Tassie Drop Perfect with a Tassie Cray

By David Ellis from vintnews.

Tasmania’s Riversdale Estate has released a 2013 Crater Chardonnay that’s an absolute stunner from a cool maritime climate region that’s less than 20km from the Hobart CBD, and interestingly whose vineyard was for years a key player in the development of Penfolds’ famed Yattarna Chardonnay.

While located in the island State’s renowned Coal River Valley, rather than from a property devoted entirely to grape production, Riversdale Estate’s vineyard in fact occupies just a third of a 120ha mixed farming operation.

Established by Ian and Wendy Roberts in 1991, the vineyard flourished from onset, with Chardonnay in particular thriving in the soils and climate, and 2013 an outstanding year that’ll long be remembered as a virtually “endless summer” – warm, dry and sunny, and giving way to an exceptional autumn and outstanding vintage.

Moderate yields of perfectly ripened fruit displayed superb citrus, grapefruit and apple characteristics, and winemaker Nick Badrice used oak simply to highlight what he sums up as “the wine’s vibrancy, minerality and extraordinary length of flavour.”

Pay $52 at cellar door or online at www.riversdale.com.au and enjoy with – what else – market-fresh Tasmanian crayfish, or your favourite seafood.

One to note: 2014 was an absolute rollercoaster for growers and winemakers in the Eden Valley of the Barossa Ranges, with unseasonal late frosts to finish winter and start spring, the hottest summer on record including 13 days recording over 40C, the wettest day since 1969 with more than 100mm falling on February 14, and yet all resulting in surprisingly good fruit, albeit off a low-yielding vintage.

From all of this, fledgling newcomer in the Valley, the Stage Door Wine Co came through with an exceptional 2014 Shiraz, a wine loaded with dark berry fruit flavours, a dusting of ripe, rich and exotic spice, and fine-grained tannins – one to enjoy now at $25 a bottle with barbecued beef ribs, or to tuck away for another five years or so bottle age.