Heemskerk Coal River Valley Chardonnay 2011
More Tasmanian wine has started to trickle into North America. The state is Australia’s coolest and thus produces taut, bright wines completely unlike the rest of Australia. The long growing seasons allow excellent phenolic maturing, making Tasmanian wines joyously aromatic.
The Site and The Wine
Heemskerk was founded in 1975 and has holdings in a number of locations in Tasmania. The Coal River Valley is located on the eastern side of Tasmania and has a cool, dry climate. Heemskerk has some holdings in the Coal River Valley’s Tolpuddle vineyard, which is one of the most famous in Tasmania, being renowned for Chardonnay. The vines are 19 years old.
Heemskerk does whole bunch pressing and then vinifies the wine in 100% new French oak with regular lees stirring.
This is a very acidic wine that is highly citrus driven. However, the lees stirring and oak treatment temper the brightness just enough to prevent the wine from being painful. This is a fascinating and tasty Chardonnay, more along the lines of a cool vintage Chablis than a Cote d’Or, but it feels somewhat aggressive right now. I think the wine needs more time, and though not yet perfectly tuned, there is much here to like.
$60 at Kits Wine