Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tassie Pinot

With the 2012 Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival now behind me, I figured this would be a great opportunity to go back to one of the wines and wineries that I discovered at last year's Festival for the first time. I originally gravitated to the winery because it was new to me, but also because we don't see many Tasmanian wines here in Vancouver and both Boo and I have a soft spot for all things Tassie - having thoroughly enjoyed a short, 3-day visit a decade ago. Our stay back then was barely long enough to whet a whistle and we never had the opportunity to visit any wineries but we both agreed that it wouldn't take any convincing for us to head back again. It hasn't happened yet, and, unfortunately, we aren't able to fit it into our itinerary when we head Down Under next month.

Guess that, for the time being, we'll just have to satisfy our Tassie dreams with a bottle of wine now and again.

1074. 2009 Josef Chromy Pinot Noir (Tasmania - Australia)

Although I read that, after being established in 2004, Josef Chromy is now the third largest winery in Tasmania, it is still very much a boutique winery with current production being approximately 18,000 cases annually. Tasmania is primarily known as perhaps Australia's coolest climate wine region. Accordingly, it's not too surprising to find that the area's industry is largely based on white and sparkling wines. The island state is taking a run at becoming the epicentre of Australian Pinot Noir though - and that's what we've cottoned onto tonight.

I have to admit that I was rather intrigued to see mention on the winery website that Joseph Chromy likens their climatic conditions to BC's own Okanagan Valley. I don't know if I've ever seen a foreign winery even acknowledge the existence of the Okanagan, let alone compare its growing conditions favourably.

That being said, I was second-guessing myself a tad when we first opened the bottle. I couldn't quite identify what it was about this wine that must have grabbed me at last year's Festival. It opened with a nice big nose, but the palate was rather acidic and not entirely my cup of tea (or wine as it may be). I understood the attraction awhile later though. The wine opened up nicely after an hour or so - and it definitely went better with food.

Exhibiting classic Pinot notes of red fruit, I don't know if I'd rank it as one of my favourite Pinots of late, but I'd agree to sharing a bottle anytime, anywhere should we find ourselves Tassie-bound ever again.

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