You’ve heard of Tasmania, but how many of you know that it’s a pristine island off the South-east coast of Australia? Its relatively cool temperate climate and fertile soil provides the necessary conditions for fruit-growing, and for many years, Tasmania was one of the world’s major apple producers. But there’s another fruit that grows great in Tasmania, and all it takes is the ingenious mind of one tenacious individual to propel the island’s grapes to the world stage.
Josef Chromy has been instrumental in the development of Tasmania’s food and wine industry, having owned and developed several of the island’s leading wineries. Fleeing his war-torn Czech village in 1950 as a penniless 19-year-old, Josef managed to immigrate to Australia, and he has spent the past few decades propelling the country’s food and wine, and in 2007, at the age of 76, when most people would be thinking about retirement, Josef launched Josef Chromy Wines. In just over a span of four years, Josef Chromy Wines have made an impact on the Australian wine industry, amassing 14 trophies and 170 medals.
With such an impressive portfolio, we knew we had to taste the wines for ourselves. Luckily for us, the good folks at Equatorial Wines Singapore are the exclusive distributors here, and they’ve kindly hosted and provided us with a wonderful selection of some of the finest wines from Josef Chromy. We started off our journey into the world of Josef Chromy Wines with the Josef Chromy NV Tasmanian Cuveé, made with a combination of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. With a low ABV, fine bubbles, and lengthy finish, this sparkling wine is definitely on par with some of the fine non-vintage Champagnes available, all at a more affordable price.
Next up, we tried the Josef Chromy Pinot Gris 2018. Full and textured with pear and fig flavours due to a later harvest, this light white wine is an excellent accompaniment to a whole range of seafood, but is versatile enough to be paired with heavier sliced meats as well. The Josef Chromy Chardonnay 2016 is an impressive white wine with a heavier mouth feel. The extra warmth from the oaky, toasty notes gives this wine a lot of character, and while its great right out of the bottle, letting it decant and breathe for a while really brings out the rich, berry flavours that add another dimension into an already magnificent wine.
Transitioning into the reds, we’ve had the pleasure to try the Josef Chromy Pinot Noir 2017. Subtle notes of vibrant cherries and raspberries accentuate the 2017 bottle, combined with its savoury cinnamon spice and oak flavours, results in a very refreshing palate with a long finish.
Finally, we rounded off our journey with the Josef Chromy Botrytis Riesling 2017. The noble rot grows perfectly in the climate of Tasmania and raises the sugar concentration in the grape, resulting in a concentrated sweet Riesling bursting with floral and fruity notes. Almost perfume like, this wine is best enjoyed on its own to fully appreciate the cornucopia of flavours that fill your mouth from the first sip.
Through this amazing journey, we’ve certainly gained a deeper level of understanding of Tasmanian wines thanks to Equatorial Wines, and if you’ve yet to experience the wonderful new world varietals from the island, you can’t go wrong with the magnificent selection from Josef Chromy Wines.