Clarence House Southern Tasmania.
This small vineyard is located just north of Hobart on a perfectly positioned north-east facing slope. The beautiful old Georgian homestead of Clarence House was built in 1830 at Clarence Plains, Mt Rumney, has been maintained in its original splendour surrounded by beautiful gardens, and in 1998 present owner David Kilpatrick began planting vines on the north east sloping block facing Mount Rumney just below the Coal River Valley. Over 8ha of the total 12ha of plantings consists of pinot noir and chardonnay, with the remainder including pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc, merlot and tempranillo. All wines are now made by Anna Pooley and Justin Bubb at the nearby Pooley cellar in Cambridge.
100% Chardonnay for this outstanding sparkling wine which has been aged on lees for 3 years. Bright, green-tinged silver. High-pitched, intensely minerally aromas of white flowers, lime zest and white pepper convey striking clarity and vivacity. Expansive citrus and pear on the palate, but with excellent focus and lift thanks to spice, mineral and tangy peppery notes. The flavours build and deepen into the finish, which is wonderfully fresh and quite long.
2016 Pinot Blanc
Aromas of perfumed white flowers and white stone fruits. Lively on the palate, displaying attractive inner-mouth perfume and sneaky concentration to its white stone fruit flavours. Finishes bright and long, with a glyceral mouthfeel that leaves an impression of sweetness, though finishing dry.
‘Fine but flavoursome, with apple and citrus, a whiff of sulphide/struck match complexity, fennel, and spicy oak in discreet mode. There’s a nice energy and crunch, flinty feel, and a tight finish of impressive length. Style plus, and more importantly, a lovely thing to drink. 94.’ 94 points, Winefront November 2017.
2015 Reserve Chardonnay
Deep, complex nose combines soft citrus scents, lime, fresh herbs, minerals and stone. Juicy, stony and penetrating, with crystalline flavours of lemon and minerals. More complex than the young-vines example, with firm, perfectly integrated acids giving the wine a very brisk character. Stony, long and precise on the aftertaste.
2012 Reserve Chardonnay
Fresh vibrant citric aromas with hints of herb and spice. The palate shows lively freshness with citrus and orchard fruits following on to a complex layered palate gently framed by subtle spicy nuttiness. Fine fresh and very long finishing.
2011 Reserve Chardonnay
In an excellent drinking zone. It delivers grapefruit, peach and pear flavours and does so impeccably. The finish rings with citrus notes and is now showing at its best. It’s nicely done.
2016 Pinot Noir
Deep saturated colour. Captivating aromas of raspberry, dried flowers, spice-cake, soy and loam. Plump, seamless and sweet, with wonderful inner-mouth perfume of floral oils and potpourri. Impressive volume here. Finishes impressively long, with lush tannins.
2015 Reserve Pinot Noir
‘Rich style that’s often typical of Southern Tassie, but there’s a wonderful sweep of dense velour tannin here that carries the wine beautifully. I’m thinking plum and cherry, dried roses, autumn leaves, exotic spices, almost into chocolate, with just a nip of dried mint and cedar above. Full flavour, but medium bodied, toasty oak, a bit of the old ‘mineral’, plush fruit, cool integrated acidity, and a long finish that drags gently with tannin. Very good. Age-worthy too, it feels.’ 94 points, Winefront, November 2017.
2014 Reserve Pinot Noir
Vibrant purple colour with excellent depth. Rich and spicy bramble fruit aromas showing real depth with beautiful clarity. Intense yet with finesse and hints of delicate savoury oak very much in the background. Remarkably intensity and volume here. Finishes very long, with fine svelte tannins.