Following the Parker-era burnout, and the take-over of Australian critter brands, American wine consumers have shown a distinct disinterest in Australian vino in recent years.
Fortunately, some of the more discerning American palates are looking beyond bulk South-Eastern Australian Shiraz and turning toward some of our finer varietals and subtler sub-regions.
In a brilliant piece from Joe Czerwinski at America’s Wine Enthusiast Magazine, he discusses his discovery of Australian Pinot, praising our cooler climate regions for their ability to counter the traditional (American) view of Australian wines as being “massive over-the-top fruit bombs.”
And Pinosity couldn’t agree with him more.
He starts out giving his readers a rundown of our brothers and sisters up North, from Yarra Valley, to Mornington Peninsula and the Adelaide Hills, but being from Tassy we thought we’d bring you his top Pinot picks from our little corner of the world.
Setting the scene, he starts out with a little geography lesson for the average Northern Hemisphere dwelling Wine Enthusiast, who might think “Tasmanian” is just the first name of a Looney Tunes cartoon character.
“At approximately the same latitude as New Zealand’s famous wine regions of Marlborough and Martinborough, it’s one of the fastest growing and most profitable wine regions in Australia,” Joe writes.
“Ideal for sparkling wine, but also for still Chardonnay, Riesling and, especially, Pinot Noir.
“This is genuinely cool-climate viticulture, meaning acid levels are high and vintages vary substantially.” Kindly, he gushes of our 2012 and 2013 vintages – some of Tassy’s finest years to date.
“Producing wines with ample colour, ripeness and concentration,” Joe writes. “That’s not to suggest the wines are jammy or rich at all – they’re generally wiry rather than plush, crisp rather than heavy.”
So for those of you looking to try something new, with the “seal of approval” from an American palate, here are Joe’s top three Tasmanian Pinots:
- Josef Chromy 2013 Pinot Noir (Tasmania), which he gives 91 points, describing it as having a “vegetal hint on the nose,” but also “bursting with lively red berries.” He also says it has “Hints of toasted coconut, vanilla and mocha from French oak,” which adds complexity.
- Dalrymple 2013 Pipers River Pinot Noir (Tasmania), which he also gives 91 points, describing it as “medium bodied, with supple tannins framing cherry fruit, underlain by hints of beetroot and ground spices – clove, nutmeg and cinnamon.” Sounds perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner!
- Glaetzer-Dixon 2013 Avancé Pinot Noir (Tasmania), which he gives 90 points for its equally festive sounding “hints of rose petals,” and “aromas of black cherries, cola and spice.” A “drink now” wine according to the Wine Enthusiast… but aren’t they all?
To read the rest of Joe’s article go to Wine Enthusiast.