Wild and dramatic, cultured and quirky, isolated yet accessible and home to producers of jaw dropping wines…
Without question, Tasmanian wines have been one of the greatest discoveries for us over the past few years. From House of Arras, producers of the finest sparkling wines to be made outside of Champagne to some of the greatest Pinot Noirs we’ve ever tasted. Many feel, as we do, they have the potential to rival some of the best in the world. Our eyes are firmly fixed on this little island, recently increasing our offerings with the addition of one of Tassie’s most exciting producers, Sailor Seeks Horse to our list of exclusives with other key producers samples expected to arrive within weeks.
We will admit that our fascination with Tasmania is bordering on obsession, but for very good reasons and with the region being in such infancy, it is so incredibly exciting to imagine how it will continue to develop. We have some great links in Tasmania, both producers and customers, to get the inside view on the industry and the region and have been in touch with one of our favourite producers, Nick Glaetzer of Glaetzer-Dixon and long-time customer and friend, Martin Wright.
Winemaker and founder of Glaetzer-Dixon, Hobart
Exclusive to The Vinorium
Tell us about Tasmania, what makes the region so special? What drew you here in the first place?
My Dad worked for Avery’s in Bristol in the early 70s and then worked a harvest for Remoissenet in Burgundy in ’74. He brought his love and knowledge gained in the UK/Beaune of French wines back to Australia - I was lucky enough to taste many of his cellared Old World wines growing up. Burgundy made an impact on me also, though back in the 90s Australian versions of pinot were generally insipid and poorly made. After working vintages in the Languedoc and Pfalz I visited Burgundy for my first time in 2001. I formed a plan to return to the Old World once I’d completed my oenology/viticulture degree, but this all changed when I was working harvest at Leeuwin Estate in ’04 and saw a Tasmanian pinot noir in a blind tasting. It was spectacular and most of us at the bench thought it was a legit Grand Cru.
"I saw the huge potential offered by the island state. Here I could make wines like those of the great regions in Europe"
I emailed the winemaker of this stellar pinot, Andrew Hood and asked for a job. He obliged and I decamped to Tasmania at the end of 2005. After a vintage working in Tassie and tasting a few rare bottles of local pinot, riesling and shiraz I saw the huge potential offered by the island state. Here I could make wines like those of the great regions in Europe, though also be part of a brave new wine frontier. I could craft wines I enjoyed drinking yet be free of excessive legislation and avoid having to rely on my schoolboy French.
Being such an isolated island, what is life in Tasmania like?
Tasmania is a mix of English style countryside and the most amazing, rugged wilderness, with a tiny capital city (Hobart), which is enjoying a bit of a tourism moment thanks to a great arts scene and some exceptional food (and wine). Hobart is only a 50-min flight to Melbourne and less than 2-hours to Sydney. Instead of peak-hour traffic it tends to be peak-minute, although this is changing as people start cottoning on to how great it is here and relocating from the big smoke. Many Tasmanians are descended from His Majesty’s finest convicts who were shunted down here 200-years ago and there’s still a proud uniqueness to them possibly related to this.
What are the advantages and what are the challenges of winemaking in Tasmania?
The cool climate is due to southerly latitude and clean, pure air off the Southern Ocean. The Roaring 40s winds that swell up in spring can be an issue if they’re late in the season when the vines are flowering - I’ve seen yields drop by 50 percent due to poor set.
Do you meet with other Tasmanian producers and winemakers and exchange views/experiences? Do you swap wines?
When I first moved to Tassie there were maybe a dozen qualified winemakers and viticulturists in the state. I definitely missed the regular camaraderie of larger winemaking regions. In the last decade that has changed hugely. We all get along immensely well, sharing equipment, knowledge, packaging equipment, wine and many beers.
Coming from such a Barossa dynasty, were you ever tempted to continue with winemaking there?
Not really - Barossa pinot has never been good.
You travelled extensively and worked across Australia, France and Germany. What did you learn from each travel and which region influenced your winemaking the most?
