Tasmania's journal of discovery

Vintage 2005 is a winner

The last grapes are in, most varieties are already safely in tank or barrel and winemakers throughout Tasmania are thrilled with the 2005 vintage results.

“Up there with our best ever,” said contract winemaker Andrew Pirie.

“On the whole, better than the exceptional 2000 vintage,” according to Julian Alcorso of Winemaking Tasmania.

Michael Vishacki of Panorama Vineyard in the Huon — “Exceptionally good. The best I’ve seen.”

“Brilliant”, said BRL Hardy’s Bay of Fires winemaker, Fran Austin in Pipers River.

Flipping through his vintage records for different clients’ vineyards running from Relbia to the lower Tamar, Andrew Pirie says they show a “lovely set of numbers — textbook acidities and adequate, not too high sugars. The sparkling fruit was outstanding with the sort of figures you wouldn’t get anywhere else. The pinots have lots of colour and soft, ripe, silky tannins. Lovely mouthfuls, to the point of being very exciting”.

For Fran Austin, pictured below sampling a barrel, the standouts from the vintage were the aromatic white varieties. “Coal River Valley and Pipers River chardonnays are brimming with white peach and stonefruit aromatics matched with very lemony acidity, while rieslings show attractive floral and citrus characters and fairly tight, refreshing acidity and minerality. We will produce some outstanding wines this year”.

Julian Alcorso agrees. “The chardonnays from the Coal River Valley are just brilliant. There are also a couple of the best batches of riesling ever, beautiful ripe merlot and cabernets and outstanding pinots that the warm autumn allowed us to hang until perfectly flavour-ripe.”

“And the really good news is that, with the exception of wind damage in parts of the north, everywhere — the Derwent, East Coast, Bream Creek, Coal Valley, Pipers — had a great year.

At Panorama, Michael Vishacki processed between 8 and 10 tonnes of fruit a day and picked the last of his sauvignon blanc, cabernet and merlot fruit in mid-May — “They look very smart,” he says. His pinot crop was down about 30 per cent but the colour and flavour intensity he says are “fantastic”.

And at Home Hill, they have two batches of pinot just beginning their fermentation. Both have fabulous colour and came in at a super-ripe 14 Baume — which means we can expect a couple of big, powerful numbers to emerge in about 18 months time.

As someone famously boasted — “Bring ‘em on!” With the 2005’s we seem to be guaranteed much happier results. GRAEME PHILLIPS

  1. Great photos.

    Posted by  on  11/08/2005  at  04:29 PM

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