2010 Stoney Rise Pinot Noir

2010 Stoney Rise Pinot Noir

Campbell Mattinson

James Halliday's Wine Companion Magazine / June July 2012

MY 20 GREAT REDS

Winemaker and vigneron Joe Holyman was once the wicketkeeper for Tasmania – he holds the state record for most numbers of catches on debut – and he caught the grapes at their perfect pitch when he was making this wine. Puns aside, this is a classy pinot noir. Sappy, grainy, cherried and perfumed. The aftertaste is like sucking on a silken version of star anise. Bright and lively throughout. Got him, yes. I'm gone – I loved it.

Jancis Robinson

16 February 2012

There is no cooling in the winery, so they use sulphur instead. They pick from mid March and are reasonably well insulated. They’re picking for table wines when most are picking for sparkling wines. Just 5 t/ha. Not organic but they use some biodynamic preparations. Very fresh and smells unoaked. All old oak. Bottled in February like all their wines including Holyman. So frank and fresh and easy.

When to drink: 2012 - 2014
17 pts | Superior

Sarah Ahmed

The Wine Detective (UK) / FebRUARY 2012

This wine contains a good deal of fruit from Relbia, to the east, from Tamar Ridge’s White Hills vineyard. North-facing and on top of a wind swept hill, it’s a low cropping vineyard which Richard Smart homoclime matched to Martinborough. Though there’s more depth to nose and palate, it’s a pretty, lively wine, with ripe but bright red cherry and strawberry fruit, fleshier plum layered with five spice and a hint of dark chocolate. There’s a touch of warmth to the finish, but it’s well done.

Patrick Haddock

12 July 2011 / http://www.winingpom.com.au

Tasted over two nights, and on day two it's humming a sweet tune of cherries, strawberry and forest floor. It carries a pretty feminine perfume, albeit a lady whose running through the forest and her top got snagged on a bush of berries, however I digress.

The palate delivers all the berry goodness promised on the nose with a nice line in spice and held together by a silky wave of tannin but it's the acids that are so interesting. On the first night I found a real tightrope tension of fruit and acid but it's relaxed and harmonious after a night's rest. It's delicate and powerful, all in the same instance and that is a cause for some serious seduction.

Andrew Graham

13 November 2011 / http://www.ozwinereview.com

Ahh Tasmania. The Apple Isle. That bit down the bottom of Australia. A part of the nation that is, to put it simply, cool. Cool in climate and now, in wine terms at least, fashionable cool. And it's wines of this ilk that are drawing winemakers south.

Why? How? A lot of it comes down to climate actually, with the dry (in the wine regions at least) and mild (in the northern part at least) climate particularly conducive to growing grapes. Couple that with a reputation that echoes the 'clean, green' ethos of our Kiwi neighbours across the ditch, along with the notion that plenty of the finest terroirs are yet to be planted and you've got a veritable promised land.

Of course it's nowhere near as easy as that, with a growing number of Tassie producers whom have got more wine than they can sell. There remains very few genuine 'icon' producers to pull the state's reputation forward to boot (and a serious lack of availability for the best too). Yet still the promise remains (as do the great wines).

To make great wines though you've got to start with great vineyards, and this wine is drawn from a rather famous one - the old Rotherhythe vineyard on the western side of the Tamar River. It's a vineyard that was planted in the mid 80's, making it rather old indeed for Tasmania, and situated in a part of the island that our very own Mike Bennie calls 'the QLD of Tasmania' (which means it's generally warmer and more hospitable than down south).

Couple that with careful winemaking (Mr Bennie has a hand in that too, though Joe does most of the pants-on work) and you've got a recipe for goodness.

This Stoney Rise Pinot suitably delivers too, a Pinot that smells and tastes like much more than $29 worth of wine. It smells of Pinot - which sounds silly, but that's important - with bright warmish cherry fruit, some dirt wrapped smallgoods and background oak. On the palate it's a ripe wine, particularly for Tassie, with a firmness from the mid palate on that suggests somewhere warmer too. The length and tannins too are more mainland than Tassie, the meaty aftertaste very serious and grown up indeed.

All up it's a wine that delivers this one, a Pinot of length and power that is still unveiling in the bottle, showing more and more pinosity as it goes. Smart wine for the price indeed.

92+ pts | 17.8/20