In Vino Veritas – Ninth Island and Norfolk Rise
For this instalment of our vino centric series we are going to zero in on Tasmania again as the previous instalment of Kreglinger and Pipers Brook has piqued my interest:
The Northern part of Tasmania is home to the estate of Ninth Island – a windswept tiny island in the Bass Strait. Being a truly Tasmanian brand with a boutique-y character, its portfolio won me over from the get-go, specifically their Riesling with its expertly calibrated balance between acidity and sweetness.
Resting on a solid apple foundation, the palate is tickled by nuances of lime, citrussy sweetness and almond meal flavours. The fact that the flavour profile is punctuated with an idiosyncratic mineral tartness and muskiness adds an interesting edge and the crisp finish makes it dangerously more-ish.
One can tell that Ninth Island’s careful approach to harvesting plays an integral role as juice oxidation is avoided and varietal flavours and aromas are preserved and amplified, which results in an omnipresent freshness.
If you remotely followed this series, you’d know that I harbour a weak spot for sparkling wine.
Ninth Island’s vivacious Tasmanian Sparkling NV, which was made with the classic secondary fermentation method and aged for one year before release is a wonderful exercise in
Another favourite is Ninth Island Pinot Noir 2018. The second it hits the roof of my mouth I am serenaded by a melange of cherries, pomegranate, cranberries and mulberries, which is given additional depth and dimension with the backdrop of chocolate-y spiciness.
The mouthfeel is textured and the claviature that is played in terms of flavours on the palate ranges from sweet via rich tannins to an elongating finish that harks back to the berry fruits is started with. A well-rounded drop.
Change of location and pace, yet no change when it comes to the quality Kreglinger has become known as a benchmark for:
Norfolk Rise Vineyard is based in Southern Australia east of Adelaide, where it commenced operations in the coastal hills twenty years ago to produce cool climate wines influenced by the unique local microclimate and soil, the specific make-up of which is represented in their wines.
An example par excellence for this is their Shiraz, which finds its nutrients in the rich local terra rossa limestone soils before the grapes are harvested and fermented in small batches, which results in fulminant fruity flavours accentuated by tannins that are omnipresent yet never overwhelming. The fact that for the twelve-month maturation of the wine, French oak barriques are used, allows for the integration of the great complexity of flavours.
If you are looking for a fantastic Australian wine without breaking the bank yet with all the bells and whistles more prestigious wine houses are known for.
The floral, exuberantly juicy (think blackberries being married with cherry) and at times spicily cocoa notes result in a well-calibrated medium bodied Norfolk Rise Shiraz that should be a go to and the vintage after elegant vintage the quality has been kept at exceedingly high levels.
Both Ninth Island and Norfolk Rise Vineyard complete the triumvirate of Kreglinger’s portfolio, with each of the constituents bringing an idiosyncratic DNA to the table yet contribute to a varied yet consistent that makes the whole more than the mere sum of its individual parts.
Photos from company websites