Category Archives: Tasmanian Shiraz

Jul 07 2018

Tasmanian Shiraz: Reaching for New Heights

Posted on July 07, 2018 | By merrill@cellarit.com
The Wine Advocate’s managing editor Joe Czerwinski, who has now taken over coverage for Australian wines from Lisa Perrotti-Brown, was absolutely glowing in his praise of the Glaetzer-Dixon 2014 La Judith Shiraz, describing it as “a tour de force of Tasmanian Shiraz, albeit one produced in micro quantities of 232 bottles. If Mon Père is Saint-Joseph, this is Hermitage.”
You may recall that Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers took the wine world by storm in 2011 when their MON PèRE Shiraz 2010 became the first wine from Tasmania to win the prestigious Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show. The win was particularly surprising because at the time Tasmania was far better known for its pinot noirs. Generally most people thought that the region was too cool for growing shiraz.
Winemaker Nick Glaetzer was intent to turn this type of thinking on its head. He set out to demonstrate how Tasmania’s ‘old’ shiraz vines, most of which were first planted in the 1970s in tiny quantities in the Coal River and Upper Derwent valleys, had the potential to create elegant, savoury, spicy and complex cool climate wines. Deliberately aiming for a style that was evocative of the Northern Rhône Valley wines, particularly from the Hermitage, Saint Joseph and Côte-Rôtie appellations, Glaetzer will no doubt be pleased with Czerwinski’s Hermitage comparison.
Other Tasmanian winemakers are also trying their hand at shiraz. Wine critic Huon Hooke was effusive in his praise for another award-winning wine, the Milton Shiraz 2014, going so far as to ask whether “Shiraz could be the next big thing for Tasmania?” The high score and outstanding review of the Glaetzer Dixon 2014 La Judith Shiraz from one of the world’s most prestigious wine publications certainly lends weight to Hooke’s musings.
At $220 a bottle, the … Read the rest
Feb 02 2012

How winning the Jimmy Watson can put not just a winery but a whole region on the map!

Posted on February 02, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

When Nick Glaetzer’s Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers MON PèRE Shiraz 2010 became the first Tasmanian wine to win the fabled 2011 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, it brought back memories of another equally historic win. Back in 1983, David Hoehnen, then of Cape Mentelle, won the trophy for the winery’s 1982 dry red claret. It was the first time a Margaret River region cabernet sauvignon had won the coveted award, which was first established in 1963 by Jimmy Watson’s family and friends to honour his legacy of promoting fresh, young Australian reds.

In a fascinating article on the history of the Jimmy Watson in the second issue of James Halliday’s Wine Companion magazine, Hoehnen told wine writer Jane Faulkner that winning the Jimmy Watson was not only life changing for Cape Mentelle but for the Margaret River region in general: “The most telling achievement of the award was not just about getting the name Cape Mentelle out and better recognised, which it did and that was wonderful for us, but more so it was critical Margaret River. From then on people took notice.” (“Just Rewards” by Jane Faukner, James Halliday’s Wine Companion, Feb/Mar 2012)

Only time will tell whether Glaetzer’s win will be equally as significant for his fledgling young winery and for Tasmanian shiraz in general. But the win has already generated a fair amount of publicity, with many commentators noting that for a Tasmanian shiraz to beat out 1,249 other young red wine entries is nothing less than extraordinary.

When it comes to red wine production, Tasmania is far better known for pinot noir than  shiraz. All up less than five hectares of shiraz vines are planted in Tasmania, and as a whole Tasmania accounts for less than 1 per cent … Read the rest