This has so far been a roller-coaster vintage, and we are barely into our main pickings! Our initial thoughts were that with such a warm summer this would be a very early vintage – but not so. Conditions cooled early in March and the ripening seemed to slow right down and in some blocks virtually stopped. In the last 10 days the vines have knuckled down to the “ripening” business and we are now flat out hand picking! As often happens in this style of season, all the varieties and blocks are tending to ripen together. Even Sauvignon Blanc in some of our cooler blocks is now well advanced and has fabulous flavours! Same goes for Riesling – which is hot on the heels of Pinot Noir and is building a very attractive flavour profile. Pinot Noir looks fabulous, quite delicate flavours and aromas with great poise and balance. We will see some very “classy” Pinots this vintage! With a relatively dry to very dry season, disease pressure is low, and strangely we have not been pestered by birds trying to get through our netting defenses – yet! They have been suspiciously quiet and it wouldn’t appear to be because they have their beaks full! So a very, very busy few weeks ahead with no time to lose! Cheers, Fred
We’re very pleased to announce the arrival of the following new vintage wines:
- 2012 vintage Cuvée Sparkling – with six years on lees, this is a richly flavoured wine with lemon and almond, yet finishing clean and crisp. It went down fantastically well with patrons at the recent Taste of Tasmania and is perfect with oysters.
- 2017 Riesling – drawing on fruit from our (now!) 45 year old “Old Vine” block, this wine a little drier than the 2016 version, with lovely citrus and green apple flavours. It has already been awarded 1 gold and 3 silver medals, as well as 95 points from James Halliday, 92 points from Huon Hooke and 4.5 stars from Winestate Magazine.
- 2017 Chardonnay – released on the 1 of January at the Taste of Tasmania, this is a richer Chardonnay that usual, reflective of a warmer 2017 vintage. Think citrus, grapefruit as well as stone fruit and spicy French oak. While drinking well now – it has already been awarded a double gold medal just last month at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, as well as another gold medal at the 2018 Asia Wine & Spirit Awards – we think this premium wine would also benefit from cellar time.
- 2017 Cabernet Merlot – a rare wine in the Pinot Noir dominated wine scene of Tasmania, this is our nod to the Bordeaux wines of France. Cassis/blackcurrant and dark plums, herbal hints too, with evident tannins and good acidity. It will evolve into something special with time in the cellar, although it pairs very well with rich meat dishes and strong cheeses now.
You can purchase all of these wines, as well as any of our other current release wines, via our secure online shop here – remember that you can mix and match with the minimum order being only 6 bottles, and we accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Direct Deposit.
Vintage 2019 is fast approaching, and if this hot, dry weather persists it could be a lot earlier than we initially thought. In the south it has been exceptionally dry and consistently warm to hot. The older vines seem to be handling it surprisingly well, courtesy of a very dry spring which enabled the survival of their deeper vine roots. Hence we are concentrating our irrigation efforts on the higher and more exposed blocks, and the younger vines that have yet to fully develop their deep root systems. With some pretty mizzly, drizzly weather during the flowering of some blocks, there are some smaller berries in bunches where the pollination was incomplete – hence I am expecting only fairly modest bunch weights and yields. Coupled with a continuation of this weather pattern, this will also accelerate veraison and ripening. In fact we are seeing the early signs of veraison ie berry softening and a little colour, in Pinot Noir berries in our earliest blocks. Ah, the joys of applying bird netting are not far away!!
We are looking forward to being part of Festivale in Launceston again this year! From Friday 1 February to Sunday 3 February in City Park, this event always features great music, and this year is no exception, with the Hoodoo Gurus performing on Friday night and Jon Stevens on Saturday night! This year you can find us in Stall 93 –similar to our location last year, facing the Pergola. Take the opportunity to drop in, taste our wines, as well as check out our new label.
We are pleased to confirm that we will be at the 30th birthday of the Taste of Tasmania this year – and Bream Creek is proud to have been one of the original, and a continuous, stallholders! Starting on 28 December 2018 and going through to 3 January 2019, this will be a fantastic celebration of one of Australia’s longest running and most prestigious festivals! We will be inside the main Princes Wharf Shed – Stall 16, on the wharf side towards the river or eastern end of the Shed, on a corner facing the city. Take the opportunity to come and see us , taste our wines, and check out our new label!
It has been a very mixed bag so far – ranging from an exceptionally dry winter and spring, to a recent week of mizzly, drizzly weather here in south east Tassie. We picked up 20 – 30mm of rain across our vineyard blocks, but it was a pretty agonizing process due to the persistent, drizzly showers and the prolonged heavy could cover rather than shorter bursts of heavier rain. We had a couple of chardonnay blocks commence flowering during this weather, whilst one of our main pinot noir blocks was almost mid flower. I would love to see a few weeks of warm sunny weather – with perhaps the occasional “worthwhile “shower – as opposed to our recent dull, cloudy conditions. But so far our vines look healthy and the growth is pretty good. Courtesy of the prolonged warm dry season last year, there are plenty of flower bunches on the vines i.e. potential grape bunches, across all varieties. At this stage it is certainly not looking like an early season, in fact I’m starting to think it could be one of the later seasons of recent years – but as usual time will tell! Long way to go yet!
