Stoney Rise/Holyman: latest Pinot Noir & Chardonnay releases

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Since I last wrote about Joe Holyman’s impressive Tasmanian Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays have been snapped up by H2Vin. And, in his recent Decanter column (here) Andrew Jefford has pondered whether Pinot Noir is now Australia’s most successful variety.

That’s quite a call. But there’s no doubt that the Pinot Noir glitterati he name checks and a growing number of other Pinotphiles in select pockets of the country are making star dusted examples of the variety. I’d include Holyman in that category. His Chardys aren’t too shabby either!

I caught up with Holyman at Wine Australia’s Savour conference last autumn. Here are my notes on his latest releases:

Stoney Rise Chardonnay 2013 (Tasmania)

Difficult to believe that this zingy Chardonnay had been bottled a week before I tasted it. Pow! It sports high-definition, bright and tight apple and grapefruit with bracingly fresh acidity. Lovely fruit purity and vivacity with just a touch of oak for structure (50% was fermented in new French oak, the rest in tank).

Stoney Rise Pinot Noir 2012 (Tasmania)

A really fragrant Pinot Noir with lovely violet lift to its silky red fruits and succulent black cherry. The finish is long and langorous, with savoury nuances but, for me, this is a wine to enjoy in its bursting youth – it’s all about the fruit and fragrance. 13% £24/bottle at H2Vin

Holyman Chardonnay 2012 (Tasmania)

Holyman puts his name to the top wines, which are all estate grown and built with the capacity to age some. Though the oak is more evident, it’s classily deployed, supporting and grooming the fruit, which lends power and precision to its crisp, but concentrated juicy apple and punchier, lipsmacking lime zest and grapefruit. Savoury leesy notes lend depth and texture going through. A lovely wine, with plenty to give yet. £32.75 at H2Vin (2010 vintage, previously reviewed here).

Holyman Pinot Noir 2012 (Tasmania)

A weightier, more substantial and savoury wine – drier and darker than the Stoney Rise, with blackcurrant and beetroot notes to its ample but tightly girded palate. A deep, spicy nose and palate with a burnish of toasty oak betrays the whole bunch component (40%), as do its earthy, suede-like tannins. A wine of serious intent and one for the cellar. Very promising. £35 at H2Vin (2011 vintage, previously reviewed here).

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