Category Archives: Tasmanian Chardonnay

Apr 04 2019

Best Buys: Hughes & Hughes Chardonnay 2018

Posted on April 04, 2019 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Wine critic Huon Hooke has just put up a post on Great Value Chardonnays. He was excited to report that a very moderately priced Tasmanian chardonnay from the Derwent Valley, the Hughes & Hughes Chardonnay 2018 ($34) scored a gold ribbon.

You may recall that Hughes & Hughes is the most recent recipient of the James Halliday Wine Companion’s Best New Winery of Year award. Upon bestowing the gong, Halliday remarked: “Without wishing in any way to denigrate past recipients of the Best New Winery award, this year’s recipient has achieved a level of success we haven’t seen before, and are unlikely to see again.”

Such impressive accolades for a new winery would be surprising if it were not for the expertise and experience of the talent behind the venture. Jonathan Hughes had a seven-year stint as assistant winemaker at Moorilla, the David Walsh owned winery on the grounds of MONA, before establishing the Mewstone Vineyard in 2011 with his older brother Matthew, a former banker. It’s situated on the banks of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel in the tiny hamlet of Flowerpot.

Recently expanded to a total of 3.5 hectares, the Mewstone vineyards are mostly comprised of Pinot Noir, but also include some small plantings of  Chardonnay, Syrah, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Hughes & Hughes label was started as a second range to allow Jonathan to be “more daring in his winemaking endeavours,” which are informed by styles and techniques picked up from an international career that involved working for top winemakers in Central Otago in New Zealand, Barolo in Italy and Okanagan Valley in Canada.

Grapes for the Hughes & Hughes label are purchased from growers in all parts of Tasmania. The fruit for the Hughes & Hughes Chardonnay 2018 comes from a single vineyard in the … Read the rest

Jul 07 2012

3 Wonderful Aged Wines from Tasmania: A Tasmanian Unbottled Masterclass Tasting

Posted on July 07, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Andrew Pirie, Ed Carr, Peter Bourne and Nick Haddow

On Wednesday I attended the Tasmania Unbottled Cheese and Wine Masterclass.  The Wine Man’s Peter Bourne led the discussion and was joined by the House of Arras’s chief winemaker Ed Carr, Andrew Pirie, chief winemaker at Tamar Ridge and Pirie Tasmania, and the Bruny Island Cheese Company’s Nick Haddow.

The cheese was excellent, especially the four year old raw milk C2, a cheddar style cheese, which incidentally is the only legally made raw cheese in Australia! But the highlight for me was the opportunity to taste three superb vintage wines: the House of Arras Grand Vintage 2004, the Tamar Ridge Chardonnay 2004 and the Native Point Pinot Noir 2005.

 

If you’re ever weighing up buying a French Champagne or an Australian vintage sparkling, do yourself a favour and pick up a bottle of the beautifully made House of Arras Grand Vintage 2004. (It retails for around $70 a bottle) This elegant, finely beaded wine with complex nuances of flavour and a slight creaminess to the finish is still displaying great vibrancy and freshness. A blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, Ed Carr explained that the wine had spent seven years on lees before disgorgement. It receives a small dosage of expedition liqueur, which introduces a slight oak and brandy spirit into the complex, balanced blend.

Andrew Pirie was Australia’s first PhD in viticulture and as the founder of Pipers Brook Vineyard back in 1974, he is one of the legends of the Tasmanian wine industry. His Tamar Ridge Chardonnnay 2004 was an absolutely stunning example of  Tasmania’s potential to make chardonnay with enough balance and structure to age for a long time.

Pirie explained that Tasmanian chardonnay needs time to evolve. Over time the … Read the rest