In Australia I learnt the rigid and analytical structures of winemaking, as per textbook - which are very important to new winemakers, as they have to know the boundaries. In Europe I saw how the winemaker is able to take a step back and let the site or the vintage conditions take more of an influence.
Which sub-regions do you source from for each wine? What are the unique characteristics of each sub-region and how do they influence your wines?
Even though Tassie is classified as only one GI (geographical index) the sub-regions contained are vastly unique - there’s 200km between the Coal River and Tamar valleys.
Pinot noir from the Tamar tends to show bright raspberry, Upper Derwent has cassis while the Coal River Valley is darker plum. My brighter and earlier-drinking pinots are grown in the Derwent and Tamar, while the deeper and more complex wines come out of the Coal River.
Are there any vineyards in Tasmania which you would highlight as particularly superior?
I think it’s still too early in the game to make this call. However there are a couple of vineyards in the Coal River Valley that suit my style of winemaking tremendously well, providing a riper fruit spectrum and superb tannin structure. These are the sites destined for our La Judith Wines.
How do you see Tasmania developing as a region? Do you think that both still and sparkling wine sectors will continue to grow? Will sparkling wine continue to dominate the export market or do you see it changing?
Aussie’s love sparkling wine and the best grapes for these styles are grown in Tasmania. As our reputation for still pinot noir is strengthened I can see the tables turning slightly. Only 3-4% of Tasmanian wine is exported, so it won’t take too many bottles of awesome pinot to shift the balance.
Do you have a favourite variety to work with? Do you experiment with different varieties and are you planning to expand the range?
That’s kind of like asking who’s your favourite child. While I was working at Frogmore Creek (’06-'12) I worked with a number of varieties. We made some great examples of pinot blanc, petit verdot, blaufrankisch etc. However I’d rather focus on what I can do best - riesling, pinot, shiraz and the occasional chardonnay. One day I’m going to make a single barrel of epic chardonnay for our house wine, as I can’t afford white Burgundy and sometimes I need another white after riesling.
What are your long-term aspirations as a winemaker and for Glaetzer-Dixon as a brand?
Last year we planted our very own vineyard in the Tea Tree region of the Coal River Valley. Really looking forward to one day harvesting this site and potentially releasing some single site/block wines.
Do you have a personal favourite out of your wines (or fondness of a particular vintage)?
The 2011s were a tough sell as the rest of Australia suffered a pretty poor vintage with cool, wet weather. In the Coal River Valley it was cool though very dry. Our 2011 Rêveur Pinot has these amazing savoury and spice notes - it’s definitely one of my favourite pinots. The 2010 Mon Père Shiraz was a hit with the locals.
Your Mon Pere Shiraz offers a fantastic contrast to many Australian powerhouse styles, showcasing great depth without pushing the extraction / ripeness levels. Did you always aspire to create a Shiraz of such elegance?
It’s impossible to make a full-bodied shiraz in Tassie, it’s just too cold. We’ve harvested shiraz in the middle of May, nearly 2-months after the mainland vintage. The clones of shiraz we have down here have lovely aromatics of white pepper and clove. They make themselves really. I have a fond memory of a family dinner in the Barossa with dad opening a bottle of Hermitage - he was like an elder thanking the gods for giving us the shiraz grape, adamant that his sons knew its original home.
We know that it’s a very busy time for you at the moment. How is the harvest going? Anything of particular note from the current vintage?
We had our last pick last Wednesday (April 24). It’s been a hectic though rewarding month, not least because our third child June was born a month before vintage got underway. It is probably one of the most peculiar vintages I’ve experienced (out of a total of 27). Summer was warm and very dry so harvest was looking early, yet if anything the vintage has been a week later than average. With lower than average sugar levels as the same tannin ripeness, we expect alcohol levels to be 0.5-1.0% less.
Finally, would you like to pass any message to our world-wide customers?
Come and visit Tasmania before the rest of the world catches on. Oh hang on ...
