This year the #WorldWineTravel group travelled to Australia and New Zealand. This month’s topic is Australian Sparkling, Fortified, and Tasmanian wines.
Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located between 40 and 43 degrees south latitude. There are mild, rainy winters and cool summers with the interior being cooler than the coast and there is a lot of wind. The island also has quite a number of mountains. Vineyards are located mostly on the lower slopes of the mountains. While the industry began in the 1800s, it was deemed an impossible location and for 100 years, no vineyards were planted. Today’s industry really began in the 1950s.
The soils are mainly sedimentary soils with some basalt and some sandy areas. Much scholarly research has been done on these areas as the industry is still growing. At the moment, there is one appellation for Tasmania wine for the entire region but they are looking to make subregions or geographical indications (GI). Thus far, seven have been identified.
Much of the group focused on sparkling wine from Tasmania. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the basis for their famed sparklers but also make great still wines. While Chardonnay is the second most widely planted grape, it is increasingly getting more interest these days and grows extremely well in the cool maritime climate of Tasmania.
Tasmania also grows Riesling and Sauvignon blanc. The mix of grapes is closer to those that we see in New Zealand.
The wine I had was Devil’s Corner Chardonnay. The fruit came from estate vineyards on the East coast of the country and from the Tamar Valley. It had 12.5% alcohol with 15% fermented in oak and 85% in stainless steel. The wine spent three months in old oak for 3 months. Apparently, the 2021 vintage had small yields but concentrated fruit.
When I tasted the Chardonnay I choose which was from Devil’s Corner. I was surprised at the beautiful color, a deep lemon with some green hints. The bouquet was all cool climate chardonnay with apple, melon, some brioche notes but not over the top oak. These came from the partial oak ferment of the grapes. The wine also had great acidity, a lot of length and persistence.
It reminded me of some of the Chardonnay I tried in Oregon and how much I enjoyed those wines. Like in Oregon, Pinot Noir gets more attention but Chardonnay is, in my view, the one to watch.
Devil’s Corner is owned by Brown Brothers, a fourth generation winery that began making wine in Australia in 1889 in Milawa, Victoria.
I paired the wine with two dishes, one a shrimp, eggplant, and rice dish which worked well with the acidity on this wine. For dinner my son made a lasagna with my mom and that was perfect with this cheerful bottle.
I am really excited to try more wines from Tasmania and to read the posts of my fellow bloggers.
Join us for our chat later today on Twitter at 11:00am EDT.. You can find us at #WorldWineTravel and join the conversation. Be sure to check out all of these posts:
- Lori is tasting Tasmanian Sparkling and Egg Rolls at Exploring the Wine Glass
- Camilla is showcasing Tasmania + Hawaii: Celebrating with an Island Wine and Island Eats at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Jeff shares how we can Discover Rutherglen Stickies at Food Wine Click!
- Robin is pairing Sparkling Wine from Jansz Tasmania and a Tassie-inspired seafood curry pie at Crushed Grape Chronicles
- Kat has a Surprise! South Australia Pét-Nat is on the Rise at The Corkscrew Concierge
- Susannah is featuring Tasmanian Chardonnay at Avvinare
- Deanna is popping an Australian Sparkling Wine from Deviation Road at Wineivore
- Linda is having Sparkling Aussie Shiraz as summer draws to a close at My Full Wine Glass
Thank you for the in-depth breakdown of the wine-growing areas. I had read before that Pipers River was a sub-region within the Tamar Valley. It was nice to get the clarification and have the southern regions mapped out so clearly!
Love cool-climate wines like this one. What fun it would be to do a side-by-side comparison with Oregon Chardonnay!
Chardonay and lasagna aren’t something I typically pair. But I can’t wait to track down a bottle of this Devil’s Corner. It looks delicious.
I love Chardonnay from cooler places, especially with a light touch on the oak. This one sounds delicious!
What a fantastic find Susannah! I’ve never seen a Tas Chard before. Even more fascinating to hear that it paired well with lasagna! Thanks so much for featuring this wine with us!
This sound like a delicious bottle along with some very delicious pairings!