Have you ever tried a Tasmanian red wine?
THE annual Tasmanian Red Wine Weekend, in Hobart, recently showcased the states best reds by order of vintage year starting with the 2015 vintage and working backwards. This format allows the public to see the development of wines, especially Pinot Noir, Tassie's flagship red variety. Wines from almost all Tassie's regions were represented (except for Bruny Island) with the winemakers on hand to pour their work. The highlights:
Josef Chromy Pepik Pinot Noir
2014: From the Tamar Valley. This is the entry level to an extensive range, with quality across the board. Light cerise, inviting raspberry and cherry lilt with enough spice to make it interesting. Sweet red fruits, the cherry flavours run strong with some soft rosewater finishes. A little grip from tannins to be food friendly. Perfect luncheon red, maybe even handling a chill for summer consumption. RRP: $25 Alc: 13% Rating: 8/10. Available from major retailers.
Gala Estate, Constable Amos Pinot Noir
2013: From Cranbrook, on the East Coast of Tasmania on the way to Freycinet, almost equidistant between Launceston and Hobart. Dry conditions here, almost drought territory. Blackcurrant, woody spice, cherry skin and cabbage rose leaf. Meaty, savoury front before dark cherry lush fruit and plenty of fine tannin. Outstanding example and trophy winning wine. RRP: $57 Alc: 13.5% Rating: 9/10. Available from www.galaestate.com.au
Grey Sands, The Mattock
2013: Bob and Rita Richter run a unique vineyard in the Tamar Valley. They have a site that consistently produces quality grapes normally associated with much warmer climes. The Mattock is a blend of Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Deep plum, fresh rhubarb, slight Kool Mint skin. Plush dark fruit cushions the palate before sandy tannins envelope the tongue. Distinct coppery and smoky after note. Proof that there's more than just Pinot in Tassie. RRP: $35 Alc: 13.6% Rating: 9/10. Available from www.greysands.com.au.