Sometimes, there is just no logic in selling wine.
I have promoted this 2011 Goaty Hill Riesling from the Tamar region of Tasmania twice since my initial purchase in late 2012. This is the third time.
It’s pretty well rated at Halliday 94, scored a Silver medal at the 2013 Tassie Wine Show, and there’s still plenty of life left in it, but…I’ve shifted just 20 bottles to date.
So, it’s time for it to go and make way for new wines.
It retailed at A$25 so it’s offered now at S$25.
Outstanding quality for the price.
During my many trips to the East Coast of Tasmania, I’d driven past Gala Estate without giving it a second thought. I was usually on my way to catch up with Freycinet Vineyards further down the road or Apsley Gorge at Bicheno. Gala Estate is in the town of Cranbrook which literally lives up to the old saying “blink and you’ll miss it”.
What caught my attention, and prompted a visit in April, was the awards that Gala Estate had started winning, especially Trophy Gold and Best Red Wine of the Show for their 2013 Gala Estate “Constable Amos” Pinot Noir at the 2016 Tassie Wine Show. I met with Adam and Grainne at the cottage cellar door, and was very impressed but slightly worried by their strategy. Impressed, because they have a very clear plan that they want to sell as much of their wine as possible direct to the end consumer. That means cellar door and wine club members, and very little left over for trade. Worried, because I thought I might not get any wine for my Singapore customers.
In the end, Adam & Grainne concluded that my approach is strongly aligned with theirs, so I was able to secure 2 cases of the Constable Amos (now all gone), and a tiny batch of this and another Riesling. It’s becoming increasingly clear that if one wants wines from boutique, and even mid-size producers in Tasmania, one has to visit them. Oh well, I’ll just have to keep doing that!
This 2014 Late Harvest Riesling scored a Gold medal at the 2016 Tasmanian Wine Show. It’s a 375ml bottle.
I may be able to get more, but right now, this is all I’ve got.
For the record, the alcohol is 9.4%
If you are new to Australian wines, then you could be forgiven for not knowing about the gems that come from the Hunter Valley, particularly the semillons, because good Hunter semillon is not always available in Singapore. Thankfully, I have a small quantity of Colvin’s 2007 and 2010 vintages
The 2007 is a personal favourite. This is chesterfield rather than Roche Bobois, vinyl rather than digital download; in other words, an old fashioned wine of complexity and quality without the brashness of a tropical sauvignon blanc, the acidity of a riesling or the sameness of some chardonnays. If you could sit around a log fire in Singapore, this would be your drink. But it’s equally good for a quiet sip on the balcony before dinner. A party drink this is not. Gentle, smooth, rewarding. You can drink it now or you can sit on it for another 10 years.
It previously retailed at S$64, but thanks to the weak A$ and some attractive airfreight rates, it’s been relisted at S$55.
I have to admit that I didn’t bring this wine in, but got it from one of the wholesalers in Singapore. After 30 years of driving past the vineyard between Coldstream and Healesville, I thought it was time for some of the wine for my own cellar and some for my customers.
At $79 here in Singapore, it’s a relative bargain as it retailed in Australia at A$75. You can buy a single bottle from at least one other retailer here at $79, but I did find it listed at $97 too.
Waterton Vineyards first caught my eye in 2011 when they had just won the Canberra International Riesling Challenge with their 2009 Riesling. I’m not sure who was more surprised – Peter Cameron at getting an enquiry from Singapore the day after the announcement, or me in actually getting some of their incredibly small production.
Since then, I’ve made many visits to Rowella (about 45 minutes north of Launceston) and the magnificent property that is Waterton Hall, set on the west bank of the Tamar River. It’s such a special spot, and the hospitality of Peter and Jennie Baird so welcoming that when I led the Country Holidays “Wine Tour for the Connoisseur” last year, it was an obvious choice to spend our last morning in Tasmania.
Just up the road from Waterton Hall is Chartley Estate which won the most recent Canberra International Riesling Challenge. There must be something about the soil and climate of Rowella that results in two vineyards, a little over a kilometer from each other, winning such a prestigious event. Both wines, by the way, were made by Winemaking Tasmania as neither has their own winemaking facilities.
Sadly, I learned late last year that Peter & Jennie had decided to sell Waterton Hall and the label “Waterton” has not been acquired by the new owners. There’s still some stock of Shiraz and even some yet-to-be released 2015 Riesling, but for now, this is all that remains of their great 2013 Riesling. Just 8 bottles. And for the record, Waterton’s wines were never commercially exported – only customers of Tiger Wines have had a chance to buy these wines outside of Australia.