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The wines of Pipers Brook Vineyard, Tasmania

1216 Pipers Brook Road, Pipers Brook, Tasmania 7254, Australia
Phone: (03) 6382 7527 Fax: (03) 6382 7226

Email: info@pbv.com.au 
Website: www.pbv.com.au
UK agent: Capricorn Wines (Tel. 0161 908 1360)

Established in 1974 by Andrew Pirie, Pipers Brook is the dominant force in Tasmanian wine. Tasmania is what’s known in the trade as ‘cool climate’. Cool climates were all the rage in Australia a while back, because the Aussies were sensitive about criticisms that their wines weren’t subtle or complex enough. This led to people poring over heat summation charts, looking for regions that had an average daily temperature closer to that of the classic European regions, such as Burgundy. The problem is that heat summation data don’t tell the whole story, and these Aussie cool climate regions often had great difficulty getting the grapes to reach physiological ripeness. It’s a balancing act, and in some vintages producing ripe Tasmanian grapes can be a real problem. Nonetheless, Pipers Brook has been a tremendous success and has expanded considerably. Production is now 60 000 cases per year, from over 220 hectares of vineyards. There are two labels: the second label Ninth Island, and the estate wines labelled as Pipers Brook.

Ninth Island Sauvignon Blanc 2000
There’s a distinct herby, grassy edge to the nose. Touch of tinned pea character on the palate. Fresh, with just a touch of unripeness? Good

Ninth Island Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Very bright modern boiled sweets nose leads to a crisp, modern palate. Full flavoured with a touch of grassiness. Good/very good

Ninth Island Pinot Gris 2001
Deep coloured with a faint pink edge. There’s a pronounced pear drop edge to the confected nose.  Modern, rather sterile palate: fresh, midweight  and quite rounded. Good

Ninth Island Chardonnay 2000
Clean, fresh, lemony edge to the nose, with a touch of nuttiness. Nice texture to the fresh, modern palate. A bright style. Very good

Ninth Island Pinot Noir 2001
Bright purple colour. Lovely forward nose of bright cherry and raspberry fruit. Tasty, primary fruit on the palate: interesting and tasty. Very good

Pipers Brook Riesling 2000
Pure lemony edge to the gently spicy nose. Palate shows a good concentration of fresh, clean lemon-tinged fruit. Light in a high-acid style. Very good

Pipers Brook Pinot Gris 2000
Intruiging spicy edge to the fresh pure nose. Clean, rounded palate is slightly neutral but fresh with good acidity. Good/very good

Pipers Brook Gewürztraminer 2000
Striking peachy/floral nose is quite pretty, with a grapy, musky edge. Rounded texture on the palate. Quite rich, interesting and with some varietal character. Very good+

Pipers Brook Chardonnay 2000
Herby, intense fruit with a nutty edge and a bit of tinned pea character. Palate shows more tinned pea character hinting at a tiny bit of unripeness. Good intensity and quite fresh, but I’m not terribly keen on this. Good/very good

Pipers Brook Summit Chardonnay 1999
Quite pronounced bready caramel edge to the oaky nose. Rich, lush, sweetly oaked palate. Good concentration but a bit weird. Good/very good

Pipers Brook Pinot Noir 2000
There’s some savoury complexity to the sweet cherry and berry fruit. Quite primary still on the palate with a nice herby edge. Some interest here. Very good+

Pipers Brook Reserve Pinot Noir 1999
This ambitious wine shows caramel and herb-edged complexity to the nose. The palate is savoury with herbal fruit and high acidity. Not terribly fruit driven, and perhaps with a tiny bit of greenness poking through. Very good+

Pipers Brook ‘The Lyre’ Pinot Noir 1999
A single-site wine. Some spicy, herby complexity to the nose. The palate is quite structured with a savoury, herbal character, high acid and some slightly stalky tannins. Potential for development here? Very good+

Pipers Brook Cabernet 1999
Very deep coloured. Sweet herb and caramel notes dominate the nose with a touch of tar and menthol. Great concentration on the palate, which is chunky and caramel-edged with good acidity. Stern and savoury. Very good  

wines tasted January 2002

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