What was once too marginal a region to be considered apt for viticulture is now one of the New World’s trendiest wine-producing areas. With sparkling wine leading the charge, there’s also a range of new and exciting labels now available on the UK market. Here are Imbibe’s top Tasmanian picks from the recent Australia Trade Tasting
Glaetzer-Dixon Mon Pere Shiraz 2016
The roots of the Glaetzer family are in the Barossa Valley, where they emigrated from Germany back in the 19th century. More recently, fourth-generation winemaker Nick Glaetzer brought his expertise to Tasmania and created Glaetzer-Dixon, working with grapes from the cool Coal Valley on the southern side of the island.
This Shiraz is the worthy progeny of that terroir, with an appealing light ruby colour, enticing floral nose and delicate hints of pink peppercorn. On the palate it’s full of red cherry and red berry flavours, balanced, soft yet intense, and with a never-ending finish.
£42.50, The Vinorium, 01622 859180
Tolpuddle Vineyard Coal River Valley Pinot Noir 2017
Owned by renowned Aussies Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith, the Tolpuddle Vineyard is also located in the southern Coal Valley. Tolpuddle’s north-facing aspect and its conveniently dry micro-climate mean that grapes can be left on the vines for longer, which ensures full ripening.
The result is a full-bodied and elegant Burgundy-esque Pinot Noir with well-integrated oak (one-third is new French oak). The fruit is powerful and crunchy, supported on the palate by great acidic structure, freshness and soft, refined tannins. It’s a Pinot Noir for the dining table, ideally paired with some succulent game.
£36.02, Liberty Wines, 020 7720 5350
House of Arras Vintage Rosé 2006
Not only is Tasmania renowned for its world-class bubbles, it’s also home to Ed Carr, undeniably Australia’s greatest sparkling winemaker.
This expression is the ideal answer to anyone who thinks that sparkling rosé is frivolous, or even boring. With some seven years of tirage, the House of Arras Vintage Rosé 2006 is one of the most captivating sparkling rosés made in the méthode champenoise. The nose is intense, with marked pink grapefruit and strawberry notes, while the palate is full and satisfyingly creamy, leading to a spicy, nutty finish.
Carr’s secret to success is the small amount of brandy he adds to the liqueur d’expédition, which he says makes for a fuller palate and a distinctive savoury character.
£32.65, Liberty Wines, 020 7720 5350
Stargazer Riesling 2018
This Riesling is produced by the talented winemaker Samantha Connew. After experiencing multiple vintages throughout Australia, Italy, Spain and Oregon, she then settled in Tasmania and named her wines after the Dutch ‘stargazer’ Abel Tasman, the first European to sight the island back in 1642.
Her Riesling is fresh and crisp, with a dominant citrus character and some musky and spicy undertones. Its intense, creamy, highly acidic palate leads to a sapid, generous, lingering finish. Another one to go with food. Go beyond the usual pairing with Asian dishes and try grilled oily fish instead.
£32.50, Enotria & Coe, 020 8961 5161
Dalrymple Cave Block Chardonnay 2015
From the north-eastern Pipers River region of Tasmania, this elegant interpretation of a Chardonnay is concentrated and beautifully poised.
The fruit is all hand picked, partially wild-fermented and then aged in both new and old French oak barriques. The complexity is striking: a light breadiness combine with floral notes, aromas of ripe stone fruit and a warming winter spiciness. The palate is creamy and buttery, but balanced by a noticeable crisp acidity.
£24.99, Fells, 01442 870900