Variety: Pinot Noir
Country, Region: Australia, Tasmania, East Coast
From a cooler more ‘typical’ Tasmanian vintage 2014 has yielded a wine with notable freshness and finesse whilst still maintaining the intensity and depth of Apsley Gorge Pinot Noir. Deeper in colour than his 2011, 2012 and 2013 Pinots the 2014 shows extra depth and dimension with deep dark fruit aromatics showing raspberry coulis with a touch of autumnal complexity. A deep rich style of Pinot with very soft and polished tannins on the palate with all the trademark texture and Burgundian influence which Apsley is so well known for.
’A dark ruby colour. Aromas swing toward blueberry and blackcurrant fruit, however violets and meaty characters evolve on the palate with time in the glass. Complex secondary aromas with earthiness and forest floor. A firm structure, with grape tannins evident. Bigger in alcohol than Burgundy but more Old World than New World in style. Drink 2019-2024 Alc 14.5%.’ Decanter February 2019
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.