Beautiful Isle Tamar Valley Pinot Gris 2013
Just for now, you can forget all that.
$300 per dozen, 13.2% alcohol, screw cap, 92+ points
Once again, the Beautiful Islanders have made a wine that seems much more generous of flavour and riper than its modest alcohols would indicate. Upon opening, it's a touch sullen and short, but soon you'll get a headful of morello cherries, with the darker tone of black tea tin and a layer of Valrhona Guanaja cooking chocolate. After half an hour of air it swells to become a neatly-balanced mouthful with all those aromatics smoothly followed by their appropriate flavours, with modest natural acidity - bittersweet like those wild cherries - and comforting velvet tannins. Lightly pan-fried veal liver, sliced thin, and served with morel sauce comes immediately to mind. After tooling around with it, I did the old double-decant, and the wine seemed to become more whipsnake slender and savoury, even doubling in length as its acid unwound through that tannin, making me dangerously hungry and dreaming of less pretentious food, like a mild Burgundian cassoulet. Meaning one from the beginning of winter, not the end. They tend to get a tad rich after three months on the stove. Give it a year in the dungeon or follow the instructions above. A bargain at the price! Schlurp.
These labels come from a 1920's fruit box, which makes them look very very cool. They remind me of the brilliant fruit crate art of the Californian wizard, Ben Sakoguchi. I'm sure if you get in touch with these Tassie Tigers through their Beautiful Isle website they'll help you with a mixed dozen; there are other strange beauties in their arsenal.