The clever few who joined Frieda and me at her first mainland masterclass tasted a sneak preview of this wine. It is a winner. The nose is lovely from the first pour, the level of dosage adds a roundness to the palate. It is generous of flavour and thankfully, long-lasting. Of all the Henskens Rankin Of Tasmania range, I think this is the most complete and drinkable now.
The wine is 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. Entirely from the White Rock vineyard near Devonport. It is a site Frieda loves. 6 years on lees and disgorged June 2019. 7.5 grams dosage.
Frieda Henskens and David Rankin have always loved Sparkling Wine. While working for a contract winemaker, they saw an unrealized potential. In 2010 they started to make uniquely Tasmanian Sparkling Wine. With two tons from many tiny parcels, the goal was an age-worthy, expressive, fine Sparkling Wines. At the Tasmania wine show 2019, Henskens Rankin 2010 was Champion wine. That means it was the best wine in the whole show. You can see all the wines it beat out here. The wine also got the trophy for best Mature Sparkling Wine. It beat Arras, it beat Bream Creek, it beat Pirie.
Frieda Henskens joined me on The Wine Show to chat about her story. She will do it better just than I can.
The beautiful island south of the Australian mainland that has carved out a reputation for quality sparkling wine and Pinot Noir. Tasmania’s cooler climate regions and longer growing season make it perfect for aromatic styles of wine. A wealth of quality focussed producers has helped lift the status of the whole island. Interestingly, despite obvious difference, there is only the one GI in Tassie.
This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one-trick pony, it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation.