I’ve been really getting into Tassie wine lately!

wine wankers great tasmanian pinot wine blogs 42 forty two degrees south 2010 pinotTasmania… “the Apple Isle”, once known for producing more Apples than anyone could possibly eat, now has a bustling wine industry and I’ve really enjoyed some wines in recent times that hail from the island down under “Down Under”.  Sadly, it’s probably internationally famous for the extinct marsupial… the Tasmanian Tiger, and for the “heading towards extinction” Tasmanian Devil made famous as a Looney Toons character.  Interestingly, the term “map of Tassie” has made it into the local lingo as a way to describe things that vaguely look like, well, a map of Tasmania.

tasmanian-wine-tours-region-mapTasmania is a great place to go on a driving tour.  I first travelled around the Island in the mid 90s, taking several weeks, but sadly was not into wine as much as I am now.  Although dropping into a few wineries I really did miss out on dedicating time to the numerous sub-regions that produce an array of grape varieties.

Many of these varieties are producing good wine but my personal favourite style is the sparkling made with the same varieties, and in the same manner, as Champagne.  On top of the fizz I’ve had some great Riesling and Pinot too.  Tasmania is a cool climate region so it does these types of wine very well.

???????????????????????????????Although Tassie wineries produce some stunner vintage sparklings my favourite every day bubbly is the non-vintage Jansz Premium Cuvée which comes from the Tamar Valley.  This really is done in a style of non-vintage Champagne and is just as good in my opinion but costs half as much!  One bottle I had recently would be described as having obvious honeysuckle and citrus flavours with a little strawberry and buttery finish.  It’s delicious with the cheese and pâté.  You can pick this up for around $25 and it’s quite widely available in the US and the UK.

There’s quite a few good Rieslings coming out of Tasmania nowadays and one of my favourite producers is Frogmore Creek which is located in southern Tasmania… an area known for producing Riesling with delicate fruit concentration.  I had a great 2008 vintage Frogmore Creek Riesling recently and it typified how good this style from Tassie can be, especially with a few years on it.  On opening this wine I instantly got the lime and floral aromas.  It was the sort of wine that attracted you from the outset.  On sipping it I discovered just how dry (not sweet) a good Riesling can be yet still contain loads of apple and stone fruit flavours in a well balance and enjoyable way.  It’s a good wine and was the exact match I was after for Indian.  Yummo!

???????????????????????????????In other whites, Tasmania also produces some elegant Chardonnay, some interesting Pinot Gris, and some good Sauvignon Blanc too.

And then there is Tasmanian red wine.  Although mostly known for producing good Pinot a Tasmanian Shiraz, the 2010 Glaetzer-Dixon Mon Pere Shiraz, won the Jimmy Watson award in 2011.

Recently I really enjoyed the 2010 42 Degrees South Pinot Noir, another wine produced by Frogmore Creek and designed to be very food friendly.  As can be seen in the opening image it is a very light coloured red wine.  On opening this wine I could smell the cherries popping out of it.  On sipping it the wine confirmed itself as being quite light yet it still packed an array of berry-driven fruit flavours along with a spice and an enjoyable tang.  Although not overly complex this was actually quite a fun and interesting wine that was nice and soft yet lasted in the mouth.  And as designed, it went very well with light snacks and a home-made burger. Yum!

One of our followers, Anthony Woollams, is living the dream and setting up his own vineyard in the Tamar Valley.  You can read his blog, Domaine Anthony Woollams, here.

So let’s just hope the vibrant Tassie wine industry never goes the way of the Tassie Tiger or heads down the path of the Tassie Devil… the world would be even poorer for this extra loss!

Author: Conrad

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51 comments

  1. Apple and stone fruit flavour for a wine…I think I like that. Much more than red wine or white wine. Which are the only two I have tasted in my life and I can´t find the difference from one red wine to the other. But now if I go to a restaurant with some $, I can pretend to be a little expert on wines.

    What´s up with the bubbly wines, I see from other post that that´s your favourite I believe.

    And you crushed me when you said at the beginning that Tasmania is “Apple Isle” and has nothing to do with the Tasmanian devil, the Looney Toons characters, it´s like when your parents tell you that Santa doesn´t exist.

    By the way the first picture of the wine bottle and the glass on the rail, my first thought was, No! do not fall.

    Nice post, don´t know how you do it, well I do, but you make wine tasting wine knowing interesting and fun to learn about.

    Stay Frosty Mr. Conrad.

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    • Oh no mate, sparkling wine is not my favourite style of wine. I probably don’t have a favourite style, I like all well made wine. This is just a case of me thinking that it’s one of the best wine types coming out of Tasmania. It’s just so good!

      My wife is into the bubbles, and most of her friends too, so it’s rubbed off on me. Probably a case of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!”. I’ve had fizz in a few blog posts because that’s what my wife has “encouraged” me to open… she’s great and giving “encouragement”. 😉

      Thanks Charly for your kind words and frequent visits, and giving me a bit of a chuckle! 😛

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  2. Tried the Jansz for the first time about 3 months back, absolutely loved it. Still struggling to get anything other than sparkling wine from Tassie over here, but plenty of us keeping our eye out for them.

    Thanks for all the info boss!

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    • No worries Mike! I think Mr Confessions said the same thing recently when he wrote about Aussie Pinot (I think that’s what I read from memory) and I mentioned that he’d left out Tasmania. It’s a shame that Tassie wine hasn’t crept up your way much. I hope you find some one day. Cheers!!

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  3. How about Andy Pirie’s Pipers Brook – scrummy Chards and Pinots. I think Roederer invested in Jansz back in the day – are they still involved? Great fizz, thanks for reminding me, will go out and grab some for the 6 nations rugby this weekend.

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  4. Great info on Tasmanian wines- I wouldn’t even thought about there being a wine industry there, but of course it make sense that there would be. That’s how the Napa valley started out- apple and prune orchards- and now, nothing but vines as far as the eye can see…

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  5. I have always wanted to go to Tasmania and now I have another reason to make the trip. Last time I went to Australia, I spent a month and barely scratched the surface. How much time do you recommend for a relaxed drive around Tassie with, of course, lots of stops? 😉

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  6. A nice post about a wine region I am beginning to love. I had the privilege of meeting Natalie Fryar of Jansz a few years back at a tasting we put on in a shop I was working in here in Edinburgh, Scotland. We tried the 2005 vintage which was truly amazing and a snip at around £20. Also on the Tasmanian ass kissing I recently tried the Frogmore Fume Blanc (thought that was only a US term), that was utterly delicious. Good job guys.

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  7. Absolutely love Tasmania – so naturally beautiful, it is, as you recommend the perfect place to go on a driving holiday. I have not however been to see much of the grape growing industry in the state, unlike my adventures through The Hunter Valley – which is also absolutely stunning countryside!

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