Finding a vineyard in Australia is easy. Finding one whose owners
continually excel at their craft, vintage after vintage is a little harder.
Peter and Ruth Althaus purchased Stoney Vineyard in 1989. The vinyard was
planted in 1973 by the former owner with the noble grape varieties Pinot
Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and
Stoney Vineyard is a small property of just 20 hectares with only 11 of
those under vine. The vineyard is maintained in a very old world fashion,
with a high density planting of 6000 vines per hectare. Yield is less than
one bottle per vine. Located on Tasmania's East Coast in the small area
known as Coal River Valley (just 30mins drive north of Hobart), this region
is considered to be a marginal climate. The painstaking care and meticulous
attention provided by the Althaus' to the vineyard is what makes this
estate something special.
As contrast and compliment to the vineyards old world practices, the
Althaus' have armed themselves with a state of the art modern winery.
Located on the estate, the winery ensures that the premium fruit from the
vineyard is lovingly handled with minimal intervention.
Domaine A is the premium label of Stoney Vineyard. The Stoney Vineyard
wines are perfectly enjoyable now, or with aging in the medium term.
Domaine A wines however are wines that yearn for bottle age. The Cabernet
Sauvignon is held back for several years more than most wines before it is
released. Both Domaine A and Stoney Vineyard wines speak of the grape
varieties and the terroir that they are grown. Natural acidity is a
trademark of their wines.
The Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of the noble
Bordeaux grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and
Petit Verdot. It possesses a great depth of colour, typical blackcurrant,
cassis, cedar and leafy undertones. It is dense but elegant with fine
tannins and endless length. A quintessential cool climate Bordeaux-style
Domaine A Pinot Noir is a brooding wine that demands time
in bottle. A beautifully fragrant and perfumed wine with liqueur cherries,
rose petals and a decided duck meat-like savouriness. Fine tannins ensure a
long lived wine that will show in a very Burgundian way as it reaches its
Domaine A 'Lady A' Fume Blanc is a gorgeous oak aged
Sauvignon Blanc. Based on a left bank white Bordeaux, this wine displays
spicy oak, stone fruits with musk and herbaceous undertones. Mineral-like
acidity keeps the rich palate in check. Unique and enticing, this is a wine
that needs several years in bottle to really show its best.
The Stoney Vineyard Cabernet is a similar blend to the
Domaine A, but is geared more towards immediate consumption. It will
however, still age very well in the medium term.
Stoney Vineyard Pinot Noir is a moreish and savoury drink,
with earthy, mulchy undertones over warm compote like fruit.
All in all, the Domaine A/Stoney Vineyard wines are unique, handcrafted and
lovingly tendered masterpieces.