Sailor Seeks Horse Pinot Noir 2018
Some of Tasmania’s finest. CAMPBELL MATTINSON, The Wine Front
Having polished the vinous gems at Home Hill, Gilli and Paul Lipscombe are seeking their next adventure with a firm commitment to the Huon Valley. Watch this space, the horses have bolted. PETER BOURNE, The Wine Man
A quest to make the best new-world expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay led Gilli and Paul Lipscombe to the Huon Valley, Tasmania. The duo behind the clever label, Sailor Seeks Horse, aren’t the new kids on the block anymore. Instead, they are well-respected amidst the greatest new wave of winemakers to emerge out of Tasmania.
With a decade of experience in the region, the two have really found their stride. Their gentle approach to wine-making stems from their belief in the importance of place. Their wines are honest, elegant, and distinctly tell the story of the neglected vineyard they, so lovingly, brought back to life. Distinctly Huon Valley. Distinctly Sailor Seeks Horse.
The couple got their name for the label off an old ad hanging in their local coffee shop. A sailor who had traveled across America now wanted to explore Tasmania, but didn’t have a horse to do so. He mentioned in the ad that even a pony would do. Gilli and Paul felt connected to this story as they, too, were about to embark on something a little bit wild and, with little money, they were going to need some help, like their long-ago sailor.
The first ten years in the Huon Valley brought the duo much praise. Gilli worked as Home Hill’s winemaker for a number of vintages and in 2015 was awarded a Jimmy Watson Trophy for the winery. In 2018 Gilli and Paul won the Young Gun of Wine Winemaker’s Choice Award. In 2019 they were finalists for Gourmet Traveller’s Winemaker of the Year only to have lost to Jim Chatto whom they consult to as Chatto’s continuous viticulturists.
All this to say: they know what they’re doing and they do it so well. The 2018 Pinot Noir will be the last of their vineyard’s own fruit until the 2020 vintage as, like Chatto, had to scrap their crop due to smoke taint. They will be making 2019 wines under a different label and with another vineyard’s fruit. Support the small guys and stock up now as you won’t see another for quite some time. Fortunately for you, the 2018 Pinot Noir is built to last so you could grab a case, enjoy a couple now and watch it evolve over the next 5-10 years. I’m pleased to offer 15% savings and a little extra on top of that in a 6 bottle purchase.