Tasmania’s True Moscato
This first appeared in the February/March edition of Gourmet Traveller WINE, though I think this longer version flows better. I’m republishing this now as the 2010 vintage Holm Oak Moscato is released today.
Moscato – The variety conjures up images of frivolity and utterly unserious drinking – Yet one couple is taking their Moscato very seriously indeed.
Tim Duffy and Rebecca Wilson are that couple, producing their popular Holm Oak Moscato in, of all places, Tasmania’s Tamar Valley. It’s certainly not the first place that comes to mind when producing Moscato, and the extremely high quality is plain puzzling when you see the label. Yet this wine has a story.
The starting point for Tim and Bec’s Moscato is actually Tim’s parent’s farm in Nyah, just outside of Swan Hill in Northern Victoria. Up here, demand for grapes has never been lower, with several varieties from the Duffy Farm simply going unpicked this year. But not Muscat. For this is the stuff of Mocato producer’s dreams: Well tended old vines of the ‘premium’ Muscat variety Muscat a Petit Grains, producing full flavoured, pinkish Muscat grapes. It is these old vines that Tim believes are the key to intensity and flavour of his wine.
However that’s just the beginning of the journey, for every year the grapes are handpicked and transported by truck and The Spirit of Tasmania the 450km+ back to the winery, where it is finally crushed/destemmed and given some careful skin contact for added complexity. When it’s finally bottled, the Moscato has to go into special sparkling mineral water bottles (sourced from neighbouring Tamar Ridge’s mineral water bottling) to cope with the extra sparkle.
The end result of all that effort is one of the most powerful and ‘genuine’ Moscato’s around, with full, deliciously grapey musk stick and spice flavours on a crisp and refreshing palate. As Tim also believes, this wine is the perfect alternative to alcopops, with great natural acidity and freshness as well as sweetness.
I’d find it hard to disagree.
Holm Oak ‘Pig & d’ Pooch’ Moscato ($22)