I would like to make a recommendation of this little winery that I found tucked within the fence-lines of Launceston. There are certainly more well-known wineries in this region, but the quality of the wines at Velo Wines impressed me the most during a recent visit.
The estate white and red wines range $20-30, while the Willo’s Reserve Range are reds with price tags of $40-48. In the absence of comprehensive tasting notes, I have provided a short paragraph of my impressions of the wines I tasted on the day.
The 2010 Riesling was a wine with that kerosene element that is a sign of a hot vintage or development, floral and lime aromatics, precise structure with sufficient acidity and good concentration of green apple and lemon citrus fruit flavours. This sells for $25 and won a gold medal at the 2012 Tasmanian Wine Show. Drink now. 91/100.
The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc styled after the wines of Pouilly-Fume has light lemon talc and crushed herb aromatics, lovely passionfruit and red berry flavours. The wine was barrel fermented for 6 months in French oak barrels, adding complexity to its characteristics. $30 price tag. Drink now. 90/100.
The 2010 Unwooded Chardonnay had a pale straw colour, with notes of lemon pith, floral aromatics and unripe honeydew. A clean refreshing wine with some complexity on the palate due to entensive lees stirring practice. $20. Drink now 89/100. the oaked version of this wine will be released in Aug 2012.
The 2010 Pinot Gris appears with a shade of pink due to the 6 days it spends on skins pre-fermentation. To me, the nose contained a slight petrol, over-ripe element. But with flavoursof white peach and pear, it has good strcuture and ripe acidity. $25. Drink now. 91/100.
The 2010 Pinot Noir was of light ruby colour, with a nose of spicy brush undergrowth, red berries and wild strawberries. This is a young, balanced wine with potential to be cellared up to 7 years. $26. 90/100.
Similarly impressive for an estate label, the 2010 Cabernet Merlot was of a med+ ruby colour with aroma of cedar, sweet spice, blackberry and black cherry. Soft even tannins, ripe acidity and dark berry flavours with a hint of tobacco. Potentially cellarable up to 8 years. $27. 91+/100.
The Willo’s Reserve Range wines are more expensive and justifiably so as they are clearly of higher quality than the estate wines. The 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir is a new release for $45, and is a medium bodied wine pf smooth velvet texture with clean red berry flavours, sappy tannins and soft acidity. Good depth and a long finish. Drink now – 2017. 92/100.
The 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is made from hand-picked fruit from 42 year old vines. An intense ruby colour, notes of sweet spice, plums and dark berry fruit. This is a restrained wine, rather elegent one might expect from the cool climate, lovely spicy sensations that standout more than the primary fruit. That sounds like a flaw but make no mistake that this is an ideal wine for pairing with foods like rosemary roasted lamb cutlets or black olive and beef cheek stew. $40. Drink 2012 – 2018.
The final wine in the Willo’s range is the 2009 Reserve Shiraz which is limited to 150 cases. A lovely cool climate shiraz that would stand up to a sturdy French challenge. $40. Intense dark ruby colour, note of chorizo, paprika, white pepper, black currants and red berries. Fine grained savoury tannins, overall arobutly structured wine. Aged for 1 year in American oak barrels. Drink 2012 – 2020. 93/100.
Finally, Velo also produce a Sparkling and a Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. The 2006 Dominique Sparkling is $40 but wasn’t on tasting although I bought a bottle. The 2011 Late Harvest dessert wine is a very interesting number worth chasing after. Rich amber lemon colour with notes of honey and cauliflower, this was a delicious wine for semi-hard cheese. $20 for 375ml.