A Wine Lover’s Near-Weekly Guide To $15 Wines – A Pinot Noir From Tasmania

Over the years we have done lots and lots of Australian wines in a variety of prices. We have even reviewed a few Tasmanian whites, but this is our first red from that island to the south of the mainland. Remember, in the Southern Hemisphere south is like north to North Americans. Tasmania is blessed with a relatively cool climate, which means that Pinot Noir may well thrive there. Tamar Valley vineyards are mostly planted in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Devil’s Corner winery has been around for less than 20 years; it now belongs to the Brown Brother’s, a family operation established in 1889. Their younger generation consists of three sisters. The company is said to be one of Australia’s most innovative wine producers. The companion wine, costing about two thirds as much, is a Pinot Noir from a major French winery, one known for its Beaujolais Nouveau.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review were purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Devil’s Corner Pinot Noir, Tasmania, Australia, 13.1 % alcohol about $15.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials.. “Tasting Note : 2011 has made for a spicy and structured Devil’s Corner, with restrained pink pepper, rhubarb, brambles and grippy tannins accentuated by taut acidity. It’s savoury and structural, yet accurate and appealing, with good persistence and medium-term potential. Drink; 2012-2015. Score – 90. (Tyson Stelzer at his website. Undated). And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was very rich, providing light acidity and some sweetness. The initial meal centered on slow-cooked beef ribs. I had the feeling that everything stepped up. The libation was mouth filling and yet light. I noted chocolate. In response to simultaneously cooked potatoes the Pinot Noir’s acidity and sweetness increased. There was some darkness. Carrots lengthened the drink. I slathered a healthy dose of Yemeni green jalapeno pepper sauce on the meat and the wine became peppery. Fresh raspberries rendered our Tasmanian friend long and once again I tasted chocolate.

The second meal focused on spicy ground beef with peas and wisps of tomatoes. The libation sweetened and was somewhat thin but did provide refreshing acidity. There wasn’t a lot of fruit. Bland steamed quinoa perked up the fermented juice’s acidity and its sweetness descended. Chinese chili sauce on the meat made my glass peppery. Fresh cherries darkened the liquid. There wasn’t a lot of fruit.

The final meal began with Japanese rice crackers that were missing the requisite Wasabi peas. Now the wine was thin, or perhaps slim, but long with well-balanced acidity. The piece de resistance was a spicy but dry store bought barbecued chicken breast. Now this Pinot Noir was multilayered and long. I tasted the forest. When it met zesty guacamole this libation expanded to meet the mini challenge. In the presence of fresh strawberries the liquid was multilayered but weakened. Its acidity was chopped away but still remained acceptable. Final verdict. I had to pay over $20 and would not buy this wine again at such a price. But I see it on the Internet for $15 and wouldn’t hesitate at such a price. I’ll definitely be looking for more Tasmanian wines.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but drinking fine Iwine with good company. He loves teaching computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is http://www.travelitalytravel.com .

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