Friday, October 28, 2011


- Coal River Valley, TAS
- $48-$65
- Cork (Diam)
- 12.0%alc

The reinvented Heemskerk brand marks a serious attempt by Treasury Wine Estates to move into high end Tasmanian wine. At present, the Heemskerk range constitutes a southern Tasmanian collection of single region riesling, chardonnay and pinot noir, as well as a new challenger to Australia's super premium sparkling class. From packaging to palate, these wines are looking pretty smart.

Practically as foamy as a bubble bath at Hugh Hefner's place, with a really racy, minute line of bead and fine lace, the Heemskerk begins its display with a pale, youthful colour, depicting a typically classy visual entrance. Its nose is real steely and tight, giving away little in its infancy. There are quiet suggestions of spiced pear, minerals, hazelnut and lemon cake, which precede a palate with more mineral focus than some sparkling mineral waters I've had. It's undoubtedly youthful and tight, with a crystal-clear expression of crisp apples, grapefruits and strawberry driven down a very strict line of tightly coiled flavour, working its way into a bone dry finish marked by brisk effervescence, lingering citric/mineral aspects and a tangy note of sherbet. Its crisp backbone and understated elegance through mineral complexity are fine, sizing it up well as an aperitif, but personally, I was looking for something a bit more outrageous. Patience is definitively recommended.

O TWE Arras? I don't think so. Aside from the obvious, in that it's much younger than any Arras I've had, it appears to be constructed very differently, relying more on restraint, mineral focus and freshness, and altogether looking more like a rather expensive Australian party starter. Time will tell how the two compare. Drink 2015-2019.
92 points


  1. I first tasted a Heemskerk Riesling at a tasting back in 2009 and I've been keeping an eye on the label ever since. By all counts Anna Pooley is doing wonders and has deservedley got a guernsey for the Len Evans tute that's coming up. Not sure if she oversees everything, but damn good booze from this label regardless.

    Looking forward to seeing your full write-up on the MSV Semillon. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

  2. Stu,

    I had a tasting of the 2010 Chardonnay recently, and it was brilliant, but I wasn't so sure about this sparkling - it's just a bit lean for the price range for me - at the moment anyway. 4 years old makes it look decidedly young and simple to some of the Arras I've had. I'm intrigued to see what direction Heemskerk take with this wine.

    Bad news re the MSV Sem - it's gone! I'm still definitely keeping my eyes out for it, although I recently picked up a trio of Hunter sems to tide me over until I find one.

    Chris P