A trip to Tassie last month saw The Foges and I spending a leisurely Saturday puttering around the Tamar Valley performing the delicate balancing act of wine tasting and hire car driving. Tamar Valley (north of Launceston) may well be known for Pinot Noir, with Ninth Island being the label you're most likely to see in your local bottleshop. However, as is so often the case in wine regions, it was the much smaller producers I enjoyed visiting the most. The passion that is evident in small cellar doors immediately generates a real enthusiasm for the wine.
Goaty Hill was our pick for lunch and you'd wonder why I've decided to rave about it on my blog when our cheese platter, although lovely, was reasonably run of the mill and there were only two wines on taste. No, I'm not raving because it's a sponsored post (it's not), I'm raving because this little Billie Goat is streaking ahead despite being reasonably young. Their riesling has won a swag of awards, including a gold medal for the 2008 vintage at the 2009 International Cool Climate Wine Show (Redhill). And their 2007 Pinot Noir vintage was sold out after taking home best Pinot from The Taste of Tasmania 08/09 Festival.
We got to taste the award winning 2008 Riesling which really left a crisp clean taste in the mouth. Not being so hot on "wine speak", I had to consult their website to tell you that this wine has grapefruit characters and hints of citrus.
What I don't need to read from the website is that the 2008 Pinot Noir had earthy flavours that took me right back to the first Pinot I ever tasted, which happened to be on the Mornington Penninsula (Stoniers I think...although there were a few by the end of the day). I really like the complex smokey, earthy flavours that the Mornington is so good at. Whilst I probably won't be cracking open the 08 Pinot I brought home for at least another year, there's definitely some great flavours even at this young age.
Goaty Hill has also just advertised to mailing list members their 2006 Museum Release Riesling. Again, more awards (incl. The International Riesling Challenge). How can you get your hands on this one? Well with only 50 cases released you'll just have to be on the mailing list (see their website). For interest's sake the 2008 Riesling and Pinot Noir are $19.95 and $27.95 respectively, and they do deliver to Victoria.
A brief mention also should go to Velo Wines who had a great Unwooded Chardonnay and sensational Reserve Shiraz. At the time of our visit they had just begun supplying Vue De Monde so, whilst they're not currently distributing anywhere else in Victoria, it's another label to keep your eye out for.