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The wines of Pirie, Tasmania

Website: www.pirietasmania.com.au

Dr Andrew Pirie (right) is famous for setting up Pipers Brook, which for a long time was the most famous Tasmanian winery. Notably, he obtained the first Australian PhD in viticulture. Indeed, it was this PhD that led him to Tasmania, which he concluded had the most Burgundian climate of all sites in Australia.

His involvement there in 2002 after almost 30 years, and now heís busy with Tamar Ridge, a new big player on the Tasmanian wine scene, which also involves famous viticulturalist Richard Smart. 

But in addition to the Tamar Ridge wines, Pirie is making his own range of Tassie wines, under the Pirie Tasmania label. I first tried them in October 2005 (see notes below), and then revisited a fuller selection from the range more recently. The quality is consistently high, with the cool Tasmanian climate delivering fresh, pure fruit flavours. Most impressive of the lot is the Estate Pinot Noir. 

An academic at heart, Andrew Pirie is currently writing a book about terroir, which he reckons will be out in 2010. It will no doubt be worth reading.

UK importer is Stratfords Wine Agencies (www.stratfordwine.co.uk

Pirie South Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Rounded and classy with a hint of greenness. Nice stuff, with sophistication. Ripe and classy. 89/100

Pirie South Riesling 2006
Attractive dry style of Riesling with crisp, rounded lemony fruit. Nice balance. 87/100

Pirie South Pinot Gris 2007
Brightly fruited and quite fresh. 88/100

Pirie South Chardonnay 2005
Fresh intense toasty nose with some buttery notes. Nice freshness to the palate which is bright and nutty. Delicious. 88/100

Pirie South Pinot Noir 2005
Lovely bright cherry and berry fruit nose is quite aromatic. The palate is fresh and pure with well-defined berry fruit. An expressive wine. 89/100

Pirie Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Bright, fresh and a bit grassy. A sophisticated style with real refinement. 90/100

Pirie Estate Riesling 2005
Intense, limey, honeyed nose. Aromatic and full. The palate is rounded with some fresh fruity notes. Quite an elegant style. 89/100

Pirie Estate Chardonnay 2005
Broad and bold with a nice intensity to the nutty, fruity palate. Mealy and rich: a refined wine. 90/100

Pirie Estate Gewurztraminer 2006
Very perfumed with fresh grape and lychee notes. The brightly fruited palate has some attractive sweetness. 88/100

Pirie Estate Pinot Noir 2005
Dark, bright, pure cherryish fruit dominates here, with a spicy edge. Thereís some savoury complexity. Generous and supple with lovely spiciness under the elegant fruit. Quite serious. 92/100

Pirie Estate Pinot Noir 2004
A cooler year. Brooding berryish nose. The palate has nice purity and structure. Quite tight berry fruits here, but with some nice fruit sweetness. A balanced, elegant style. 90/100

wines tasted 09/07

Earlier notes: 

Pirie South Riesling 2005 Tasmania
Lovely open sweet lemony, floral (honeysuckle) nose. Thereís a bit of spice in the background. The palate is rounded with soft lemony fruit backed up by good acidity. Some sweetness, but the balance is great. A really expressive wine that would work well with spicy food. More residual sugar than is normal in Aussie Riesling. Very good+ 89/100

Pirie South Pinot Noir 2004 Tasmania
Vibrant cherry red colour. Bright, forward, cherryish nose is juicy and inviting, like a good Beaujolais. The palate shows clear, pure, fresh red berry and cherry fruit, with good acidity. Itís fresh and juicy, and easy drinker. Very good+ 86/100 (£7.99 Waitrose)

Pirie Estate Pinot Noir 2004 Tasmania
Tight, savoury cherry berry and spice flavours dominate here, in this nicely structured wine. Itís quite perfumed on the nose with some sweet black fruits. Thereís savoury, spicy structure and a hint of earthiness. Tight at the moment with good acid. All the components are there for a bright future. Very good/excellent 90/100

Wines tasted 10/05
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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