Showing posts with label Tamar Valley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tamar Valley. Show all posts

Friday, 1 November 2013

Holyman Pinot Noir 2011

Holyman Pinot Noir 2011 (Tamar Valley, Tas)
14%, Screwcap, $45
Source: Sample

I'm not sure how this slipped through the cracks as I think this has moved on to the 2012 vintage now. Regardless, I think this '11 needs a few more years to grow into its skin, the oak sweetness rather notable on what seems a little lighter and more herbal style than some vintages. Still, the texture is spot-on - quite full and luxurious despite the herbal edge, making for a another successful Holyman Pinot Noir.

Drink: 2014-2020
Score: 17.7/20, 92/100
Would I buy it? On a list in 12 months time? Absolutely.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Ian Parmenter Pinot Noir 2011

Ian Parmenter Pinot Noir 2011 (Tamar Valley, Tasmania),
13.5%, Screwcap, $35.
Source: Sample

Crafted by Josef Chromy, this is part of the Wine Selectors 'Chef Series' that sees chefs craft dishes to match a designated wine (with the feedback going both ways as the Chefs also have an input into the chosen wines).

A solid idea, though I'm not quite sure if the garish label matches up. Thoughts?

What is nice is the lovely, genuine, red fruit Pinot nose, cast in the ripe and direct, 'give me Pinotosity dammit' form. Now, if only the palate could match up with that nose - for the acidity to is high, the finish looking stunted and the general impression being a lack of generosity on the palate (particularly to finish).

Smells good, tastes thinner than it should.

Drink: 2013-2015
Score: 16.8/20, 89/100
Would I buy it? No.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Stoney Rise Pinot Noir 2012

Stoney Rise Pinot Noir 2012 (Tamar Valley, Tas)
13%, Screwcap, $29

Source: Sample

I always like the back label on these Stoney Rise wines. Joe Holyman, Stoney Rise winemaker, lists a bunch of suitable words that sums up the wines personality in a nice abstract fashion (this wine references, amongst other things: Motown, lovers, sticky ribs and much more). I probably ought to just quote those, give a score and go to bed.

Before I do head to bed, it's probably worth mentioning just how clever this luncheon Pinot is. It's light coloured, light bodied and fragrant, a deliberately open made for immediate enjoyment.

What sets it apart though is the sneaky late tannins and power through the finish, a reminder that this ain't no sweetly oaked, red cordial-esque Pinot Noir that has been fed through an RO machine to concentrate the flavours.

Rather, this is a let's-smash-a-bottle-at-lunch, seriously unserious Pinot that is seriously made and tastes seriously good. Probably even better than the 2011 at that.

Tasty stuff.

Drink 2013-2018
Score: 17.6/20 91/100
Would I buy it? Yes

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Last Horizon Pinot Noir 2012

Last Horizon Tamar Valley Pinot Noir
Last Horizon Pinot Noir 2012 (Tamar Valley, Tas)
13%, Screwcap, $23
Source: Sample

The 2011 version of this wine was a superhero, taking out multiple trophies and winning hearts and minds all around the place. I wasn't as much of a fan, finding it just a little one dimensional and simple. Such differences in opinion, however, are what makes wine great, and indeed I think I'll be just one of many confessing their like of this 2012 version.

Produced by Mcwilliams fine wine/negociant arm Echelon, this was crafted by the more than capable Adrian Sparks using fruit from 15-20 year old vines. With minimal sulphur additions, open fermenters and no fining or filtering, this is made with a detail not typically found in under $25 Pinots (and is all the better for it).

Part of the reason why I like this '12 much more is that the fruit ripeness looks more even, the palate line more constant. Lots of juicy black cherry and glace plum fruits on the nose, yet without excess sweetness (just fruit). The primal nature of its extreme youth is seen in the forward, bright exuberance of the black fruited palate, with complexity the only casualty, everything rounded out with relatively light tannins.

Put simply, this is genuine in every facet, a wine that tastes much more expensive than it is.

Drink: 2012-2016
Score: 17.5/20 91/100+
Would I buy it? Yes. Widely distributed this would be an easy option on a random wine list.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Holyman Pinot Noir 2010

Holyman Pinot. Something of a photo fail
Holyman Pinot Noir 2010 (Tamar Valley, Tas)
14%, Screwcap, $45

Source: Sample

Joy Holyman is a thoughtful man. Thoughtful because not only does he send tasty wines, he also fills the final space up in his wine cartons with a can of Boags. Makes me yearn for Tassie when I see one of those red cans pop up in the box, plus wine tasting is thirsty business (a thirst that can only be quenched by beer) no matter what the weather.

Much like the beer, this is masculine wine too - looking firmer, tighter and darker this year, signalling its cellar-worthy intentions from the get-go. There is still that bright cherry/glace plum fruit but the nose in particular looks more contained and buttoned down this vintage, brooding even. The palate too is classically meaty with firm, grinding tannins, some nice animale cranberry stuffed game sort of thing on the finish (now there is an esoteric turn. Cranberry stuffed game! Ugh).

