A "Magical" Pinot Noir from Tasmania: the Dalwhinnie Three Valleys
The History of Wine in Tasmania
Tasmania is a wild, wind-swept island state which lies off Australia’s south coast, and the winemaking history is an fascinating one.
Did you know that Tasmania was actually one of the first locations in Australia to grow grapes? The first plantings were made near Hobart in 1823 and there are also records of vines being planted on Bruny Island, just off the south-east coast of Tasmania in the late 1700s!
Unfortunately, these early plantings did not survive, and the next vineyards were established in the region in the 1950s. Now, 200 years later, there are over 2,000 hectares of vineyards in Tasmania, accounting for approximately 12,000 tonnes of grapes.
Fun fact: Pinot Noir was found to thrive in Tasmania's unique climate and vineyard plantings have slowly increased from the 47 hectares in 1986 to over 1,000 hectares today.
Tasmanian Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is one of the most expensive and highly valued wines in the world, however it's notoriously difficult to grow, with vines only thriving in very specific climates around the world.
The quality of Pinot Noir varies largely based on climate and one of these suitable climates is Tasmania – defined by one GI (geographical indication), Tasmania, there are actually seven sub-regions: Tamar Valley, Coal River Valley, Pipers River, Derwent Valley, Huon Valley, the North West and the East Coast.
Tasmania is influenced by a maritime climate, which usually means that the region experiences warm days and cool nights during the growing season. The ocean breeze moderates the temperature, allowing fruit to ripen slowly on the vines. This climate allows for the slow and steady ripening of tannins, whilst retaining natural acidity – a hallmark of high-quality Pinot Noir.
Tasmania is now known as a pristine, cool climate wine region with a reputation for ultra-premium Pinot Noir and our 2020 Three Valleys Pinot Noir is a stunning representation of this unique Australian terroir. As Tyson Stelzer (formally of the Halliday Wine Companion) said: "The Fogarty Group's foray into Tasmania has facilitated a stunning new Pinot for Dalwhinnie."
This is an exquisite expression of Pinot Noir, produced from 'three valleys' in southern Tasmania: the Coal River Valley, Derwent Valley and Huon Valley. These sub-regions are sheltered by mountains to the west, helping to protect vineyards from high winds and rainstorms.
Utilising minimal intervention winemaking, each parcel of fruit was fermented and matured separately in large format French oak for ten months prior to blending and bottling.
This is a wine of intriguing complexity and charm, with an array of red berries, blood orange and dark cherry on the nose. The palate is brightly fruited with an intense core of concentrated plum, cranberry and sweet bergamot flavours woven together with a mineral acidity and fine, powdered tannins.
Reviews for the 2020 Three Valleys Pinot Noir
"A fine wine with spicy varietal fruit of strawberries, raspberries and cherries ... rich warm and sweet fruit palate with 'blonde' oak and fine tannins."
– 98 Points, Winestate Magazine 2022
"Medium depth purple-red colour, very bright and youthful, the aromas are of fragrant spices and red cherries: a really beautiful bouquet. The palate follows on from there and is intense and superbly balanced, with raspberry and red licorice added to the cherry. A subtle smoky patina from oak. Fruit-sweet core, and a long, long carry: a magical pinot."
– 95 Points, The Real Review 2022
"Equal parts Huon (for perfume), Derwent (for structure and poise) and Coal River (for fruit concentration) Valleys; fermented and matured separately for 10 months in large-format French oak. The Fogarty Group's foray into Tasmania has facilitated a stunning new Pinot for Dalwhinnie. A seamless union of its Three Valleys, this is a beautiful rendition of the elegance of 2020, delivering accurate, graceful black and red cherry fruits, set off with silky tannins. It's delightful from the outset and will only blossom in the cellar."
– 94 Points, Halliday Wine Companion 2023
Shop this highly acclaimed Tasmanian Pinot Noir here.