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
Pruning is in full swing as our vines take a well-earned rest after a hectic vintage. So far a very mild winter, and in southern Tasmania a very dry winter! Whilst it would be great to fill our dams, a few more weeks of cold dry weather would be nice to complete our pruning, and then hope we have lots of rain in September to get some run-off and to refill the soil profile. At present it is looking like a very early spring, so fingers crossed we don’t get any really hard, late frosts which can set back the young vine growth. Cheers, Fred
We are very pleased to announce the release of our two Pinot Noir wines from the 2015 vintage – our 2015 limited release Reserve Pinot Noir and also our 2015 Estate Pinot Noir! More details on each of these wines are below….
2015 Reserve Pinot Noir As we have mentioned previously, this wine was awarded the Medallion (Trophy) for “Best Pre 2016 Pinot Noir” at the 2018 WineWise Championship which is an invitation only event exclusively for wines that have already been awarded a gold medal in a selected list of wine shows. The judges commented that our 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir was “Full flavoured and substantial” and “definitely one to cellar”. It also won gold medals at the 2018 Tasmanian Wine Show and the 2017 Royal Melbourne Wine Show. This is a complex and powerful wine, fragrant aromas of dark cherry, blueberries and violets flowing onto a palate showing intense flavours of dark cherry and raspberry, matched by subtle tannins. With excellent length and balance this limited release wine can be enjoyed now, yet will also reward careful cellaring, and is substantial enough to match rich beef dishes such as Cape Grim beef cheeks. More details of this wine can be found here.
2015 Estate Pinot Noir We are very proud that this wine was selected late last year as one of only six Southern Hemisphere 2015 Pinot Noir wines to take part in the invitation only 2018 Stonier International Pinot Noir Tasting. This tasting pits the best Pinot Noir wines of the Northern Hemisphere against the best from the Southern Hemisphere in a blind taste off in Sydney for the elite of the wine industry, including wine writers James Halliday, Huon Hooke, Peter Bourne, Max Allen and Gary Walsh. While we don’t have reviews from all these wine writers (we expect James’ review to be in his 2019 Wine Companion, to be released in August) both Huon and Gary have published reviews. Huon awarded this wine 95 points, commenting “Full-bodied, fleshy, dense and high-extract. A big wine, with lots of persistence…” while Gary awarded it 94 points, writing that the wine showed “Dark cherry, spice, earthy minerally stuff, bit of oak. Fleshy graphite tannin, slight tang to close, length and power. Flamboyant, but very good”.” Made in our traditional fuller bodied style, this cool climate Pinot Noir has a spicy dark cherry nose and an intense dark fruit palate, supported by fine grained tannins. This wine may be enjoyed now or confidentially cellared and you can’t go past the traditional roast duck as an excellent foods match. More details of this wine can be found here.
You can purchase these wines via our secure online shop here – remember that you can mix and match and the minimum order is only 6 bottles.
Finally, a comment on stock levels. The fruit from the 2015 vintage was of excellent quality, with perfect balance between flavour and physiological ripeness – however, yields were significantly down across all southern Australian states, including Tasmania, and so we expect this wine will will sell out well before Christmas.
Get your calendar ready, as the Bream Creek team is going to be out and about in June and August.
In June we are taking part in the annual Dark Mofo event! Yes, you will find us at Winter Feast inside PW1, on the Salamanca side (Stall 38). We’ll have a selection of our wines available for purchase by the glass or bottle – including our multi gold medal winning 2014 Estate Pinot Noir. Winter Feast will be on 15-17 June and also 21-24 June, from 4pm each of those days. Don’t forget to pre-order your “Season pass” tickets here – otherwise tickets can be purchased on the door each night and entry is free after 8pm each night.
In August we are once again appearing in Sydney and Melbourne for the annual VIN Diemen festival. The dates are Sydney on Saturday 11 August and Melbourne on Sunday 12 August. While the Sydney event is scheduled once again to occur at the Cell Block Theatre in Darlinghurst, the Melbourne event is a little different this year – it will be a more intimate event, presented at Pure South Restaurant, which will mean the onsite Tasmanian food offering will be first class. The event will be officially launched in mid-June – but “Early bird” and “VIP” tickets are already available at this website.
Last month we released our two Chardonnay wines from the 2016 vintage – our 2016 limited release Reserve Chardonnay and also our 2016 Estate Chardonnay. Chardonnay sometimes doesn’t gain the recognition that Pinot Noir does in Tasmania – but that is slowly changing. We were very happy to be awarded gold medals for each of our 2016 Reserve Chardonnay and our 2016 Estate Chardonnay at the 2018 International Cool Climate Wine Show! The judge’s comments on each of these wines is in the “Awards” section for each wine. You can purchase these wines via our secure online shop here – remember that you can mix and match and the minimum order is only 6 bottles.
As you know, we’re passionate believers in the future of Pinot Noir in Tasmania, as well as the benefits of bottle ageing Pinot Noir wines for a period prior to release. We are particularly pleased to announce that we won the “Medallion” award for “Best Pre 2016 Pinot Noir” at the 2018 WineWise Championship in Canberra for our (not yet released) 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir! The WineWise Championship is an invitation only wine competition, with all wines entered needing to have already been awarded a gold medal in a specified list of wine shows – so it is really a “best of the best” competition. In fact our 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir has already won two gold medals prior to winning this award – so certainly a wine to keep an eye out for when it is released around July/August this year. The judges’ comments are below:
Vintage 2018 is remarkable not just for the “compactness” of ripening across different varieties and sites, but also the amazing quality of the grapes and the stunning performance of the vines.
