24 Feb 2014

Our best (only?) Pinot Noir from Tasmania.

Our best (only?) Pinot Noir from Tasmania.

Many people have never tried a Tasmanian wine, those who have probably tried a delicious sparkling that could pass for a fairly expensive Champagne.

A trip to Tasmania a number of years back helped confirm that there was great potential with the cool climate varietals. The wine growing regions are clustered near the two main cities, Launceston in the north and Hobart in the southwest. Wines from this island state have been off the radar for obvious reasons, like production being really small, and demand consuming all the supply closer to home. The Tasmanian wine industry is small but has a long history. This has not been an easy place to start a winery, so historically when farmers wanted more of a sure thing they would plant vines on the mainland in Vctoria or South Australia.
 
The climate favors cooler climate grapes, which means that Pinot Noir and Chardonnay shine and this is illustrated with the fine quality of the few Tassie sparklers we see. Aside from the few sparklers there has not been much Tassi wine appearing on our shores, so we were pleasantly surprised when we were presented with a couple of exceptional wines from the Dalrymple portfolio, a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir, respectively. We were familiar with Dalrymple, having carried their Chardonnay a number of years back. Both Dalrymple wines, from the cooler 2011 vintage are exceptional, but only the Pinot Noir was available to us in any numbers to justify an email for our customers.

The 2011 Dalrymple Pinot Noir is one of the finer examples of the varietal we have tried over the past year or two. That's saying a lot, because we love really well made Pinot Noir and not only is this delicious, it's also very limited in availability as there are only 50 six packs available for the entire country. Our strong relationship with the supplier has allowed us to procure a fair amount of that. It is not inexpensive (our retail is $40), but in light of it's superior quality it is an exceptional value, meaning compare it to other Pinots out there at the same price from Burgundy. Not big in body, it is all about beautiful precision and purity to its red fruit base with a lingering, peacock tail finish (meaning the finish lasts a long time and spreads out) that speaks highly of its pedigree. We think its stunning in its elegance and fruit purity. Australia's leading wine critic, James Halliday, gave it a 93 pt review, where he called it 'a pinot of precision and purity.' This is an impressive drop that still has a number of years in front of it. Not much is available, so as always first come first served.

Posted by Gregg 00:00:00

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