By David Ellis from Vintnews.
It’s a safe bet that the last thing Dutch seafaring explorer and merchant trader Abel Tasman would have thought as he swept down the west coast of Tasmania in his little exploration vessel Heemskerk in 1642, was that one day a wine would be made on that seemingly inhospitable land and be named after he and his ship.
Nor that in fact the foul winds that frustrated him in his quest to put foot ashore here, would become so integral to Tasmania’s climate that its vineyards would thrive here to produce many of Australia’s premier cool climate wines.
One name that pays homage to Tasman is Heemskerk Wines 25km north-east of Hobart, one of the most southerly cool-climate grape-producers in Australia. Their just-recently released 2011 Abel’s Tempest Tasmania Chardonnay Pinot Noir is a drop you’ll find is up there with the very best of Aussie bubblies, and an ideal drop when the call is for a rewarding celebratory sparkler.
Interestingly this one came from a vintage that began with poor fruit set due to severe spring frosts, some cold spells in January, and then a rewarding Indian Summer of glorious autumn days that resulted in the best of fruit for making sparkling wine. Pay $32 for this great drop for special, or any-time, celebrations.
One to note: The Hunter Valley’s Andrew Margan used fruit off some of the oldest Verdelho vines in Australia in his excellent-value 2015 Verdelho that’s a steal at just $20 a bottle.
Some of these vines were planted over 100 years ago and by blending their fruit with that of later plantings, Andrew has produced a drop that rewards wonderfully with subtle citrus and mouth-watering tropical fruit flavours, and a crisp and spicy finish.
A buy-now-drink-now drop to enjoy young and fresh, its fruitiness makes for a marvellous match with spicy Thai and Malaysian dishes.