Glaetzer-Dixon La Judith Shiraz 2014
97 Points - Joe Czerwinski (robertparker.com) "Nick Glaetzer's incredible 2014 La Judith Shiraz smells something like pfeffernüsse and cherry preserves, offering layered aromas of cracked pepper, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and red fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, feeling bigger and more expansive than its modest 13.7% alcohol, while being rich, silky and long. The oak, entirely new, has been nicely absorbed into the wine, contributing spice and texture without getting in the way of the fruit. It's a tour de force of Tasmanian Shiraz, albeit one produced in micro quantities of 232 bottles. If Mon Père is Saint-Joseph, this is Hermitage."
£100.00 per bottle
Glaetzer-Dixon Mon Père Shiraz 2016
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A Shiraz which is lighter on its feet but full of pedigree. The flavours are layered and beautifully defined with cherry, violets and sweet spices. Silky, expressive without being brash which is very much the skill of Nick. Fresh, nuanced and again, produced with a captivating sense of elegance. There is nothing missing with Nick’s Shiraz, just a different and refreshing, new perspective. Gorgeous and I am looking forward to seeing how this develops over the next five years. Just lovely."
£42.50 per bottle
Glaetzer-Dixon Rêveur Pinot Noir 2015
97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Ethereal is a good place to begin and certainly one of the best bottles of Pinot Noir I have drunk sub fifty-pounds. You would be mistaken to believe this wine has a decade of aging behind it due to the tawny rim. The bouquet is astonishing, and again would deliver a verdict of a mature wine; dried rose petals, cherry, warm minerals and a lovely savoury undercurrent. Close your eyes and think autumn with a splash of wild strawberry. The palate is fresh, medium-bodied, precise, with acidity judged to perfection. The wine fans-out with a lovely garden savouriness with bay leaf, cedar and finishes with dried, blood orange. As with many wines, I am drawn to the wines texture and this is ultimately blessed. It’s simply effortless, harmonic and will fill you and your glass with serenity”. Served in a Zalto Burgundy glass
£37.95 per bottle
Glaetzer-Dixon Avancé Pinot Noir 2017
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The Pinot Noir for the ’17 Avancé was sourced from three vineyards in Southern Tasmania’s Upper Derwent and Coal Valleys. Sweet, succulent entry with an abundance of red cherries, wild strawberry, plums and sweet spices all laced together with bright, perfectly judged acidity. Medium-bodied, with pure silky tannins. The quality of racy, plush fruit is exquisite however, it’s the wines overall balance and completeness which stands out the most. You will have to look very hard to find a better buy for the money. A wine of pure and total pleasure. Just gorgeous and not to be missed”. Served in Zalto Burgundy glass (Highly-Recommended by the way! ), drinking beautifully now but will develop over the next 3-6 years."
£22.50 per bottle
Life on the Apple Isle through the eyes of our customer & friend, Martin Wright
“Magdalena has persuaded me to write this article as a customer from the other side of the globe—in Tasmania. I was looking to buy a few cases of 2016 en primeur Bordeaux wine and found The Vinorium website. Magdalena answered my email query, and between us, we selected four chateaux. It was then I found out that they stocked a range of top Australian wines. My wife, Jean, and I visit the UK regularly as our daughter has lived and worked there for over 20 years. It is so easy to get The Vinorium to send a dozen quality wines to our daughter in advance of our visit. And, I might add, at prices less than I pay back home. Over the past couple of years, Magdalena and I have shared information about Tasmanian wines. I am new to Tasmania, having moved there just three years ago. So, why do I find myself in Tasmania?” - Martin
You travelled across the globe and recently decided to settle in Tasmania. Why? What makes it special and different from other wonderful places?
My wife Jean and I are modern-day nomads. We have lived and worked in Africa, Japan, four countries in Europe, and in Australia, in Sydney and Melbourne. When we retired, we were in Switzerland, and despite having a European passport, and a house in the UK, the tug of Australia was too strong to resist. We decided to go tropical and bought a house on the Sunshine Coast, just north of Brisbane. It was a perfect base to explore Outback Australia in our compact expedition vehicle. But with that ambition completed, we found that we did not enjoy the unrelenting heat and humidity of summer in the tropics. In Europe, we had learnt to appreciate and enjoy the four distinct seasons, and as we loved visiting Tasmania, the decision to move here three years ago was easy. It is a beautiful island, and while we live in Hobart, in less than half an hour, we are in the countryside. The air is clean, and I think that national parks comprise about 40% of the state.
