Reviews & Media


2021 Coal Valley Riesling - Mike Bennie, The Winefront

Rory Duggan is a gun winemaker shaking things up in Tasmania, producing idiosyncratic but formidable wines – all hits. They come from a left of centre place to most in Tas, but with a steady hand and keen eye the wines work out as primo while being of a gentle touch and less is more mantra. That being said, skin contact is more here, two weeks, and the fruit comes from Pressing Matters Vineyard in Coal River Valley. Judiciously released with time to spare. No sulphur added. Geez, R. D’Meure wines are compelling.

Crikey. Right up there (again) with the best of skin ferment wines in this country. The marriage of curry spice characters, dried and fresh apple, chalky, chewy tannins, super bright and frisky acidity, length, shape, vitality, it’s all here. Brilliant wine in its kaleidoscope of scents and flavours, a satisfying and refreshing orange wine with strong DNA of riesling, citrus, apple, florals, spice, tonic water, yet the inimitable orange wine spunk of savouriness, but so well balanced in it all here. What a stellar wine.

Rated : 96 Points
Tasted : AUG23
Alcohol : 12%
Price : $68
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2023 - 2030


2020 Coal Valley Pinot Noir - Mike Bennie, The Winefront

Rory Duggan at the helm of this generational (uncle-nephew) project, one that should be firmly on the sites of those seeking great wines of Tasmania. Aside curating the tiny, family vineyard, there’s wine from sources further afield (Antipodes Vineyard here), but close to home. No additions at all.

This is a stunner. It’s bright and sweet fruited with an impossibly delightful, mellifluous flow. Fragrant as all get out, red cherries, ripe, dried rose petals, juniper and alpine herbs. Flavours are more of the cherry, sweet again, but tempered by that piquant juniper-gin-like botanical character that sets this apart, gives a uniqueness, a compelling quality in the glass to investigate over and over. Fine tannins, soft, shapely, but there, cool and fresh to finish, and a sense of savouriness that lingers after each sip. Truly beautiful.

Rated : 95 Points
Tasted : MAR22
Alcohol : 11.9%
Price : $65
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2022 - 2026


2019 Coal Valley Riesling - Mike Bennie, The Winefront

There’s a remarkable suite of wines that’s come out of this pint-sized producer based in Birchs Bay, Tasmania. Rory Duggan is custodian of the lauded d’Meure vineyard site and continues at pace with patiently made and released wines. This wine emerges from Coal Valley, however. It sees 24 hours skin contact then spends its time resting in older oak barrel, then spends a year in bottle.

There’s so much concentration of flavour here, power yet freshness, grace and savouriness. It’s an epic riesling in any language, let alone to those who are fetishists of the variety. It’s white wine with distinct, firm texture, bristling acidity, loads of fruit and nutty/yeasty flavours, a saline belt of minerality chimes in too. Ludicrously complex, energetic and downright delicious. Wow.

Rated : 96 Points
Tasted : MAY21
Alcohol : 11.2%
Price : $55
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2021 - 2030


2020 Estate Pinot Noir  - Mike Bennie, The Winefront

From the estate, pint-sized vineyard which was planted in 1991 at Flowerpot within spitting distance of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Tasmania. Farmed organic. Made au naturale. This has 80% whole bunches in the ferment.

It’s such a savoury pinot noir, streaked with game meat, meat drippings, fennel, tomato leaf, dried herbs and then the whoosh of sour and ripe cherries amongst it all. Sappy texture, a haze of lively, feathery tannins, succulent and gently palate staining, finishing long with amaro, botanical elements and more cherry juice faintly dusted with white pepper. The message is ‘lots going on’ but it bundles it all up superbly. Elemental, serious pinot.

Rated : 94 Points
Tasted : JAN24
Alcohol : 12%
Price : $75
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2023 - 2030


R.D'meure - Stunning Natural Wines - Sue Dyson & Roger McShane, Living Wines


10 of Australia's best value white wines - Mahmood Fazal, Esquire