The wine | Tasmanian pinot noir
Whoa – can you believe it? Our first wine and it's the '19 Auburn Road Pinot Noir from Handpicked Wines, an absolute gem hailing from the Tamar Valley. An exciting and constantly evolving region, the Tamar is known for its world-class pinots, and given our first bottle also happens to be Handpicked's first vintage from the Auburn Road vineyard, we like to think that this was meant to be. Only 1242 bottles of this wine were made and it's only been released to Handpicked members, so we're willing to bet that you haven't tried it before. And if you have? Well, you'll know exactly why we're so excited to share it with you.
Let’s start with the grape.
Some people refer to pinot noir as the heartbreak grape, but it sets our hearts aflutter. Sure, it can be a bit of a diva in the vineyard, but this variety can create wines that are pure magic in the right hands – and we can’t think of better hands than the team at Handpicked. As a wine, pinot has a lighter body, soft tannins and bright acidity. Its elegant texture is matched by a compelling and complex flavour profile. And no grape is better at capturing the nuances of a special site.
We like to think that if the Auburn Road pinot were a movie star, it would be Meryl Streep – it’s all about grace, nuance and staying power.
Cue the Auburn Road Vineyard.
Although originally from Burgundy, in the east of France, pinot is perfectly at home in winegrowing regions throughout the world, including our very own Tasmania. With its mild temperatures, long sunny days and proximity to the ocean, Tassie’s rolling valleys are ideal for producing outstanding cool-climate pinots. And the Auburn Road vineyard is no exception.
Hidden away in a stunning corner of the world, this site borders the Tamar River in one of Australia’s coolest and the most southerly regions. Handpicked Wines purchased the property in 2018 and it ticks all the boxes for excellent pinot growing. We won’t get too technical, but let’s just say that the site’s sloping vineyard, well-established vines (some are old enough to drink!) and clay loam soils mean the fruit is protected against frost and disease. The Handpicked team are also in the process of converting the site to be certified organic, which means healthier soils and higher quality wines!
"Tassie pinot. It's something else. It has an intensity, power and so much flavour. And yet, rarely feels heavy or overwrought. This is so perfumed, with florals and autumnal fragrance. It's perfectly framed, highlighting cherry and raspberry accents, woodsy spices and more besides. Full bodied, with plush, textural tannins. It's complex but not complicated, and this the inaugural release. Nice one." – Jane Faulkner, Halliday Wine Companion
Now sprinkle in some Handpicked winemaking magic.
This wine is, by definition, handpicked, but the winemaking is hands off – the winemaking team at Handpicked focused on carefully capturing the vineyard’s unique personality. What kind of personality is that, you ask? Well, we like to think that if the Auburn Road pinot were a movie star, it would be Meryl Streep – it’s all about grace, nuance and staying power. The nose is super elegant, with ripe cherry fruit, violet florals and earthy notes. The palate gives ripe plum fruit complemented by fine-grained tannins, bright acidity and subtle pops of baking spice from time in oak.We’re seriously impressed by the wine’s sheer drinkability and balance of ripe fruit with savoury, pinot complexity – we’re not exaggerating when we say this wine offers a captivating drinking experience. We recommend giving this wine some time in the glass so that it can open up and reveal its full potential, but we understand it might be difficult to resist simply enjoying it as it comes.