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
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: