, medium/high acid. It’s medium weight, with a medium length finish. Not at all green, and seems to have everything to age beautifully. The other thing all Tassie shiraz seems to have in common is ambitious pricing…
White - Sweet/Dessert
N.V. Freycinet Vineyard Botrytis Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{500ml, screwcap, A$30} This particular bottling is all sauvignon blanc, around 50% from 2016 and 25% each from 2017 and 2018. Here’s how you manage vineyard problems! The nose still has a varietal gooseberry character, with apricot and quince. The medium/sweet palate has medium/high acid and medium weight, which give it depth and persistence; apricot and honey, quince, all with a sauvignon twist. It’s not overwhelmed by botrytis; it has a fresh crispness, with an almost dry (or at least clean) finish. Medium length finish; very impressive wine I thought, and the price isn’t silly, even if the label is…

Closing

What a great future Tasmania has for winemaking.

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