Domaine A/Stoney Vineyard releases
I’ve reviewed the pinnacle of the Domaine A/Stoney Vineyard wines – the Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon – earlier in the year, but also realised I hadn’t written up the rest of the range.
Produced from Peter Althaus’ 40 year old Stoney Vineyard, all of these wines reflect a proudly Euro leaning focus and winemaking fastidiousness, coupled with what is a rather amazing piece of Tasmanian dirt. It’s a vineyard that looks nothing like those around it (in the Coal Valley) and, fittingly, the wines taste like nothing else in Tasmania.
These notes were written up at some speed and non-blind (hardly ideal tasting conditions). Interesting to see how much lesser the 2008 vintage wines looked in comparison to the others around it.
Stoney Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
‘I wanted to get as far away from New Zealand as possible’ said Peter Althaus, commenting on the style of this Sauv. 10g/L residual sugar.
Perhaps a bit too sweet for mine but unquestionably pristine. There is a certain juiciness and roundness here, backed by serious acidity, that still marks this as a wine of quality. Not quite to my tastes though. 17/20 90/100
Domaine A ‘Lady A’ Sauvignon Blanc 2009
A full tilt, Bordeaux blanc inspired style. Fermented in 100% new French oak and spends 12 months in barrel. 14.5% alc.
Wood looks really quite obvious this year. A much more neutral wine behind it, lean yet still with some passionfruit thiols on the nose. Crisp but powerful and finely textured palate. Lovely leesy length. That oak sits on top of the fruit right now but should integrate. My score is a little conservative, though its only going to get better, and history suggests this will be a lovely wine in 4 years. 17.7/20 92/100++
Stoney Vineyard Pinot Noir 11
‘I think this has been picked too late’. Brutal honesty there. 15% alc.
Structurally this is Burgundian and old world dry with fine, very stylish tannins. The alcohol though is hot. Too hot. I rather like the form besides the alcohol. Compromised? Yet the structure is brilliant. 16.8/20 89/100
Domaine A Pinot Noir 2008
Mint, mixed ripe nose. A bit caramelised around the edges. I find this a bit bland and lacking vibrancy in contrast. 16/20 87/100
Stoney Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Compressed and a little gamey with a real hung meat note. Fragrance and hint of mint to start. Cedar and spice. Wonderful tannins – dry, bitter (not bad bitter) and with a lovely tomato bush spice to it. Could do with just a little more density. Gee it’s a stylish wine though. Like muchly. 18/20 93/100
Domaine A ‘Petit A’ 2008
A new release Bordeaux blend that sits at just $50/bottle. Three years in wood. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
Rich and full through the middle with a big blanching palate. Shows its vintage with a lack of definition and scorched character. Looks a fraction lesser and indistinct compared to other wines around it, yet the tannins are still very classy. Drinkable and stylishly made, but not profound. 17/20 90/100