Holm Oak – a premium location with a premium product.

Two Rieslings – back to back tasting – a rare treat.

by Ben Nuttall  (WSET® Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits)

Ben in Melbourne

Nestled in a quiet bend of the Tamar river lies the beautifully located cellar door and vineyard of Holm Oak.  If you happen to have an afternoon free and are in Launceston, then take the short drive along the West Tamar to this spot.  It is a pretty good way to spend two or three hours! The whole building  is being renovated and expanded soon.  It will include a wonderful wrap around deck to soak up the warm sunshine and an amazing aromatic garden to look out on and wander through.   Keep an eye out updates about the new and improved set up in months to come – should be amazing!

Holm Oak covers all the Tasmanian classics in Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir.  Rebecca Duffy (the passionate wine maker and co-owner) still finds time (somehow) to produce some more unusual varieties (Moscato and Arneis to be specific).  The Arneis is, in fact, the only one produced in Tasmania.  It has been made superbly.  Well worth a taste if you’re like me and are intrigued by things you haven’t heard of or can’t pronounce!

At the Holm Oak cellar door  they have a quite rare opportunity available to customers.  Open for tasting was the new 2015 Riesling sitting alongside its older relative in the form of the 2009 Riesling.  The chance to taste 2 vintages of the same wine back to back is rare and an absolute pleasure.  The ability to look at the wines and compare how the age has developed the wine is invaluable.   For people with cellars looking for a top up, it is a great opportunity to replenish or taste the wine that they have put down to store.  It is also a great experience for those with an inquisitive mind.

Without further ado, here are a few of the tasting notes taken during the visit:

Holm Oak 2015 Riesling:  Subtle floral and citrus combine on the palate (as a pose to the dominant lime/lemon of some Tas Riesling).  Superb acidity carries the flavour across the palate and leads to a very impressive length.  Acidity will also support cellaring for ~10 years, possibly longer.  Also an absolute pleasure to drink now although will be much drier than some people may expect if you are sharing.

Holm Oak 2009 Riesling:  Very much in line with its younger sibling with subtle floral and citrus character showing.  The flavours are only just starting to develop the honeyed nuances of age, which is a pleasant surprise.  The acidity and fruit flavours are still very fresh and lively for a wine of its age.  This indicates that this will continue to develop over the next few years.  Cannot recommend it enough for fans of this variety.

The rest of the notes could be written out here but instead I will finish this with a recommendation.  Taste them for yourself as some of the wines (Wizard Chardonnay in particular) cannot be sufficiently described with mere words!


Poached Ocean trout with a dill yoghurt dressing is a perfect match for the Holm Oak 2015 Riesling.

This recipe and many more are featured in our new book, Harvest Entertaining.  It will also feature the story of Holm Oak and some of their other wines.

harvest entertaining Keep an eye on our Facebook page

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