Not too long ago, the future was uncertain for the Meadowbank Label. The quality of fruit and the value of the vineyard to wine-making in Tasmania was never in question, however the brand itself was looking a little bit lost. The winery clearly had truck loads of potential so Gerald and Sue Ellis got in contact with wine-maker Peter Dredge (who also makes his own label Dr. Edge) and they partnered up to get things going again. As expected, the outcome has been phenomenal. Meadowbank is making cracking wines out of the Derwent Valley from some of Meadowbank vineyard's top quality fruit and in 2017 Dredge took home the People's Choice award at the Young Guns of Wine Awards.
The Meadowbank Gamay is just one of the projects that has come to fruition with this new team at the helm and it is absolutely cracking. Gamay is having a bit of a moment right now, previously considered Pinot Noir's less interesting cousin, it is finally getting the recognition it deserves. This wine is made with a nod to Beaujolais (Gamay's spiritual home) using partial Carbonic fermentation and whole bunches. Bright fruit, lifted aromatics and an energetic mouth-watering freshness that makes it just a touch too easy to drink, this is some of the best Aussie Gamay on offer. The only downside, there isn't much to go round, so get in quickly before they disappear.
Since its first release, Meadowbank's Gamay has generated considerable excitement in the trade. Rightly so. The 2019 will only keep the buzz going. Meadowbank's original Pinot Block Gamay was planted in 1987. In 2015 a second, small, Gamay block descriptively named 'Top Woolshed', joined the ranks, and in 2019 it was this new block that contributed 60% to the blend. So thankfully we have some more volume of this over-subscribed wine!
Hand-picked, the fruit was left to begin carbo fermentation as whole bunches for seven days before being partially destemmed into open fermenters. From there, it was pressed off, before its fermentation had finished, straight to inert French oak puncheons, where it stayed for four months on lees.
Bottled without fining or filtration, this is a Gamay that offers bright, lifted perfume and an irresistibly juicy, sappy, pure, red-fruited and jubey palate of electric energy and lip-smacking freshness. Dredgey is pretty happy with this one and we can see why!
Meadowbank was first planted in 1974 prior to the purchase of the estate by Gerald and Sue Ellis in 1976. The initial plantings were small, but the business was enthusiastically grown by Gerald into the premium offering that is seen today. Partnering with friend and winemaker Peter Dredge, the next chapter is now being written. ‘Meadowbank’ is the purest realisation of what our vineyard and Tasmania can offer. Located in the verdant Coal River Valley, north of Hobart in Tasmania, Meadowbank has two estate vineyards spanning over 50 hectares. The primary vineyard sites are at Cambridge and Glenora. Modern winemaking influence is obvious in these well packaged, cleanly made wines. Reflecting their cool climate origins, the winemaking team pick at physiological ripeness to elicit the most natural expression of their fruit.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Utterly exceptional. Crimson lit from within. The palate, too, is a breath of spring air in an orchard in full bloom. Mandatory immediate drinking.