Alongside it’s sibling Hochkirch, Tarrington is home to some of the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Australia. The 2020 Tarrington Pinot Noir is ethereal – cherry, plum and raspberry with notes of Asian spices, lavender and petrichor. Beautifully weighted and poised, with a sappy texture that cruises the crush of tangy red fruits. Some wood notes too, just in the background and a firmness that straddles the silky palate. Stunning and absorbing. Waters Wine Co
Out of stockProducer: Hochkirch
Located in Henty and beginning in 1990, John and Jennifer Nagorcka’s domain stretches to 700 acres, with a tiny 20 acres under vine. The entire property is biodynamic and the wines are made as naturally as possible. Handpicking, wild fermentation, ageing in old oak and minimal sulphur use. All vines are on their own rootstocks, which is rare in Victoria and the soil is loamy, over gravel and clay. Good quality soils with excellent water holding capacity have encouraged close planting of between 5000-6000 vines per hectare. The vines are trained low to the ground, to capture the reflected and absorbed heat of the soil, making for tough, physical work
This is cold country, even by European standards, and it has to be said through an Australian lens these wines taste and feel unique. The reds display a coolness of fruit, ripeness without sweetness, pure textures, lacy tannins and a graphite like minerality. The pinots in particular are of their site, combining red, black and blue fruits and effortless, weightless power.
The Chardonnay from the Tarrington vineyard, their own but 6 kms from the Hochkirch vineyard, is reminiscent of the whites of Auxerre in Burgundy. Cool, fleshy stone, citrus fruit and white flowers combine with a soft, creamy lanolin like texture. Riesling too is high toned, but with a deep core and textural depth almost unrivalled in Australia. Rich and chewy, with herbs and preserved vine leaf, this is a tour de force in Riesling reimaging.
Hochkirch and Tarrington are little known, eschewing wine journalists. They do not conform to the “sunshine” style so typical in Australian wine, the fruit is ripe, savoury and never sweet. It’s as if you have just picked a grape and popped it into your mouth, such is the gentle and crystalline purity of fruit. Winemaking is a means to an end, without imparting unnecessary influence. Food versatile and gourmand, a stunning companion at table, or wines to be savoured over the course of an evening.