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Food and beverage stories

A ‘great’ vintage is looming

Edition 188_Van der Reeste

By Graeme Phillips

The local wine industry had a good story to tell about this year’s vintage at Wine Tasmania’s recent VIN Diemen 2017 promotions in Sydney and Melbourne.

Despite a wet and cool start to the growing season, grapes slowly ripened during a dry, coolish summer and autumn to deliver a crop of 13,197 tonnes, with the quality across the State rated good to excellent.

Moorilla winemaker, Conor van der Reest, believes it is even better. “In my opinion vintage 2017 is looking to be one of the greats,” he said.

“While very long and mostly quite cool, 2017 shows fantastic depth of flavours and aromas across all varieties, while retaining brilliant acidity.

“I think the wines are showing a lot of versatility in that they’re looking great in youth, but also will hold well for the long term.”

The harvest was composed of 52 per cent red grapes and 48 per cent white, with pinot noir making up 47.8 per cent of the total.

Chardonnay accounted for 23.2 per cent, sauvignon blanc 10 per cent, pinot gris 7.5 per cent, riesling 5.7 per cent, pinot meunier 1.6 per cent, cabernet sauvignon 1.4 per cent and traminer 0.5 per cent.

Demand for Tasmanian grapes – especially pinot noir and chardonnay – continued to grow, with the average price/tonne of $2,871 for Tasmanian fruit the highest in the country.

This compares with prices paid for fruit from such premium wine regions as Mornington Peninsula ($2,568), Barossa Valley ($1,820), Yarra Valley ($1,624) and Adelaide Hills ($1,349).

With serendipitous timing, the VIN Diemen promotions showcasing the State’s food, spirits, cider, beer and tourism offerings, as well as wine, coincided with the release of Australia’s most authoritative wine guide, James Halliday’s 2018 Wine Companion.

Tasmanian sparkling wines made a clean sweep in Halliday’s Best of the Best Varietal Selections scoring 96 and 97/100.

Three of his top-rated sweet wines were Tasmanian, as were three of his top-rated pinot noirs, each drawing 98 points. Three of his top rieslings on 97 points and two chardonnays, also on 97 points, were from Tasmania.

Two new Tasmanian wine producers – Dr Edge and Small Island Wines – were included in Halliday’s list of Australia’s Ten Best New Wineries.

Continuing the recent good news, Home Hill’s Kelley’s Reserve 2015 Pinot Noir took out four trophies against the 770 entries in the 2017 Australian and New Zealand Boutique Wine Show. The Huon Valley wine won Best Wine of Show, Best Red Wine of Show, Best Pinot Noir and Best Estate Grown and Produced Wine.

Now it’s just a matter of patience to see how the 2017 whites show at the White Wine Weekend held in Hobart in early November and how the 2017 reds fare next year.

Image courtesy of Moorilla Estate

3 October 2017, Edition 188

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