I bought the 2012 vintage from Brian Franklin back in August 2017, but I didn’t do a promo straight away as I thought I’d wait for some ratings.
After all these years, you’d think I would know better.
Brian doesn’t send his wines to raters (his wines sell out to his loyal clients) and only very occasionally will a bottle find its way to a review.
So here’s what I know about the 2012 Pinot.
First thing, it comes from about as far east as you can go in Tasmania, from a vineyard a little to the north of Bicheno. It was released after the 2013 vintage as Brian wanted to hold it back to let it soften a bit more. It was a big wine at youth (the only way Brian makes them) and it needed that extra time.
I”ll stick my neck out and say that it’s the last Pinot to be picked anywhere in Australia. It’s certainly the last to be picked in Tasmania, with picking usually taking place in the first week of May. Hell, on the mainland some Pinots would be picked, bottled, labelled and out to customers by then!
I can tell you that it’s listed in one of the MBS celebrity restaurants in Singapore, and it’s a personal favourite of one of the celebrity chefs.
I can also tell you that you should avoid drinking it.
Whoa! that might have stopped you in your tracks…but let me finish.
If you can, you should try and avoid drinking it without a big decant. Without a decant, it can be a bit pongy, and you’ll wonder what the fuss is about. But give it a big decant, and it will sing and you’ll underatnd why the loyal followers stay loyal. How big? Overnight if you can resist, but as a minimum, I’d let it breathe for an hour.
The wine is currently on the Apsley Gorge website ( http://apsleygorgevineyard.com) at A$65, but is being sold at the Pinot Shop in Launceston at A$75. It’s S$74 here and currently all of it is in Melbourne (18 bottles) so it can be here by around 9 August if ordered by 31 July. As usual, no minimum purchsase required.
You will always find a bottle of Apsley Gorge pinot in my cellar.
If you’ll excuse the pun, Brown Magpie wines tend to fly under the radar even in Australia. They have an extremely loyal following in Geelong and that’s where most of their wines get sold, but it’s not a well-known brand in other parts of Australia. Tiger Wines is the only distributor they have outside of Australia so you get to see what few others do elsewhere.
Some of you purchased this wine back in March 2015 when it was first released at A$40, but I purchased this stock only last year when it was re-released at A$60. Hence the jump in price here to S$73.
Halliday suggests it should be at least 5 years before opening, ie. 2018, so you should still put it away for another year if you have the patience.
From my memory of drinking this wine, it is a big pinot, not unlike in style to the pinots that come from Brian Franklin at Apsley Gorge. And like Apsley Gorge, a big decant is highly recommended.
2016 Mewstone Tasmania Chardonnay – 12 btls – S$74 – Campbell Mattinson 94
2016 Mewstone Tasmania Pinot Noir – 12 btls – $74 – Campbell Mattinson 95
2016 Hughes & Hughes Tasmania Pinot Noir – 12 btls – $54 – Campbell Mattinson 93