Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tasmanian Pinot Noir

Wine from Tasmania is fashionable right now, in particular Pinot Noir. But I think the island needs a bit more climate change to make these wines outstanding. Wine Tasmania does an annual road show, which gives us from the mainland an opportunity to taste and compare these wines all in one place.

This year, I focused on Pinot Noir, next to Sparkling Tasmania's most important wine. Overall, the wines are very delicate and floral, but often lacking the structure to provide good length and an expanding finish.

Several wines came from Northern Tasmania. The 2013 Barringwood Estate Pinot Noir is quite simple, but shows pretty fruit with a peppery character (88 points). The more serious 2013 Mill Block Pinot Noir is fruity as well, but with some complexity and savoury undertones (92 points). Holm Oak, from the Tamar Valley, showed the 2014 Pinot Noir, a slightly minty wine (89 points), and the 2013 'The Wizard'. This is a delicate wine, which has some intensity as well (92 points). The 2014 Joseph Chromy Pinot Noir is very juicy, with a solid structure (90 points). I was disappointed with the 2013 Tamar Ridge Pinot Noir (86 points). The Reserve showed pretty cherry fruit and was better balanced (90 points). The 2013 Bay of Fires Pinot Noir has a similar flavour profile, with a bit more intensity (92 points).

The 2011 Bream Creek Pinot Noir from the East Coast has raspberry flavours and is very light (88 points). The 2012 Devil's Corner Mt Amos Pinot Noir's fruit is more concentrated (90 points). The well funded Moorilla has two Pinot Noirs. The 2013 Praxis from the Tamar River is quite dark (comparatively) with some decent structure (90 points). The 2013 Muse from the Derwent Valley has more complexity, although it is quite light-bodied, with cherry flavours, mint and savoury characteristics. The tannins do not blend in that well (92 points). I found the 2013 Stefano Lubiana Estate Pinot Noir  a disappointingly simple wine, which lacked structure (89 points).

Many regard the Coal River as the area with the greatest potential. It is much dryer than other parts of Tasmania. This is seen as an advantage, although in Phillip Jones' view, Pinot Noir needs a healthy dose of rain. The 2014 Glaetzer-Dixon Avance Pinot Noir, meant for early drinking, is light, with an uninspiring mouthfeel (88 points). The 2012 Reveur has more intensity and shows quite a bit of acidity (90 points). My wine of the night was the 2012 Heemskerk Derwent Valley Pinot Noir. This wine had more body and more complexity, with forest floor flavours being very present.It approached the profile of a good Victorian Pinot Noir (94 points). Finally, the 2014 Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir was not as impressive as in previous years. Delicate strawberry flavours dominate on the palate. This is a soft wine, which lacks tannin backbone, but no doubt will appeal to some (91 points).

I realize these notes are ultra short, but I did not want to run into a second post, and hopefully they give you some idea.

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