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Paul and Gilli Lipscombe are doing some fantastic work from their small vineyard planting in the Huon Valley.
Their 2015 Sailor Seeks Horse Pinot Noir is a masterclass in controlled power and elegance. They strive for balance in the vineyard which makes the work in the winery minimal.
“The Pinot Noirs we love display a delicate balance between red and dark fruits, high-toned aromatics, layered depth and verve. It’s something we hope to achieve in our Pinots and is a combination of site and sensitive winemaking.” - Gilli and Paul Lipscombe.
The 2015 is an excellent release. A great season right across Tasmania, this small batch premium Pinot Noir is one of their best releases to date. With 96 points from James Halliday and 94 points from Mike Bennie, this will be one of the region’s most sought-after releases of the year.
What It Tastes Like
“Spicy, pepper, red currants and cranberry, leaner spectrum but fine. Palate way softer, spreads well but webbed in fine tannins, refreshing acidity, cherry fruitiness, amaro finish. So sleek and fine. Soft. Beautiful.” - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
96 points. “The Huon Valley is the coolest region in Tasmania, selected by winemakers/owners Paul and Gilli Lipscombe in ‘05, who also make the celebrated Home Hill wines. Hand-picked, 95% whole berries, 5% whole bunches, 10 days on skins, matured in French oak (20% new). Light, clear hue; elegance and purity are the key words, the light-bodied red fruits silently capture the mouth, drawing out the finish and aftertaste.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
94 points “A winery that hit the ground running. One could even say they hit the ground at a full gallop.
Spicy, pepper, red currants and cranberry, leaner spectrum but fine. Palate way softer, spreads well but webbed in fine tannins, refreshing acidity, cherry fruitiness, amaro finish. So sleek and fine. Soft. Beautiful.”
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
The Pinot Noirs we love display a delicate balance between red and dark fruits, high-toned aromatics, layered depth and verve. It’s something we hope to achieve in our Pinots and is a combination of site and sensitive winemaking.
Picking dates are intrinsic to obtaining the energy we look for in our wines - pick too early and you lack the delicious component, pick too late and you lose the moreish part. It’s a cliché but it’s all about balance.
Our winemaking philosophy is pretty simple. Listen to the fruit and let it guide you. We soak the fruit at ambient temperature (cold in the Huon) and then let natural yeast start the fermentation process. Once the ferments are complete we taste the wine on skins until the tannin profile is right and then press to barrel. From there we inoculate for malolactic fermentation, then leave the wine unsulphured until late-spring and add sulphur dioxide. The wine is left untouched until bottling, which varies depending on how the wine looks. Stems are used as a supportive component when they are ripe and the amount varies.
The 2015 Pinot Noir is now available by ordering below. Every vintage is a reflection of the growing season and 2015 was one of those unremarkable years that seem to create remarkable wines. Apart from some miserable weather in January that tested our nerve, the remainder of the year eased us into vintage effortlessly. The yields were a little low, the weather was fine and we suffered no heat spikes nor significant rain events. It was quite lovely. In the winery the wild ferments ticked over happily and it was probably one of the easiest vintages we’ve ever worked. Nature made up for that in 2016 but for the moment let’s just bask in the gentle glory of 2015!
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2025
About the Producer
Sailor Seeks Horse
Sailor Seeks Horse is one of Apple Isle’s most exciting new producers. The story behind the quirky name is that an adventurer arrived in Tasmania after a jaunt around US on a mule, and places a wanted ad in the local cafe entitled “Sailor Seeks Horse”, attempting to acquire transport in order to explore Van Dieman’s Land. While the adventurer ended up riding around Tassie on a bike, this unconventional and almost poetic story struck a chord with Gilli and Paul Lipscombe. The name of their vineyard was born.
They now produce exquisite Pinot Noir and Chardonnay off their estate vineyard. The wines are released in small amounts and are never around for long.
No variety captures the hearts and minds of the wine lover quite like Pinot Noir. It’s the unicorn of many a winemaker. Notoriously fickle to grow, this delicate red variety can deliver a kaleidoscope of flavours and aromas, from the bright and floral to the moody and mysterious and everything in between. The cooler regions of Australia are where Pinot Noir is most at home. Look to Tasmania and Victoria for the best examples, with some quality wines beginning to show from the Great Southern and from the cooler parts of NSW. Falling in love with Pinot Noir can be a life long affair, beware the charms of this most enchanting of grapes.
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