What is life in Tasmania like? Is it as quiet and isolated as the general notion suggests?
Very few places are isolated in this modern world. We travel overseas twice a year, and the only drawback is that we have an extra leg to our international flights from Melbourne or Sydney.
Life is quieter than in larger capital cities, but we still live a full life. We subscribe to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra concerts, support the accomplished Van Diemens Band (a small group focused on playing Baroque music on original instruments), and enjoy the theatre and other musical events. Tasmania is becoming known for its food and wine, and we have a choice of many excellent restaurants.
But if you are looking for peace and quiet, we do have an abundance of that.
Many imagine Tasmania as a ‘cool’ region; however, we hear the weather can be very extreme. Is this true?
Tasmania has a cool climate. Winters are cold, but not freezing. And in any case, I think it is the Swedes who say that "there is no such thing as cold weather, only the wrong clothes". Summer does arrive late, but by January and February, the days are warm, with temperatures in the mid to high twenties. For a few days a year, in advance of a cold front moving through, we do get a north wind bringing searing temperatures from the dry interior of Australia. It is tinder dry at this time of the year, and with the wind, and temperatures reaching the mid to high 30s, bushfires are a risk, and Air conditioning is a much-needed luxury. The extreme heat only lasts a day or two, and nighttime temperatures are always comfortable. Autumn is the best time to visit Tasmania...not too hot, and almost no rain
What is your favourite spot in Tasmania?
Difficult to pick one, Magdalena. Cradle Mountain, with Dove Lake, is beautiful. On the coast, Wine Glass Bay on a sunny day would be my pick. It is such a stunning sight when you first see it from up high… We also have our favourite apple orchard, in the Huon Valley. Last week, we got to pick Pink Lady apples direct from 2 trees that had particularly wonderful fruit. Another reason why I like living here. I am going to try cold storing some of their lovely apples at home in a small spare fridge!
Is the food much different to Aussie cuisine? Are there any unique dishes (or produce)?
Not really, unless you count scallop pies, which I do not like. When you live in Tasmania, it is best to eat according to the seasons if you want fresh food. Fresh vegetables are readily available from various farmers' markets. But for fruit, we go direct to our favourite farms, mostly in the Huon Valley. You can't beat the texture and flavour of stone fruit, pears and apples picked ripe, on the day. And oh, the cherries. I feast on them during December and January...big, black, crisp and sweet. And also the full range of berries, and potatoes, dug up on the morning.
This fresh produce is what our fine restaurants get to work with, and their menus tend to be seasonal. Reservations are essential at the top-end restaurants, but the dishes capture the freshness of Tasmania.
Our customers love Tasmanian wines, which many relate to as real gems given their scarcity and unique character. But what do Tassies value in their cellars?
I am not sure, but at a guess Pooley, Stoney Rise, Tolpuddle, Bay of Fires House of Arras (for sparkling wine), and others, and predominantly chardonnay, riesling and pinot noir.
I have a modest cellar of 700+ bottles, and 38% is Tasmanian. My approach to selecting wines is part emotional and part quality. I want a wine that has a good nose, and a long taste that evokes memories of where the wine came from, and of the people who helped make it great — apologies for the Trumpism. My wineries are Pooley, Home Hill, Grey Sands, some Stefano Lubiana and Water Brook, a little Clemens Hill, Stoney Rise, Waterton, Glaetzer-Dixon, and Sailor Seeks Horse. Plus my friend's tiny vineyard called Cornwall Vineyard, with his excellent Devil of a Red pinot noir. I help him quite a bit in his vineyard, so my emotional link to this wine is strong.
Is there good access to non-Aussie wines in Tasmania?
