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JOHN ROZENTALS tries some outstanding cool-climate wines from Tasmania.

November 14, 2020 Beverage No Comments

Last month marked the 20th annual vintage release for a leading Tasmanian wine brand, Bay of Fires.

The latest collection includes the classy 2019 Pinot Noir and 2019 Chardonnay.

Created to showcase the exceptional quality of cool climate wines that Tasmania produces, Bay of Fires wines are renowned for their fruit intensity, refinement and persistence of flavour.

The long-standing philosophy of the brand, in the vineyard and the winery, is to ensure the varietal characteristics of Tasmanian fruit are discovered, preserved and celebrated in every Bay of Fires wine crafted.

Bay of Fires Chief Winemaker Penny Jones said: “Tasmania is deservedly recognised as Australia’s finest cool-climate wine region as well as one of the world’s leading producers of premium wine. The lower temperatures, long summer daylight and maritime influences have allowed us to craft elegant wines that celebrate Tasmania’s unique landscape, distinctive vineyards and individual varietals.”

The success of the 2019 vintage in Tasmania was very much dependent upon its sub-regional locations.

A moderately dry winter preceded a very dry and frosty spring. Flowering conditions were generally kind, and yields were solid yet again, pushing towards the high end of the spectrum in the northern regions.

A warmer than average growing season followed, with December and January reaching record high temperatures.

“Several of the Tasmanian vineyards we source both pinot noir and chardonnay from were planted for us at carefully selected sites,” said Penny.

“These sites are now developing really nicely in maturity, which translates to better balance and a stunning depth of flavour in our wines. Both the 2019 Bay of Fires Pinot Noir and Chardonnay exemplify this development boasting richness and elegance that is so desirable from cool climate Tasmania.”


Bay of Fires 2019 Chardonnay ($58): This dry white has aromas of nectarine and fresh limes. Toasty oak provides a funky whiff. The palette is refined, with a backbone of mineral acidity and flavours of grapefruit and lime. The zippy mouthfeel features charry French oak.

Bremerton 2018 Selkirk Shiraz ($22): This dry red takes its name from the Scottish border town that is the ancestral home of the Wilsson family, members of which own Bremerton. It features bountiful dark-berry flavours and pronounced spiciness, especially of white pepper.


Bay of Fires 2019 Pinot Noir ($61): The perfume of this dry red wine is very complex. Sweet ripe strawberry fruit features,with Chinese spice from MV6 clone vineyards, and whole-bunch-fermentation influences. Although elegant and supple, the wine shows remarkable power, intensity and length on the palate. Overall, the wine has poise and balance with great length of flavour.

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