Fleet Wines: an artisanal producer from Gippsland in Victoria, Australia

I’m impressed by Fleet Wines. This is a small producer in the cool-climate wine region of Gippsland, quite close to Melbourne. It’s the project of Lisa and Justin Jenkins who have a background in Melbourne’s hospitality scene. In 2016 they moved to Leognatha, where Justin grew up, to begin making wine. They have planted vines, but also buy grapes from top sites across Victoria.

The winemaking style is very sensitive, with early picking to retain freshness and low extraction for the reds. This makes for eminently gastronomic wines.

Fleet Chardonnay 2020 South Gippsland, Australia
12% alcohol. Concentrated, bright and quite linear with lovely fresh acidity and some pithy notes. Quite compressed, showing good precision and a distinct mineral core. 94/100

Fleet Pinot Gris 2021 Mornington Peninsula, Australia
12.8% alcohol. 60% fermented on skins for 20 days. Wonderful aromatics with spice, smoke, orange peel and peach. There’s a minty edge to the palate with lovely texture. Grainy but still showing lots of bright citrus and cherry fruit. Lovely stuff. 94/100

Fleet Pinot Noir Leongatha 2020 Gippsland, Australia
12.5% alcohol. Pale in colour. A light infusion style with lovely red cherries, plums, a touch of redcurrant. Very bright and expressive. Stylish and fine with good acidity, and just the slightest hint of mint. Such elegance here. 94/100

Older notes:

Fleet Pinot Noir Leongatha 2019 Gippsland, Australia
13.1% alcohol. Light in colour, this is fully destemmed fruit in old oak. It’s silky and fine with a sleek texture and sweet red cherry fruit. There’s a hint of spice and ginger with lovely smoothness. Sweet cherries and plums, and amazing drinkability with immense prettiness and fine-grained structure. Ethereal. 95/100 (£38)

Fleet Syrah 2019 Yarra Valley, Australia
13.2% alcohol. Fully destemmed, aged in older oak. This is very exuberant and fruity, but shows lovely restraint. There’s a hint of pepper under the smooth, sweet raspberry and cherry fruit, with a touch of blackberry richness. Very rounded and fine, with nice fine spicy framing and good acidity, with balance between sweetness and savouriness. So lovely. A very pure, delicious Syrah. 95/100 (£32)

UK agent: GB Wine Shippers