There is limited access, but it is easy to order online. My latest venture is to try and appreciate Borolos, Brunellos/Chiantis and Amarones. I love Amarone, and Mark Koltz of Kolz Wines in South Australia makes a shiraz equivalent called the Pagan which is outstanding. He also makes a Ripasso style called the Wizard. Fourteen per cent of my cellar is Italian. French wines are readily available but expensive (but every cellar has to have some aged Bordeaux!), and it is hard to source the best Chilean and Argentinian wines. I am treasuring my last eight bottles of Montes Purple Angel Carmenere.
And finally, if you could, would you change anything in Tasmania?...
Fewer cruise ships in summer. We had over 60 dock in Hobart this year. We need to focus on top-end tourism...
A collection of some of the very best Tassie wines & producers
Read: We get up close and personal with
Peter Dredge a.k.a Dr.Edge
Dr Edge 'Tasmanian' Pinot Noir 2017
97 Points - James Halliday "MV6, 777 and 115 clones, 60% from the Derwent Valley, 30% East Coast and 10% Tamar Valley. The bouquet is multifaceted, with no single message from the single vineyard group, the palate moving onto another tier, but carries with it the higher-toned red fruits of clone 115 (compared to MV6 last year). It also achieves a lightness of touch without any sacrifice of line or length. This is the serious business of enjoyment, not the science of dissecting small pieces of a large puzzle."
£37.50 per bottle
Dr Edge 'North' Pinot Noir 2017
96+ Points - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) "It’s a Big Day in the North. Woah. Pow pow powerful, yet light too. Dark cherries, damp earth, spice, maybe some cheeky violet, but a brooding kind of ‘minerality’ throughout. Tannin is firm, a long emery rasp through the palate, pure acidity, perfume, earth and grip on a long finish. There’s some meatiness and smoky reductive stuff here, for sure, but the fruit and vineyard shines through. I’m all about this. Wonderful."
£37.50 per bottle
Dr Edge 'East' Pinot Noir 2017
96 Points - James Halliday "The Dr Edge Pinots are part of a voyage of discovery, so it is that the East, North and South are all clone 115 (the ‘16s were MV6), and all have identical vinification: half whole-bunch carbonic maceration, half whole berries, once wild fermentation begins, 80% of the bunches are destemmed on top with 20% remaining as whole bunches, matured in French barriques (10% new) for 9 months. Fragrant, with more red fruits, long and silky; reflects the clonal change, driven by the very cool vintage, the tannin sotto voce."
£37.50 per bottle
Dr Edge 'South' Pinot Noir 2017
95+ Points - Gary Walsh (Wine Front) "Fine perfume, pretty and floral, strawberries dusted with pepper and spice, smoky autumn leaves and walks in the park. It’s delicate, rose petals over strawberry, cool bell-clear acidity, a playful rasp of tannin, and a spicy strawberry finish of impeccable length. Lacy, delicate wine. Diaphanous and thoroughly charming. Oh yes."
£37.50 per bottle
"House of Arras Chief Sparkling Winemaker, Ed Carr, is Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemaker. He has long held the belief that Tasmania can, and should, produce exceptional sparkling wines equal to the world's best"
House of Arras whose home is amongst ancient soils and the cold climate of Tasmania. Its climate is significantly cooler than the mainland, with long summer daylight and maritime influences, which are ideal conditions for long, slow and consistent fruit development. House of Arras sources fruit from many outstanding vineyards in southern Tasmania and the south east coast, with each sub-region providing their unique element to the final blend.
Tamar Valley is the best-known sub-region and well-suited to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is one of the warmer, wetter sub-regions and provides grapes with ripe, forward flavours with moderate intensity. Pipers River is their most important sparkling wine grape source and one of the coolest sub-regions, with moderating winds keeping the daily temperature variation low. Coal River Valley is sheltered in the south and is distinguished by its ability to produce very high quality, slow maturing, cool climate grapes of nearly all varieties and styles. With moderate temperatures and low rainfall, it embraces a variety of soil types and produces fruit with softness and perfume.
