Country, Region: Australia, Tasmania, East Coast
From just 1 ha of fully mature vines the yield in 2017 was 2 barrels and 1 demi-muid giving a total production of about 100 dozen bottles. 2017 was a very cool year for the east coast of Tasmania and the wine shows more restraint and finesse to the benefit of the finished wine. Rich bright and intense with wonderful texture and depth this will drink well young and also age gracefully for 5-10 years if given time.
Apsley Gorge Vineyard
Established in 1988 this tiny vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir (5.5 hectares) and Chardonnay (1 hectare) and is located several kilometres inland from the coast near the entrance to the Apsley Gorge national Park north-west of Bicheno. The vineyards unique situation near the entry to the gorge brings breezes in the afternoon which have a distinct cooling effect which means this vineyard is typically one of the last to harvest in Tasmania with harvest usually being around the first week of May. This micro-climate is unique for the east coast.
Since 1999 winemaking has been undertaken by owner Brian Franklin who also does vintage each year in Burgundy with Philippe Charlopin (himself mentored by his friend Henri Jayer) in Gevrey Chambertin, and is helped here in Tasmania by young French winemakers including Philippe Charlopin’s son Yann. Including vintages undertaken in France Brian now has almost 40 vintages of wine-making experience in both France and Australia.
Always aiming for full phenolic ripeness the style of wines produced are rich and intense wines characterised by fully ripe fruit made using Burgundian know-how with texture and finesse and excellent natural acidity, without excessive extraction or heaviness. Produced very naturally with only a small percentage of new oak (maximum 30%) each year these are very individual wines of great class and structure that drink very well when young yet also age and evolve over a decade or more for the Pinot Noir.