Pooley Wines Coal River, Tasmania.
Pooley Wines has an historical property and two separate vineyards in the Coal River Valley in southern Tasmania. The Coal River Valley has developed a worldwide reputation, and is ideally suited, for the production of cool-climate wines such as Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay. Members of the Pooley family have been actively involved in the business for three generations. Their longstanding passion and commitment to fine wine are your assurance of un-compromising quality.
Pooley Wines was established in 1985 when the late Denis and Margaret Pooley planted ten rows of Riesling and seven rows of Pinot Noir on their 16-hectare farm at Cooinda Vale in the Coal River Valley in southern Tasmania.
In 2003, John Pooley, son of Denis and Margaret, and his wife Libby bought Belmont Lodge, a heritage-listed Georgian home on the outskirts of Richmond. They have been lovingly renovating this second Pooley Wines Coal River Valley property, and have planted vines on nearby Butchers Hill. In 2007 the first vintage of Pinot was produced from this steep vineyard site that overlooks the township of Richmond.
Cooinda Vale Vineyard (Campania)
Established in 1985, the Cooinda Vale vineyard is ideally positioned facing northeast overlooking the Coal River in southern Tasmania. On the 43.5 Latitude line, the vineyard is planted on northeast facing slopes at 130m above sea level. This is a unique microclimatic location, being well protected from prevailing winds but still highly influenced by maritime conditions. The long growing season, which can extend into May, with high sunshine hours, predominately winter rainfall and the occasional frost and snow, combine to provide an excellent condition for cool climate grape varieties, such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Ries-ling and Chardonnay. The soils are Brown-Black dermosol subsoil, high in acid (associated with alluvial plains and river terraces) over decaying sandstone, with friable clay subsoil. Because of the sloping aspect, the drainage is excellent.
Butcher’s Hill Vineyard (Richmond)
A new vineyard has been established on the Belmont Estate, planted in 2003.The block is on the side of Butcher’s Hill facing north and captures the sun all day. The soils, high in pH, are well drained dolerite and black cracking clays with limestone faults on sandstone parent material.
WINE NOTES AND REVIEWS
2017 Butcher’s Hill Chardonnay (Strictly Limited)
A single vineyard Chardonnay from the Belmont vineyard at Richmond, adjacent to the cellar door.
‘A little spice and nectarine, a little bolder and rounder than the Cooinda Vale, with less drive and length, though it’s no slouch either, it must be said. There’s fine acidity and flinty texture, a layer of almond and oatmeal, lemon and a touch of zest pushing through the finish. It drinks very well now, even though its best days are a few years away. Lovely, and full of charm. Drink 2019-2027.’ 94 points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, June 2018.
2017 Cooinda Vale Chardonnay (Strictly Limited)
A single vineyard Chardonnay from the Campania vineyard established in 1985.
‘It’s not over-made, nor is it under-made; it’s all just so. It’s a wine characterized by its purity, line, and length. There’s a silky almond gloss and flavour, mild lemon and grapefruit, perhaps some pie apple with spice, though its flavours are subdued, yet beautifully clean. The rain-washed-white-pebble kind of acidity (well, you have to talk some shit, every now and then as it’s part of the brief), is something else. As is the aforementioned length. Expect subtlety and quiet confidence, but don’t come seeking oak and peaches. Here’s a Chardonnay for you. Drink 2019-2028+.’ 97 points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, June 2018.
2017 Butcher’s Hill Pinot Noir (Strictly Limited)
A single vineyard Pinot Noir from the Belmont vineyard at Richmond, adjacent to the cellar door.
‘There’s something very good about this site when it comes to Pinot Noir. That elusive soil/mineral/earthy thing that I love in Pinot (well, as far as my love for Pinot actually goes).
Cherry, strawberry, some spice, a floral top note, almond, but that soil/mineral thing is the loveliest part of the wine here, at least for me. It’s medium-bodied, fine and pliant, with delicate acidity laced through a subtle smoky earthiness. Oak is down low, but present, and the finish is generous and expansive, emery tannin, a little spray of dried herb and dried flower perfume lingering in the aftertaste. Delicacy, integrity, and a coy youthfulness set the stage for a bright future. It’s a beautiful thing. Drink 2020-2034+.‘ 95+ points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, June 2018.
2017 Cooinda Vale Pinot Noir (Strictly Limited)
A single vineyard Pinot Noir from the Campania vineyard established in 1985.
‘Vineyard here is an old site, by Tasmanian standards, planted in 1985.
It’s a very fine wine, and forgive me for saying it, has a distinct echo of Burgundy, albeit many thousands of miles south of that neck of the woods. Dried flowers, almost chamomile, a whiff of soil and spice, red fruits and almond. Medium bodied, deft and sure, with pitch-perfect acidity married to perfectly ripe red fruits, tannin is nutty and saturating, and the finish is cool and long, all that ‘mineral’ stuff, orange peel and perfume playing out to marvellous effect. It may, perhaps, be too subtle for some, but those who seek elegance and poise will be well rewarded. Drink 2020-2037.’ 96 points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, June 2018.
2017 Cooinda Vale J.R.D. Syrah (Last Bottles)
A single vineyard Syrah from the Campania vineyard, the vines planted in 1999.