East coast is centred around the beautiful coastal town of Swansea where growers produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of a robust, muscular nature with wonderful depth of flavour. Conditions in the area are relatively warm and dry, with the maritime influence minimising temperature variation and keeping the relative humidity high. Huon Valley is situated on the southernmost tip and it is the coolest and wettest sub-region. House of Arras source many of their top sparkling grapes from the hardy and determined growers in this pristine corner of Australia.
Derwent Valley is divided into two very distinct sections; the Upper and Lower Derwent. The Lower Derwent is warm and sheltered, producing fruit with great richness and ripeness.
The Upper Derwent experiences much colder nights and is the driest grape producing area they source from. This region supplies them with incredible quality sparkling wine grapes, producing wines with the greatest elegance, finesse and complexity.
The Art of Blending: Reserve wines are stored and kept in pristine condition at Hardys Tintara cellar in the McLaren Vale. Many individual parcels are woven together to create the final blend, each bringing its own profound character to the complete, finished wine. The world's leading sparkling wines require time to develop complexity and character with time on the lees being key.
Ed Carr has long held the belief that Tasmania can, and should, produce exceptional sparkling wines equal to the world's best.
Over the past 20 years Ed has amassed over 100 trophies in Australian wine shows for the House of Arras. However, a world class sparkling wine can only be crafted with the finest fruit and the House of Arras viticultural team carefully nurtures the House of Arras vineyards through the vagaries of each and every growing season.
In 2011, Ed was awarded the impressive title of ‘Winemaker of the Year’ at the prestigious Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine awards. Judging for this concentrates on individuals whose hard work, commitment, individuality and inspiration has recently resulted in creating exceptional, world-class wines.
2016 was an exceptional year for House of Arras, being awarded 8 Trophies and 16 Gold Medals. Notably, the 2007 Grand Vintage was awarded the ‘Best Sparkling White Wine of Show’ trophy at both the Royal Queensland Wine Show & The Royal Sydney Wine Show, the first time a sparkling wine has taken the accolade at either show
House of Arras Late Disgorged 2003
Decanter World Wine Awards: Gold 2017
2017 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships - Gold Medal
2017 International Wine & Spirit Competition - Gold Medal
99 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Extraordinarily left on the lees for 12 full years and disgorged June 2015. This is far from a New World gimmick - Mind-bogglingly brilliant and without question, the greatest sparkling wine outside of Champagne and better than many within. A sublime blend of 61% Chardonnay & 39% Pinot Noir which offers a profusion of aromatics and flavours. The wine delivers mouth-filling generosity with nutty honeycomb, toasted brioche, bread (a factor of the extended lees contact), toasted grains, caramel and citrus notes. I detect some ocean sea salinity which makes sense given the marine location. Clearly, the wines maturity is for all to see however, the purity and finesse is quite staggering. A towering masterpiece, riveting, difficult to share as several glasses is never enough and I honestly can't imagine it getting any better. Truly epic and the New World benchmark. Almost perfect! Served using Zalto universal. Only 2,200 bottles produced."
98 Points - James Halliday "First fermentation in stainless steel. Gleaming straw-yellow; 6.5g/l dosage, disgorged June 2015, and has acquired exceptional length to its toasted, buttery brioche, honey, spice and nut flavours. Despite its age, it has kept its freshness and vibrancy thanks to its core of acidity."
£57.95 per bottle
House of Arras Grand Vintage 2008
Decanter World Wine Awards: Gold 2017
International Wine & Spirit Competition: Gold 2017
2017 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships: Gold
2018 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards - Trophy Best Sparkling
2018 Sydney Royal Wine Show - Trophy Best Sparkling White
96 points & James Halliday's annual Top 100 wines 2018
17 Points - Julia Harding MW "Fine yeasty/biscuity nose but there’s also a mineral/stony character that comes through. Creamy texture, lemon cream and so much bight freshness with orange zest on the finish. Delicious: complex and still so fresh."