A big, plum soaked Pinot - though not overrripe or OTT - with a firm structure, this is good masculine Tassie Pinot. I'd buy it (but leave it in the cellar a few more years).

Drink: 2014-2020
Score: 18.4/94+

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Holm Oak Pinot Noir 2010

Holm Oak Pinot Noir 2010 (Tamar Valley, Tas)
14%, Screwcap, $32
Source: Sample

Few would realise it but Holm Oak has some of the oldest Pinot Noir vines in Tasmania, with their first Pinot Noir plantings dating back to 1983. Trivia perhaps but interesting to know.

From a warmish vintage in the Tamar and looking properly ripe here too, with a real Cottees plum/raspberry jam nose overlaid with sweet cocoa oak richness. Rather a generous nose that one. Generous palate too, if just a little raw, extractive and warm in the sappy style with lightish tannins. For Tassie Pinot this sure does pack a punch, even if it's not especially delicate. 17/90+

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Catching up: Pinot Noir

Catching up: Pinot Noir

A Pinot Noir bunch
Tight and sexy looking bunch isn't it?
In typical festive season style I've been doing plenty of drinking and comparatively little note taking of late, a situation which I'm totally ok with but one that's generally not conducive to good blogging (or such).

So, perhaps vainly, I'm going to attempt to redress that balance right now with a round-up of a few of the Pinots that I enjoyed recently. Sadly the notes for these are just a little on the short side though hopefully you get the gist...

Oh and if you haven't started stocking up on these 2010 Yarra/Macedon/Southern Victorian Pinots then start now. You've been warned...

Hoddles Creek Pinot Noir 2010 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
This is the best value Pinot Noir in Australia, which is probably why this wine is either already sold out or not far off. It looks firmer, denser and more powerful this year, the nose still reticent and the palate rippling with tannins, the wine quite masculine for the Yarra (and Hoddles) but with the flesh to match. Yes. Buy some. 18.3/93+

Punt Rd Pinot Noir 2010 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
Immediately prettier, softer and less serious than the Hoddles but with a juiciness that's worth highlighting, the lightly sappy red fruit sure to have commercial appeal. Very pleasant, affable, yet not contrived wine with enough pinosity to convince. 17.2/90

Bress Silver Chook Pinot Noir 2010 (Yarra Valley & Macedon, Vic)
Pepper! Pepper and green olive stemminess with charry oak overtones and a dose of 'charcuterie plate' in there for good measure (salami maybe). Really very serious wine considering it's $22 price point, this looked just a fraction young but also a wine of some density. Good. 17.3/90+

Oakridge Pinot Noir 2010 (Yarra Valley, Vic)

So very Yarra this with that red fruit brightness of warmer year Yarra Pinot (attractive character it is too). Palate has sappy, glace red fruit, some slightly sweet caramel oak and a proper dry savoury finish. Pretty, yet structured too. Easy recommendation this and immediately drinkable. 18/93

Dalrymple Pinot Noir 2010 (Tamar Valley, Tas)
Tight. Ultimately too young Pinot with a pippy, peppery cherry nose that gives away little of the goodies to come. Palate is both glossy and sweet with musky fruit at the edges but closed through the middle and pulls up a little short. I'm calling this as a slow burne,r for there is richness in there underneath it just needs time. Retaste needed. 16.8/89+

Holm Oak Pinot Noir 2009 (Tamar Valley, Tas)
Riper and almost slightly roasted style this vintage with a level of extraction and power I haven't seen before, the fruit almost heading into gamy, Martinborough levels of ripeness. Black pepper, spice, tannins, heart and power. Maybe a little too big but certainly a mouthful of a wine. Will be interested to see how this develops in bottle. 17.4/90+

Bindi Composition Pinot Noir 2010 (Macedon, Vic)
I actually had this last night so it's something of an addendum to this lot (but entirely worth including). Like a few of the wines above it's a masculine wine in the context of Bindi Composition Pinot but in the best possible fashion (with no delicacy really sacrificed as a result). There's a subliminal (actually it's probably more latent than that) minted red fruit power to this wine that screams quality (or it did to me at least) with a thick and dense mid palate and tightly woven tannins, the wine still carrying a sheen of oak to sweeten everything up. A wine for the future (don't drink it now) I can't help but want (more) of this in my cellar. Ballsy without losing elegance. Yes. 18.4/93+

Monday, 5 December 2011

Holyman Pinot Noir 2009

Holyman Pinot Noir
Serious Tassie Pinot
Holyman Pinot Noir 2009 (Tamar Valley, Tas)
13%, Screwcap, $45
Source: Sample

Rather than having me bang on about how much wine love I have for the Stoney Rise vineyard/winemaking style/wines in general, you're probably best to start by reading my review of the second label Pinot (for context). If you've already done that, all I can add is that I'd actually be seriously disappointed if this didn't impress. I'd feel cheated and a little confused, using phrases like 'how can Joe Holyman stuff up his top wine'.. 'but I liked the second wine so much'. That sort of thing. Thankfully, neither of those statements are needed with this 09 Pinot, for it's a top shelf wine.

