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.
The back label of this wine says it goes with “roast lamb, BBQ steak, hearty casseroles and strong cheeses”.
I had it last night with home made pizza (our home made pizza is about as healthy as kaya toast, only there’s more of it) and the cab merlot was a great match. It’s full-bodied enough to cope.
Depending on who you follow, it should be drunk now, right now, or before 2027. Hmm.
Richard Hemming of jancisrobinson.com says drink it now…
He also shows it as 50% Cabernet / 50% Merlot which is what it says on the Freycinet Vineyards website.
I’m sticking with the 84/16% that it says on the back label. I’ll be seeing Claudio in a couple of weeks so I’ll get the good oil then.
Halliday says drink it by 2028 (as does Claudio Radenti) and Huon Hooke by 2027. You’ll have to be your own judge.
See below for the Halliday and Huon Hooke ratings.
KATE HILL Tasmania Sparkling 2011 – 12 btls – S$60 – not yet rated
LA VIOLETTA “Almirante y Obispo” Great Southern Grenache/Mataro/Tempranillo 2015 – 18 btls – $82 – not yet rated
LA VIOLETTA “Bilingue” Great Southern Grenache/Mataro/Shiraz 2015 – 12 btls – $59 – Mike Bennie 93+
LA VIOLETTA “La Ciornia” Great Southern Shiraz 2010 – 12 btls – $75 – Jancis Robinson 18, restocked
LA VIOLETTA “La Ciornia” Great Southern Shiraz 2011 – 12 btls – $75 – Mike Bennie 93
LA VIOLETTA “Le Rayon V” Great Southern Cabernet Malbec 2013 – 18 btls – S$77 – Mike Bennie 93, restocked
STARGAZER Tasmania Pinot Noir 2016 – 12 btls – $70 – not yet rated
SERRAT Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2016 – plenty – $68 – not yet rated
SERRAT Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2016 – plenty – $68 – Halliday 95
SERRAT Yarra Valley Shiraz Viognier 2016 – plenty – $68 – Halliday 97
SERRAT Yarra Valley Grenache Noir 2016 – limit 1 per customer – $68 – Halliday 95
CHANDON Yarra Valley Sparkling Pinot Noir Shiraz NV – 6 btls – $59 – Halliday 91
LEASINGHAM “Classic Clare” Sparkling Shiraz 1998 – 6 btls – $129 – Jeremy Oliver 96
RUMBALL “SB19″ Sparkling Shiraz NV – 6 btls – $49 – not rated
SEPPELT “Original” Sparkling Shiraz 2014 – 6 btls – $48 – Mike Bennie 90
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