95 Points - Decanter "Nose with citrus fruits and light autolytic character. Refreshing and linear palate with a touch of lees adding savoury complexity. Incredible mousse structure and elegant finish."
The appearance is crystal clear with an ultrafine and persistent bead, medium straw with a golden lustre. The bouquet expresses an enticing aroma of grapefruit, jasmine flowers, sea brine and lychee. The palate has great elegance and poise with complex nuances of exotic spice, truffle, meringue and natural yoghurt. This is a dry style of sparkling wine, which exhibits intense flavour persistence and vibrancy across its seamless structure.
£28.50 per bottle
or £125.35 per case of 6 IB
House of Arras Vintage Rosé 2005
2015 National Wine Show of Australia - Gold Medal
96 points - Stuart McCloskey "I was curious to sample the ’05 as I am not a huge fan of sparkling Rosé. A beautiful copper colour with cranberries, red stone fruits, sweet raspberry, orange peel and a little rosewater. In fact, the wine builds with endless layers and has the structure (as with the entire Arras range) of great, Grand Cru Champagne. There’s no holding back with this wine – It’s been released to be relished. There’s real depth and a density on show which takes this Rosé to the head of the class and deservedly so. I could imagine a dozen grilled, Loch Linnhe langoustines partnered with a chilled bottle of the ’05. Simply, heaven."
£26.75 per bottle
Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2015
- UK Exclusivity
“Eileen Hardy Chardonnay is, in my view,
the Grange of Australian white wines”.
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Less expressive than some 2015’s however, decanting for thirty minutes to an hour and serving in a large Burgundy glass brings this wine alive. The wine is silky, graceful with mouth-coating waves of life affirming minerality. Real breadth and depth here with a laser-like focus. I love the juicy yellow stone fruits and spices. I imagine this will be utterly spectacular in another 6-8 years. It is the nectar of the Aussie Gods and would shame many a white Burgundy at double the price. I recommend drinking this stupendous wine from now to 2028 and beyond (in good cellar conditions)."
98 Points – James Halliday "From Tasmania, the Yarra Valley and Tumbarumba. Gleaming straw-green; manages to effortlessly combine power and intensity with elegance and glorious varietal fruit expression. White stone fruit is at the very heart of a palate that aspires to perfection. Quality French oak and minerally acidity play their parts, albeit largely forgotten in the wealth of fruit."
£29.95 per bottle
Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2014
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "More intense, open-knit and richly textured compared to the 2015 although, both vintages are matched by their exquisite balance. The wines aromatics (honeyed citrus fruits, waves of minerals and a little maritime note) unfold with 20 minutes in a decanter (advised for ultimate satisfaction). The palate is medium to full-bodied, ripe and endlessly long. The play between textured weight and acidity is fantastic – A perfect marriage of cohesion and completeness. Given my experiences with mature Eileen Hardy Chardonnay’s, the ’14 is difficult to pin down to specific flavours. This wine is more to do with sensation as the palate feel is incredible. I do feel the 2015 has the slight edge and will become one of their best vintages over the past three decades however, there is something irresistibly special about the 2014."
£32.95 per bottle
Eileen Hardy Pinot Noir 2014
94 Points – James Halliday "Deep crimson-purple; competes with its sister Bay of Fires Pinot, and has a similar throbbing power behind the deep colour of its robes. It is still impossibly young and trenchantly demands time for its texture to open up and its spicy black cherry/plum to supply the mouthfeel."
16.5+ Points – Julia Harding MW (JancisRobinson.com) "Mid cherry red, the fruit aroma not too sweet, with more dark-red fruit and raspberry character. Peppery and scented and even very slightly floral. Delicate and peppery on the palate too. Fine, dry, elegant texture. This was a great match at lunch with the duck pastrami."
£29.95 per bottle
Tolpuddle Chardonnay 2013
97 Points - James Halliday "The colour is still a pale quartz-green, the freshness excellent; the most remarkable part of this wine is its combination of finesse, length and intensity of varietal fruit flavour, in turn based on the laser etching of Tasmanian acidity. The drink to date may prove conservative."
£37.95 per bottle