Tag: Clover Hill Blanc de Blancs 2005

Jul 07 2011

Wine Gift Ideas: Vintage Sparkling from Tasmania rivals the finest Champagne

Posted on July 07, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Arguably, the finest sparkling wines in Australia come from Tasmania.  Bay of Fires‘ winemaker Fran Austin argues that what distinguishes the cool climate wines of Tasmania from their high altitude, cool climate counterparts on the mainland is the acid structure in the grapes: “A lot of mainland cool-climate regions are cool because they’re high up, not because they’re down south. In high-altitude wines, the acidity can taste hard. But in cool-latitude wines, you get softer, mouth-watering juicy acidity. And incredible depth of flavour – which means you can work the wines more, let them spend more time on lees before releasing them, producing a more complex end result.” (Epithany – Aussie Sparkling by Max Allen, Langton’s Magazine.)

The potential of Tasmania for producing fine sparkling wines was first recognised in the 1980s when the French Champagne House Louis Roederer established the Jansz vineyard in collaboration with Heemskerk in the Tamar Valley. Jansz was Tasmania’s first sparkling wine to be made according to the traditional méthod champenoise. In 2009 the Jansz Tasmania Premium Vintage Cuvee 2004 beat out some serious French competition to claim the Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine of the Show at the Sydney International Wine Competition.

Last year the House of Arras released the EJ Carr Late Disgorged Sparkling 1998, which at a recommended retail price of  $190, made it the most expensive Australian sparkling wine on the market. Wine critic Max Allen described his reaction to a sneak preview over a decade ago of the 1995 Tasmanian vintage made by winemaker Ed Carr: “I still remember tasting these wines and thinking here was Australian sparkling that approached the best Champagne in terms of finesse, complexity and depth of flavour.” Epithany: Aussie Sparkling by Max Allen, Langton’s Magazine.

Taltarni owned Clover Hill in … Read the rest

Nov 11 2010

Premium Australian Sparklings for the Silly Season!

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

As the silly season approaches and your mind turns to what to serve at a party or send as a Christmas gift, you may wish to consider Australian sparkling as an alternative to French Champagne.

Australia is really starting to make its mark as a producer of  fine quality sparkling. The best examples are being made in the cool climate regions of Tasmania, the Yarra Valley, Adelaide Hills and Macedon Ranges under the direction of skilled winemakers using either the French traditional method (méthode champenoise) or the ‘transfer method’ (in which second fermation takes place in the bottle like Champagne, but the wine is disgorged after it has completed its ageing on lees).*

As I mentioned in a previous post, Australian Sparkling: Rivals Best in the World?, 3 September 2010, earlier this year the Tasmanian House of Arras released the EJ Carr Late Disgorged Sparkling 1998, which at a recommended retail price of  $190 made it the most expensive Australian sparkling wine on the market. But Arras also makes very good and less expensive vintage and non-vintage sparkling. The Arras Grand Vintage Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2003 (rated 96 points by James Halliday) retails for $75 and the Arras Brut Elite Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay retails for $55.


Other top producers include boutique winery Mount William Winery in the Macedon Ranges. Like Arras it recently released a vintage 1998 sparkling, Mount William Winery Macedon Blanc de Blancs 1998 (retail $80), which spent 10 years on lees before being disgorged. James Halliday gave the wine 97 points, and here’s the winemaker’s Murray Cousins description of the wine.

Still maintaining a freshness and colour which belies the age. The fruit character was found to be so elegent on disgorging, that no dosage was required. Very delicate with Read the rest