On Day two, we headed to Pooley Winery, where Justin Bubb showed us his excellent Pinot Noirs, especially from Butcher’s Hill Vineyard. Justin was the first to actually take us into the vineyard and stress the importance of the different “unofficial” appellations throughout the state.
His Pinot Noir bottles are different depending on vineyard, but here we begin to see the commonality of very high acid but balanced wines with a concentrated plum and almost candied red fruit character, sage and heartier herbs, with anise and Christmas spice.
Then, venturing north from Hobart to the East Coast, we lunched on fresh shellfish at the Freycinet Marine Farm and took in the breathtaking views at the Bicheno Blowhole.
The coastline there is sandstone and granite and the beach is covered in shells. We were looking out onto the Tasman Sea — crystal clear water with gentle waves, hitting the rocks just right for a “blowhole” effect. Apparently there are penguins but we didn’t see any. We saw crab and starfish, though. The view looked almost Mediterranean but the air was cool and brisk.
We stopped by Freycinet Vineyards to taste through a range of wines with Claudio Radenti. Then he joined us for dinner with a number of other winemakers at Freycinet Lodge in the national Freycinet National Park on Wineglass Bay. Claudio was pouring his wines, as were the Milton family, the winemaker from Gala and Lisdillon. There were local oysters, abalone, wallaby and a Freycinet 1994 East Coast Pinot Noir. It was by far the most developed wine we tasted with a lot of a more savory character, still carrying the fruit really well even with 21 years of age. —Amy Racine
This story appears in the print issue of jan 2019.
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