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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite common perceptions to the contrary, Australia is capable of producing elegant, subtle restrained wines along with the best of them, says Tim Atkin. And Tasmania, for long dismissed as a credible wine region, is now producing some impressive wines in a more elegant style than the traditional in- your- face- Aussie headbangers. Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir all have a "bright future" here, according to Atkin, who even had an "impressive" Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape that used to struggle in Tasmania's climate.
Three wines that grabbed Atkin's tastebuds include the "New Zealand-like" 2007 Tasmania Sauvignon Blanc, Tamar Ridge Estates (7.99, Marks & Spencer); the "honeyed, refreshing, stylishly oaked" 2006 The Society's Exhibition Tasmanian Chardonnay, (9.95, The Wine Society); and the "youthful, structured, multi-dimensional, Burgundian-style" 2005 Apsley Gorge Pinot Noir (15.42, Justerini & Brooks). However, Tasmania's strength still lies in its sparkling wines, and Atkin particularly likes the "fresh, strawberryish, all -Pinot Noir" 2005 Clover Hill Ros (16.99, Oddbins).