Being led up the garden path on a beautiful spring day is a pleasurable experience for those of us who like to follow our noses.
But peek beyond the tree-lined driveway of Mount Pleasant Estate and you'll find a suburban garden that's like no other in this part of town.
Welcome to New Certan, a cutting-edge, 3.3ha vine improvement program, established by Mount Pleasant's Paul de Moor.
The 14ha historic Launceston property has been the home of de Moor and his wife Sylvie since 2002. The couple purchased it from the Holyman family following Kreglinger Australia's acquisition of Pipers Brook Vineyard in December 2001.
Planning of the privately-owned and funded Pinot Noir project began in 2005.
Pipers Brook Vineyard chief winemaker Luke Whittle says this year marks the tenth anniversary of New Certan's first vintage.
According to de Moor, the project sprang from his desire to fully understand what makes the quixotic red wine grape tick in Tasmania's cool maritime climate.
"We're looking to create a new style of Pinot Noir," he explains.
"Pipers Brook has been associated with Pinot Noir for almost 40 years, and while our flagship - The Lyre - is a beautiful wine, it's a beautiful Pinot Noir for Shiraz lovers.
"It's loud music from an instrument that can play with such subtle beauty. The focus of this project is to find the vines that can create music in an orchestra that rises above vintage variation - to play us something truly magical."
Softly-spoken, the Kreglinger CEO must have whispered in the ears of a good many European connections while compiling his vast shopping list of discretely different clonal selections.
There's more than a drop or two of wine in the de Moor family's bloodstream. Great grandfather Georges Thienpont was a wine merchant who purchased Bordeaux's prestigious Vieux Chateau Certan in 1924.
Almost a century on, the 16ha Pomerol property remains in Belgian hands, with de Moor's cousin Alexandre Thienpont.
Hence Mount Pleasant as a New Certan.
De Moor's Tasmanian wine odyssey engaged the services of many interstate and overseas plant nurseries.
These included a handful located in the US, Germany, Italy, France and Portugal.
His search yielded an astonishing 64 clones of Pinot Noir, many requiring several years in Australian quarantine before they could be planted out.
These are early days in the life of a young red wine.
By way of comparison, local vineyards with a similar planted area to that of Mount Pleasant might comprise half-a-dozen clonal selections. These may include some of questionable origin and genetic makeup.
But it is their subtle differences in character and growth habits that add complexity to the aroma, flavour and texture of Pinot Noir table wines.
"Vintage this year has given us really good wine quality right across the board," Whittle says.
"Our Pinot Noirs are ticking along nicely in the winery. They need a little more time in barrel but they're shaping up well. I'm quite confident we'll see something really special under the New Certan label.
"Its quality and status continue to grow as we set ourselves high standards for that wine. We didn't produce a 2020 New Certan due to the cool, damp growing conditions last year. We just weren't happy with the fruit quality.
"We had some rain events again this year. They made the journey to harvest a relatively slow one until we had three weeks of really sunny weather during late March and April. That seemed to really turbocharge things. We've ended up with fantastic flavours in the Pinot Noir. Our bunches this year were quite small, so the wine is really intense and concentrated.
"It will be different wine from 2018, which I really love. You always get a bit of vintage variation in Tasmania. Having so many different clones to work with is fantastic because with vine age heading towards 15 years, there's a lot more consistency in our fruit and wine quality. From a winemaking point of view, we're really loving that."
For his part, de Moor remains somewhat circumspect about a project that is barely a decade old.
These are early days in the life of a young red wine.
"That is something that's understood by all family companies who are in the wine business for the long-term," he muses.
"Each one has their own trials and tribulations over time. They know the value of maintaining a low profile. They aim for quality and then simply put their wine in the bottle, letting it speak for itself."
Pinot Noir in the suburbs?
That must have been the response from Paul de Moor's neighbours when he chose to develop a vine improvement program on his Mount Pleasant property, overlooking Launceston back in 2005.
Fear not. It was a stroke of genius from the Kreglinger CEO.
This dazzling Pinot Noir provides ample proof.
It is a wonderfully expressive young wine. There's such subtlety and elegance in aroma, flavour and texture you'll want to enjoy it now.
Meanwhile, the purity of its red berry fruit and neat balance of acidity and tannin suggest it will keep a decade.
Milton, on Tasmania's East Coast, started life as a farming property back in 1826.
Today, a well-managed 20ha vineyard provides the Dunbabin family with its primary source of income from the Swansea site.
No wonder, when you experience the generosity of its estate-grown wines.
They're invariably well-crafted and very popular at cellar door.
This 2019 release is a lighter, more aromatic offering than the gold medal-winning 2018 vintage and I much prefer it already.
There's a lovely neat focus here, with the flavour spectrum running from floral/foresty to high-toned liqueur cherry.
All balanced; well sustained; refreshing.
Petrichor from Tea Tree in the Coal River Valley takes its name from that distinctive, earthy fragrance we associate with light rain falling at the end of a warm summer's day.
It's wonderfully evocative, not only of the vineyard's location but of the essential qualities of this upcoming release.
This is a beautiful Pinot Noir, with more fragrance than I can recall from anywhere else nearby in this parched southern valley.
Owners Kate Akmentins and Tim Hodgkinson have a cracking young wine on their hands - relatively light bodied, but rich, refined and oh-so-charming in the glass.
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