Picking started quite early at the beginning of February, and except for one day on which we couldn’t pick because of showery weather, we hand – picked continually until late April, when we concluded vintage with our Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Yes, there is a tendency for vignerons to talk up just about every vintage! But quite seriously, this vintage reminds me of the fabulous 2005 vintage – which, until this vintage, I regard as the best I have ever experienced in Tasmania.
Fruit quality was sensational – clean, full flavoured and despite the long warm weather, it did retain its Tasmanian attribute of refreshing, balanced acids, avoiding the “dullness” that can occur through excessive heat. We had no problems with disease or insect damage, and strangely even the birds were fairly quiet. Silver (White) Eyes seemed to stay further south and clear of the vineyards and we hardly saw any flocks of starlings. The vines handled the higher fruit loads with ease, which I attribute to the generally dry winter and spring enabling the survival of the deeper roots ready for the summer.
So all in all, a most rewarding – even enjoyable (!) vintage 2018. We shall keep you posted on the progress of the wines.….
We are passionate believers of the future of Pinot Noir in Tasmania – as well as believing in the benefits of bottle ageing our Pinot Noir wines for a period prior to release. We were therefore very pleased to have won the award for “Best Pre 2016 Pinot Noir” at the 2018 WineWise Championship in Canberra earlier this month for our (not yet released) 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir! The WineWise Championship is an invitation only wine completion, with all wines entered needing to have already been awarded a gold medal in a specified list of wine shows – so it is really a “best of the best” competition. In fact our 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir had already won two gold medals prior to winning this award – so certainly a wine to keep an eye out for when it is released around October 2018. If you’re interested in being notified when it is available, join our mailing list (via the very bottom right of this page). Cheers, Fred
This has to be one of the most consistently warm vintages I have ever seen! Our grapes have ripened about 2 to 3 weeks earlier than ever before, and an even greater surprise is that the later varieties such as Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are much closer behind Pinot then I can ever remember. Flavour development has come quite early this season and acids are still looking bright and fresh, so the general “quality balance” of the grapes across all varieties looks amazingly good. We have also been very fortunate in that mildew and Botrytis have been very subdued this year, so our grapes are remarkably clean and pristine. We are almost finished – just one block of Riesling to go (amazingly we picked our Cabernet Sauvignon last Friday 20 April, around 3.5 weeks earlier than last year!). With a very good run of dry vintage weather, we’ve had virtually no hold ups and it’s been a joy to see so much high quality fruit going into our bins. I reckon this vintage could rival the great vintage of 2005 – time will tell! Cheers, Fred
This month we are very pleased to be releasing two Chardonnay wines from the 2016 vintage – our 2016 limited release Reserve Chardonnay and also our 2016 Estate Chardonnay!
2016 Reserve Chardonnay A gold medal winner at the 2018 Tasmanian Wine Show, also awarded 96 points by wine writer Huon Hooke, who ranked it as the second best Chardonnay from Tasmania in the 2016 vintage (there are 43 wines in this category, so we were very pleased with this result!). This limited release wine shows complex lemon, grapefruit, almond, oatmeal and spicy French oak flavours balanced by crisp, bright acidity. Food matches would include slow cooked Scottsdale pork shoulder. More details of this wine (including the full review from Huon Hooke as well as other accolades) can be found here.
2016 Estate Chardonnay This wine is also a gold medal winner, at the 2017 Australian Cool Climate Wine Show and was also awarded 94 points by Wine Showcase Magazine earlier this year. This premium cool climate Chardonnay showcases a medley of grapefruit, citrus, vanilla and integrated French oak flavours, finishing with intensity and power. You can enjoy this wine now and it will also reward careful cellaring. Food matches would include herb roasted Marion Bay chicken. More details of this wine can be found here.
You can purchase these wines via our secure online shop here – remember that you can mix and match and the minimum order is only 6 bottles.
We were very pleased to read the Australian Sparkling Wine Guide 2018, written by well-known sparkling wine writer Tyson Stelzer. Tyson nominated our current release 2011 Cuvée Traditionelle as one of just three “runners up” for the ‘Best Sparkling Wine Under $50’ – in addition to awarding it 93 points! Tyson also nominated us as a member of his “Hall of Honour”, being a list of the top sparkling wine makers in Australia. We feel quite pleased by this recognition.
Other great results we received included:
- Both of our 2016 Chardonnay wines were reviewed by Wine Showcase Magazine and awarded 94 points each.
- Winestate Magazine awarded our 2014 Estate Pinot Noir 4.5 stars and top of category and our 2017 Schönburger 4 stars and equal top of category in their March/April 2018 edition. They also awarded our 2016 Sauvignon Blanc 4 stars in their 2018 Special Edition.
- Tasmanian wine writer and journalist Winsor Dobbin joined James Halliday and Huon Hooke in praising our 2017 Pinot Rosé – his full review is here.
You can purchase these wines via our secure online shop here – remember that you can mix and match and the minimum total order is only 6 bottles.