Country, Region: Australia, Tasmania, East Coast
From just 1 ha of fully mature vines the yield in 2022 was just 4 barrels giving a total production of about 100 dozen bottles. From a cooler more challenging vintage there is notable freshness still with great depth and intensity which is the hallmark of the Chardonnays grown by Brian Franklin on this site. 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.
"The 2022 Chardonnay is the product of a challenging vintage. A la Niña year. One of the wettest years seen on the east coast of Tassie. A lot of work was needed in the vineyard with canopy management to control mildews. Crop levels were down. The resulting wine is different to previous years. With the smaller crop, ripeness was achieved with higher acid levels.
The nose is focused and precise showing subtle Chardonnay fruit characters and underlying French oak. In the mouth what a treat, after the subtle nose it is a real surprise. There is a lot happening here; fruit, oak, yeast, minerality, all held together with tight acidity. Different to previous AGV Chardonnays, this is one of the best." Brian Franklin, owner/winemaker.
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.