What first strikes you is just how ripe it is. How do they get Tassie Pinot so ripe? It's almost Adelaide Hills ripe such is the muscularity of the palate and the power of the nose. Heck there is even some meaty stewed fruit in there too (though no lack of freshness). The core is all mulberry action though, intense, deep, dark and anything but sweet. Has an excellent brawny persistance to it that is almost Corton like in it's power and tannic drive. I like that connotation actually, as besides a little chocolate oak sweetness, the rest of the style here is (I'm apologising in advance for falling back on the cliché) rather French indeed.

All that is ultimately required here is time. That chewy, dry and mega-serious finish is just a little on the raw side at present for really big love, though the appeal is undeniable. Actually fuck it, those tannins are excellent - hook in now and enjoy the power. 18.5/94+

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Stoney Rise Pinot Noir 2010

Stoney Rise Pinot - smart wine for the price
Stoney Rise Pinot Noir 2010 (Tamar Valley, Tas)
14%, Screwcap, $29
Source: Sample

Ahh Tasmania. The Apple Isle. That bit down the bottom of Australia. A part of the nation that is, to put it simply, cool. Cool in climate and now, in wine terms at least, fashionable cool. And it's wines of this ilk that are drawing winemakers south.

Why? How? Alot of it comes down to climate actually, with the dry (in the wine regions at least) and mild (in the northern part at least) climate particularly conducive to growing grapes. Couple that with a reputation that echoes the 'clean, green' ethos of our Kiwi neighbours across the ditch, along with the notion that plenty of the finest terroirs are yet to be planted and you've got a veritable promised land.

Of course it's nowhere near as easy as that, with a growing number of Tassie producers whom have got more wine than they can sell. There remains very few genuine 'icon' producers to pull the state's reputation forward to boot (and a serious lack of availability for the best too). Yet still the promise remains (as do the great wines).

To make great wines though you've got to start with great vineyards, and this wine is drawn from a rather famous one - the old Rotherhythe vineyard on the western side of the Tamar River. It's a vineyard that was planted in the mid 80's, making it rather old indeed for Tasmania, and situated in a part of the island that our very own Mike Bennie calls 'the QLD of Tasmania' (which means it's generally warmer and more hospitable than down south).

Couple that with careful winemaking (Mr Bennie has a hand in that too, though Joe does most of the pants-on work) and you've got a recipe for goodness.

This Stoney  Rise Pinot suitably delivers too, a Pinot that smells and tastes like much more than $29 worth of wine. It smells of Pinot - which sounds silly, but that's important - with bright warmish cherry fruit, some dirt wrapped smallgoods and background oak. On the palate it's a ripe wine, particularly for Tassie, with a firmness from the mid palate on that suggests somewhere warmer too. The length and tannins too are more mainland than Tassie, the meaty aftertaste very serious and grown up indeed.

All up it's a wine that delivers this one, a Pinot of length and power that is still unveiling in the bottle, showing more and more pinosity as it goes. Smart wine for the price indeed. 17.8/92+

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Holyman Chardonnay 2009

Holyman Chardonnay 2009 (Tamar Valley, Tas)
12.5%, Screwcap, $45
Source: Sample

Holyman Chardonnay. Clever
Tasmania really is sitting at the pointy end of cool climate wine production in Australia. It's like an epicentre of wine excitement, a hotbed of vinous glory, with great wine flowing out of the apple isle almost like magic. In fact, perhaps the only thing working against Tassie's global reputation is a matter of scale, with little outside of the sparkling focused producers - Jansz, Clover Hill, Bay of Fires etc - sitting above 'boutique' size.

The positives of such a focused, 'boutique' predilection is that the wines are generally made by smaller, passionate hands-on operations with a distinct leaning toward more 'premium' quality booze. The flipside of course is that there is less of said wines, they're higher priced and often rather hard to track down (particularly here on the mainland).

If you want a classic example of the sort of goodies that Tasmania can produce, then look no further than this Holyman Chardonnay. Made by Joe Holyman at his Tamar Valley winery, this is produced off vines that are now almost 25 years young (which is rather old indeed for the Tamar) and crafted in a thoroughly modern fashion. Think vineyard selections, whole bunch pressing, wild ferments and careful oak. Attentive winemaking and great grapes.

In the glass it looks thoroughly modern too, walking the tightrope balancing out acidity, underplayed fruit and oak, layered with some yeast derived complexity for good measure. At first I thought it leaned too far towards the sexy, spicy oatmeal oak and grapefruit acid style, but as it warmed in the glass the white peach fruit pulled everything back into equilibrium again.

A tight, restrained and very well formed wine, the beauty here is just how linear that acidity looks, an utterly natural expression of just ripe Chardonnay fruit and a steady winemaking hand. All it needs is just a little more time to put on weight in the bottle and it will be a megastar. 18.2/93+