The next stop was Pooley Wines. The focus here is on Pinot Noir. The 2010 Pooley Coal River Pinot Noir has a fresh and vibrant feel, tasting of dark cherry, and is well structured (91 points). The 2008 Butchers Hill Pinot Noir stems from a young vineyard. It is a simpler wine, fashioned in a savoury mould (88 points). The 2008 Pooley Family Reserve Pinot Noir was the highlight. It comes from a 25 year old vineyard, not so common in Tasmania. It is quite floral and feminine on the nose. The palate shows plum and berry fruits leading to a finish with very fine tannins (92 points).
The final stop was the Meadowbank winery. The tasting room is quite a showpiece. However, the many labels make the wine tasting experience a bit confusing. I tried four Pinot Noirs. I found the 2007 Meadowbank Pinot Noir quite fruity, with a short finish (86 points). The 2008 Frogmore Creek Pinot Noir was more agreeable. It showed red and black cherry flavours and quite fine tannins. However, the wine is not totally seamless (89 points). The 2007 Meadowbank Henry James Winemaker's Blend is a step up from the standard wine, with more intensity of dark cherry fruit. It remains fruit orientated and not very complex for its price point (89 points). Finally, the 2008 Ticklebelly Pinot Noir is more savoury, but not very harmoneous (86 points).
My overall impressions: Tasmanian wines continue to improve, but there is considerable vintage variation due to the marginal climate. Most vineyards are still very young, less than 15 years. Therefore the wines show more brightness than fruit concentration. I think Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will remain the main game.