I’ve previously mentioned the success of our 2016 Reserve Chardonnay at the AWC International Wine Competition in Vienna, Austria (the largest recognised international wine competition in the world, this year there were over 12,100 wine entries from 1,719 wine producers in 39 countries). At the time we were very pleased that this wine was not only awarded a gold medal, but was also selected as one of the top 3 Chardonnay wines in the competition and one of the Top 100 wines in the whole competition. Well, you can imagine our amazement when this wine won the Trophy for “Best Chardonnay Up to 12.9% Alcohol” but then went on to win the Trophy for “Best White Wine of Show” ! This is an incredible achievement by the entire Bream Creek team ! Unfortunately this wine sold out not long after this news was officially released……
We are very pleased to have been recognized on the world stage with a trio of trophies recently awarded at highly regarded international wine shows in Europe and Asia for our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.
The AWC International Wine Competition in Austria is the largest recognised wine show in the world and this year saw 12,402 wines entered from 1,716 wine producers in 39 countries. At the presentation ceremony in Vienna, we were awarded the trophies for ‘Best White Wine of Show’ as well as for ‘Best Chardonnay up to 12.9% Alcohol’ for its limited release 2016 Bream Creek Reserve Chardonnay. Winning these two Trophies – including the ‘Best White Wine of Show’ at the largest international wine show in the world is quite incredible! Chardonnay is sometimes overlooked in Tasmania, given the popularity of Pinot Noir, but this recognition reinforces my view that Tasmania does indeed produce world class Chardonnay.
We have also received recent recognition for our Pinot Noir. At the 2018 Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition, the 2016 Bream Creek Reserve Pinot Noir (not yet released) was awarded the trophy for ‘Best Pinot Noir’ while at the 2018 Decanter Asia Wine Awards the 2016 Bream Creek Estate Pinot Noir won a “Platinum Best in Show” Medal. These results in international competitions provide a strong endorsement of the great quality of the wines we are producing in Tasmania. There is no doubt that the combination of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and the Tasmanian climate is the envy of many Australian and International wine producers.
We were delighted to be presented with two trophies at the 2018 Royal Hobart Wine Show a little while ago. As you may be aware I am a firm believer that Tasmania produces world class Pinot Noir wine – so was very pleased that our trophies were for “Best Tasmanian Red Wine” as well as “Best Tasmanian Wine” for our 2017 Estate Pinot Noir! The Tasmanian wine industry continues to go from strength to strength, and I feel privileged to be part of it. We expect to release this wine around the middle of 2019.
And yes, I can confirm that the large trophy on the right hand side of the photo (being for “Best Tasmanian Wine”) is at least as heavy as it looks!
It’s been a very successful month for the Bream Creek team, with numerous great results and accolades being received. Highlights included:
- Being awarded “Best Tasmanian Winery” at the 2018 Melbourne International Wine Competition.
- Double gold medal for our 2016 Reserve Chardonnay and gold medals for our 2017 Chardonnay, 2017 Riesling and 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir at the 2018 Asia Wine & Spirits Awards.
- Gold medals for our 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir and 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir at the 2018 China Wine & Spirits Awards.
- Gold medal for our 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir at the 2018 Sydney Royal Wine Show.
- Gold medal for our 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir at the 2018 WineWise Small Vigneron Awards.
The 2016 Reserve Chardonnay and the 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir are both currently available – the other wines are due for release in 2019. You can purchase any of our current release wines via our secure online shop here – remember that you can mix and match and the minimum order is only 6 bottles.
Following a very early start to budswell, the vines have slowed a little over the last 3 weeks – which is great! But warmer, and in the south and east, drier conditions are seeing chardonnay showing green tips and most other varieties are well and truly on the move. Cabernet, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc however, still look a little sleepy. The exceptionally dry conditions in the south east – especially in the Derwent and Coal Valleys and on the East Coast – are somewhat concerning. Our main dams are very low but we are fortunate in being able to transfer water from a reserve dam, and also to get access to some scheme water, which we will need to start drawing in the next week. Very dry springs also traditionally carry an increased risk of late spring frosts, which in some blocks can be quite damaging. Most of our blocks have a very low risk factor, but never the less we shall be monitoring the situation closely. Our stately old riesling vines at Bream Creek are now commencing their 45th spring – so I guess they have seen wetter and drier seasons before and simply take it pretty much in their stride!
At the start of August each year James Halliday – Australia’s pre-eminent wine critic – releases his Wine Companion, with thousands of wines tasted and reviewed. Well, the results are in and we’re very pleased to have received great reviews for a number of our wines. We’re particularly pleased to have achieved our first ever 97 point wine, for our 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir, with James saying that it “[f]ills the senses with its rich purity and clarity of varietal character. It is a pinot that will be very long lived thanks to its balance and length”. We had sold out – but we’ve decided to release a small amount of this wine from our cellar to celebrate! Only a small number of bottles are available and limited to 3 bottles per customer please (why not make up a mixed six pack of this wine and our 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir?). Other great results include:
- 96 points for our 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir (“abundant depth and richness“),
- 95 points for each of our 2015 Estate Pinot Noir (“A long and prosperous future awaits”), our 2016 Riesling (“impeccable balance…extra level of depth“) and our 2016 Estate Chardonnay (“effortless display of variety and of place“).
- 94 points for our 2011 Cuvée Traditionelle sparkling (“follows in the fruit footsteps of the gold medal winning 2010“), our 2016 Reserve Chardonnay(“distinctly greater weight and complexity“) and our 2017 Pinot Rosé (“a striking wine“).
Click on each wine, you’ll find the full text of James’ review under the “Awards” tab. Cheers, Fred