Monday, 5 December 2016

Glaetzer releases benchmark Tasmanian table wines at $220 a bottle

When a winemaker releases a new range of table wines at $220 a bottle, he or she is making a major statement. 

When those wines are from Tasmania - the most expensive range of wines ever produced on the Apple Isle - their pricing is a major leap of faith. 


But when those wines are made by Nick Glaetzer, the first Tasmanian winemaker to win a Jimmy Watson Trophy, the debut of the 2013 Glaetzer-Dixon La Judith Shiraz and 2013 Glaetzer-Dixon La Judith Pinot Noir makes sense.

The new benchmark duo, both single vineyard wines from the Coal River Valley, are named after Glaetzer's late mother, who died three years ago. 

"She liked the finer things in life, Champagne and flying first class when she could, so it made sense to name these wines after her," the winemaker said.

Glaetzer has long believed that Tasmania is capable of producing wines to match the greatest in the world, but has been hampered by the fact that most top-level Tasmanian table wines are priced around the $50-60 price point.


"I did want to make a statement about quality - and that's why the wines are priced around the same price as entry-level grand cru burgundies," he said.

"Wines at $40-50 are good, but we wanted to create a benchmark style, wines of intensity and power. We looked for low-yielding vineyards that for pinot have leather and robustness in the style of Pommard, and for shiraz have serious concentration." 

Both wines are made in tiny quantities (around 580 bottles of each) and made using 100% new French oak, in which both wines spent 34 months.  

Both wines look the part; with heavy bottles, corks "because both have big tannins and need to breathe" and very smart labels. 

The shiraz is a stunner, with hints of Cote Rotie spice and length; the pinot still needs a little time but both are bold and assertive and 20-year cellaring prospects. 


I've been making wine in Tasmania for a decade now," says born and bred Barossan Glaetzer. "I understand the vineyards and the fruit complexity and the different vintages, and I hope that is reflected in these wines." 

The La Judith wines will only ever comprise a pinot and a shiraz, and will only be made in great vintages. 

"In 2014 there will only be one barrel of each; in 2015 only pinot and in 2016 I haven't yet made up my mind," Glaetzer says. 

While the wines were only officially unveiled today, demand has been strong. For details contact www.gdfwinemakers.com.          

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