Wines of the Month

December 2021 Releases: Apsley Gorge Pinot Noir 2018 $65 & Milton Pinot Noir 2019 $38

December 2021

December 2021 Releases: Apsley Gorge Pinot Noir 2018 $65 & Milton Pinot Noir 2019 $38

Apsley Gorge Pinot Noir 2018

Former Abalone diver and Lobster fisherman Brian Franklin planted Apsley Gorge with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the early 1990’s. Situated in the Apsley Valley about 14 kilometres from the township of Bicheno, Tasmania, the vineyard enjoys an excellent climate for both these grape varieties. The first vintage was produced in 1993. The vineyard, about 7 hectares, is farmed as low yield and non-irrigated to ensure the stability of the fruit, hand pruned and handpicked maintains the quality of the grapes from vineyard to winery. Brian took over the winemaking in the late 1990’s and quickly became noticed as an exceptional winemaker. His winemaking skills in the traditional French style were honed originally with Phillipe Charlopin, one of Burgundy’s most notable winemakers. Brian has worked every vintage in Burgundy since 2000, lately working with Phillipe’s son Yann at Domain Charlopin-Tissier. Brian Franklin’s tasting notes: 2018 Pinot Noir: The colour is typically dark with a translucent depth. The nose has the rich Apsley Pinot fruit, but something else is pushing through; charcuterie, earthiness, and so much more. After smelling the wine you know the palate is going to be good. Very good! A powerful entry, filling the mouth with rich fruit, complex textural tannins and the indescribable mystery of Pinot Noir.

Milton Pinot Noir 2019

Milton Vineyard was first farmed in 1826 initially for extra fine Tasmanian wool but is now producing fine cool climate wines. We are located at 42° South on the dry sunny Freycinet Coast of Tasmania. Michael and Kerry Dunbabin have farmed at Milton since 1980 when the property was first purchased by our family. It was in need of new infrastructure and redevelopment and gradually came to support 5500 Merino sheep for our prize winning wool. We also grew a variety of other crops including carrots, onions, and brassicas for seed, poppies and seed potatoes as well as grain and fodder crops for the sheep. We grew tired of selling these crops and watching them be shipped off farm with no further input from us. We decided to plant the grapes as a more sustainable crop with its basic structure still with us in the ground and a lot less impact on the soil. So we set in and planted 2.5 HA in the deep red soils of our Cranbrook Syde property just across the river from our current site. This site proved problematic for frost and vigour, so we started again on the dry, rocky free draining soils on the old sheep paddock just by the cellar door. The grapes were sold to Hardy’s for a few years whilst we learnt a lot about viticulture and then we launched our label in 2005. From this we have had a great success with our unique micro-climate that suits the ancient grape Pinot Noir and lately Syrah has proven very successful. Also there are plantings of the aromatics, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer as well as Chardonnay. And if this is not enough Michael has now planted a couple of hectares of Tempranillo. If you cannot holiday in Spain you can try and grow their famous wine variety. This planting will not be in bottle for a few years yet. All in all we have 22 Hectares of vines in the ground and further plantings of Chardonnay planned. We still have 3500 sheep and these are looked after by our son and daughter-in-law Henry and Josie Dunbabin as we no longer have the time to tend them. The cellar door which is open 7 days a week keeps Kerry busy and Michael runs the vineyard. Our focus is on producing small quantities of handmade wine. Close attention is paid to every detail in the vineyard and the wines represent this exacting work. Milton Vineyard 2019 Pinot Noir 13.9% A/V This vintage is bold and bright with lots of bouncy deep dark cherry flavours and spiciness on the finish. Very perfumed with soft alluring notes of violet, musk and spice. Bold to taste with delicate tannins and a fine elegant structure and very good balance. A great wine to savor with a range of foods.


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Licensee: P. Johnston
Liquor licence number: 87021


Under the Liquor Licensing Act 1990 it is an offence:

- For liquor to be delivered to a person under the age of 18 years.
Penalty: Fine not exceeding 20 penalty units

- For a person under the age of 18 years to purchase liquor.
Penalty: Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units