Bream Creek Tasting Notes
Fred Peacock, winemaker at Bream Creek, is a gently spoken, unassuming man. He is evidently proud of his wines, and for good reason. It is an old vineyard on Tasmania’s east coast that Bream Creek calls home, planted originally to Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller plantings of what are now Tasmania’s mainstay varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The vineyard faces north-east, with the slope combining with the nearby water to make a favourable climate within the vineyard. Importantly, there has been an effort to match the vines planted to the appropriate subsoils. Managed by the masterly Fred Peacock, Bream Creek has come into the top echelon of Tasmanian table wines, with a sparkling that could also rival the best of the state’s non-vintage cuvees. Fred is amongst the leading wine experts in the state, and a long consideration of his wines shows their genuine quality.
Fred Peacock, winemaker at Bream Creek.
Bream Creek Cuvée Traditionelle 2008
Roughly a half-half mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Fred Peacock says that Pinot Meunier is hardly planted in Tasmania, and that he has the flavours he wants for his sparkling. It’s a crystalline, shimmering colour. Having spent four years on lees, the bouquet is invitingly rich and nutty. Stones, stonefruit and minerals mingle around. It’s very light on its feet, and pure as snow.
Bream Creek Schönburger 2012
A stellar year all around the state, with reds getting a lot of press coverage, and the whites almost as much. Not much of that applies to this wine, having been made from the Schönburger grape, which is few and far between in this state, and in Australia. It has a nose of thickened cream, hints of Turkish delight, lychee and grass. Fred emphasises that this is a food wine (particularly Korean food), and you can see why. It invites a combination, and feels a little out in the cold when drank alone. The palate echoes the nose to perfection, and gee it’s interesting.
Bream Creek Riesling 2012
Riesling is the pride and joy of the Bream Creek whites, and they do this and the VGR (below) superbly. The nose is minerally, zesty with lime notes and hints of warm grass. It pings the colour green in my brain, but the flavours aren’t green. The palate has a magnificent line of acid, and round fruit with moist rocks underneath.
Bream Creek VGR Riesling 2012
This is the more punchy and sugar-dosed Riesling, the VGR standing for Variable Grams Residual. The nose is a little closed, but hints at the filled palate to come. In the mouth it’s passionfruit, florals, tropics, cream, biscuits and rocky-ness. It’s what many will like in Riesling, but for me the standard Riesling takes it.
Bream Creek Pinot Grigio 2013
Nose is happening, but it’s a bit undefinable. One thing it has got is very fine nuances. It’s a very fine nose. In the mouth it’s actually quite satisfying, and leans toward defying that nose-curling up that many do towards this type of wine. It finishes with a power line, a bolt through the middle. Surprisingly good and I would tuck into this with a bowl of Chinese food and fried rice.
Bream Creek Pinot Rosé 2014
The nose shows strawberries, strawberry leaves and cherry pips. It’s a sensationally summer colour. In the mouth it’s strawberries again, strawberry leaves and delicate fruit. This could chime into the Rosé revolution, if only someone would start one!
Bream Creek Pinot Noir 2011
The year is often derided because of the wetness but also the greatness of the year that followed. In this wine’s favour, it fights that perception with glee. There is a big cherry whack on the nose (but with a cushioned club), with mushroom and some slight stem action. Fine tannins in the mouth, delicate acid, satisfying finish and with a fairly decent stint still ahead of it.
Bream Creek Cabernet Merlot 2011
Pure colour, with a curious density – neither deep nor shallow. The nose is brambles, cassis and tangly, woody kind of vines. The palate shows grainy tannin, on a bed of neat acid. It’s quite savoury but I am glad of the enriching Merlot. Don’t write of Cabernet and Merlot from Tasmania just yet!