It wouldn’t be a Grey Sands newsletter without my comments on the weather… I am a farmer (well wine farmer) after all…
Talk of an El Nino drought look pretty accurate with below average winter rainfall and just 2mm of rain this month making it the driest single month I have recorded here in 26 years. Historically, the drier years have been warmer and favoured the late red varieties. 1998, 2005, 2008 and 2013 were not all El Nino years but the warmer autumns did lead to some particularly good reds. I am glad that we have missed the 4 days above 29 degrees that Hobart has experienced. We haven’t yet passed 25 degrees and that is plenty warm enough if you are outside working. The dryness continues to pose a risk of late frost even as we approach November.
Earlier this year I went out on a limb so to speak, and wrote an article on my blog page about ‘wine faults’ titled ‘Vinosity and the soul of wine’. If you find this interesting then I would refer you to an article by Andrew Jefford on the Decanter website from October 19th. This ties in with my observations regarding the win by Home Hill at the Royal Melbourne wine show, taking the Jimmy Watson Trophy for best young red for its Pinot Noir. This is great news for Tassie coming on top of the same win by a Glaetzer Dixon Shiraz not too long ago, which leads me to tell this little story.
Some years ago we were celebrating my birthday at a lunch at the wonderful Stillwater restaurant and I ordered a glass of the 2008 Home Hill Pinot Noir and a glass of the 2008 Apsley Vineyard Pinot Noir. Two great producers and a top vintage. The Home Hill had the most intoxicating perfume of ripest black cherry and slinky, succulent fruit. In contrast, the Apsley Vineyard had a restrained rustic aroma of blurred fruit, oak and savoury meaty character and a firm structured palate. But then the food came out… and I love grilled quail! Now everything changed with the two wines and I found the Home Hill to be too pretty and perfumed and the palate a touch sweet. But the Apsley Vineyard shone, with its complex and intriguing Pinot aroma emerging and the structured palate cleansing between the rich meat of the bird. Two great wines and an unforgettable vinous experience.
A reminder that this weekend is the first, end of month Open Weekend, for the garden and wine tasting. As this is also a long weekend, we will be open on the Monday as well, ie noon to 5pm each of Sat, Sun & Mon.  Although the vineyard is dry grown, I do irrigate the garden which is looking great and recovering from the hard winter. The roses in particular don’t miss the spring showers and humidity!
We will be showing our 2013 Romanesque for the first time. This is a very interesting blend of Aglianico , Petit verdot and Touriga without Shiraz (that is being held back for later release as a straight Shiraz). The 2013 Romanesque will only be available direct from us…either on site or via our website. We only have a very small amount.
Aglianico is an Italian variety grown around Mount Vesuvius and has a wonderful aroma of preserved cherries and a firm fresh structure, perfect to accompany an antipasto of Salumi and olives.
Our Wine Club is now up and running online…see our website for details. We’ve tried to make it as flexible and good value for you to want to join as we can!
We will be taking part in the Tasmanian White Wine Weekend at Princes Wharf in Hobart on 7 & 8 November…hope we will see some of you there.
Bob & Rita