2016 Butcher’s Hill Chardonnay (Last Cases)
‘Smoke, caramel, white peach and oatmeal. Light bodied, a silky gloss and lustre to its carriage, but grapefruity and flinty too. It’s not explosive like the Cooinda, more calm and relaxed, and without the length of its sibling, though it’s certainly a delicious glass of Chardonnay and fine drinking from front to back.’ 93 points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, September 2017.
2016 Pinot Noir (Last Cases)
This wine was hand harvested with the inclusion of a small percentage of whole clusters during fermentation. It has been matured in older French Oak barriques and is bottled unfined.
‘Dry spices, twigs and aniseed, strawberry and cherry, with a little sweet oak on top. Medium bodied, autumnal and spicy, yet sweetly red fruited with it. There’s a sappy freshness to the acidity, and fine grainy persistence to the tannin too, and while it feels like its not quite ready to drink yet, the pleasure is still there. Finish is long, slightly smoky, and spicy with it. Lovely.’ 93+ points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, July 2017.
2017 Coal River Riesling (Sold Out)
A single vineyard Riesling from the Campania vineyard established in 1985.
‘Heady, seductive and enticing! This wine takes you on a sensory journey. White blossom perfume of gardenia and jasmine dominate the nose whilst grapefruit, lavender and lime zest coat the palate. The texture of the wine commands another sip with the softness from the yeast influence dancing on a fine line with the natural ‘cool climate’ acid line. Enjoyable now but also rewards with patience!’ Anna Pooley, winemaker.
2017 Margaret Pooley Tribute Coal River Riesling (Sold Out)
‘An ideal Riesling vintage sees a return to the Family Reserve range of the much loved Margaret Pooley Tribute. Much like Margaret herself, this wine has poise, class, and a strength and intensity that will be remembered. Pure, restrained and classic in every sense with incredible citrus intensity on the nose and palate as well as balance and texture. Excellent cellaring potential.’ Anna Pooley, winemaker.
2017 Pinot Grigio (Sold Out)
Exclusively sourced from the family vineyards in Richmond and Campania, Coal River Valley.
‘Made in the Italian style this is a classic aromatic and crisp Pinot Grigio. The fruit was picked early in the season when the flavours, sugar and acid were lively and balanced. The aromas are uncharacteristically expressive and distinct with notes of green pear, nectarine, guava, peach and spice. The palate is no less expressive with softness and delicacy in mouth feel and great length of flavour. Pears and peach again coming to the fore but loaded with lots of spice characters including cinnamon and nutmeg. There is a generosity of weight on the mid palate from the residual sugar which yields the rich fruit flavours this is pulled firm by the natural acid line and finishes dry with a nice phenolic grip.’ Anna Pooley, winemaker.
2016 Gewurztraminer (Sold Out)
All fruit sourced from the Coal River and Tamar Valley.
‘This is a dry, full bodied and incredibly expressive example of Gewurztraminer mad in the vein of those from Alsace. Perfume, perfume and more perfume – with notes of rose oil, red apple, Turkish delight, bergamot, persimmon, cardamom and cinnamon quill -this wine is sure to entice. On the palate the flavours as replicated however come to new life with the introduction of phenolics, glycerol and supportive acid. Soft, textured and velvety but with a crisp, pure finish that pulls it back into line!’ Anna Pooley, winemaker.
2016 Cooinda Vale Chardonnay (Sold Out)
‘Woah. Smoking. And quite smoky too, with spent fireworks, white peach and white flowers, fine biscuitty oak, perhaps a little fennel perfume too. It’s tight and flinty, complex and bursting with energy, almost skittish as it races towards an incredibly long and deft finish. Citrus, lime rind and struck match in the aftertaste, and almond. And I really like almond in my Chardonnay, I have to say. One hell of a wine.’ 96 points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, September 2017.
2016 Butcher’s Hill Pinot Noir (Sold Out)
‘A smoking site for Tasmanian Pinot, I feel. Quality tannin. A distinct ‘mineral feel’ to the wines. Cherry, ripe raspberry, dried herb perfume, almost a liquorice thing going on, plus discreet and well-integrated oak. Medium bodied at best, cool acidity, fine pumice stone tannin, that subtly earthy mineral thing, and succulence and flavour on a satisfying finish. Lovely stuff. Lacks a little depth, perhaps, but makes up for it in other ways.’ 94 points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, October 2017.
2016 Cooinda Vale Pinot Noir (Sold Out)
‘Red fruits, cherry, almond and ginger biscuits, scrub herb and floral perfume. Medium bodied, pure and light on its feet, fine acidity, spicy red fruits, and again that biscuit sweetness, but tempered with a gentle drag of ultra-fine tannin, and that pure acidity ringing out on the finish. Classy. Warmer vintage, but retains verity of site and style. Wonderful.’ 95 points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, October 2017.
2016 Cooinda Vale J.R.D. Syrah (Sold Out)
‘At last, a great expression of Shiraz from Tasmania. It’s medium bodied, beautifully ripe, with rosy perfume, raspberries and a healthy dash of black pepper. There’s a blackberry succulence too, a little dried herb, cool lacy acidity and fine sandy/white peppery tannin, all just so. The finish is long, red fruited in the main, and meaty and peppery. Almost Pinot-like in its expression of site, aside from the meat and pepper thing. Lovely. Pure and vital.’ 95 points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, July 2017.