This is a good quality Valdobbiadene Prosecco from Bellenda. It has aromas of apple, lemon and earth. The palate is dry with a creamy mousse. A step up from generic Prosecco. Rating: Good. Abv: 11.5%. Website: https://www.bellenda.it/wines/. Reviewed: January 2020.
This is a good sparkling wine from Wills Domain. However perhaps its most surprising feature is that it is made from 100% scheurebe. Scheurebe is an early twentieth century German cross of riesling and “bukettrebe”, and well regarded as such, but finds its home mostly in Germany and Austria. Apparently some has found its way to the Margaret River. In the glass, this sparkling wine has aromas of apples, lemon and a touch of bread. The palate is fresh with good acidity and balance. Ready to drink now. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 12.6%. Website: http://willsdomain.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019
This artistically labelled wine from Wills Domain in the Margaret River is a sparkling rosé made from 100% merlot. Pale in colour, it has aromas of red fruit and toast. The palate is dry and pleasant and has a delicate mousse. A well made wine that is ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. Price: $39. Website: http://willsdomain.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019.
This is a very good sparkling wine from Schramsberg in California. The appellation is North Coast. Should the name prove unilluminating outside of California, the vineyards are in fact in the Napa and Sonoma counties. The sparkling wine itself is a blanc de blancs chardonnay made using the traditional method. In the glass, there are Champagne like aromas of bread and brioche. The palate retains a fresh acidity which I did not expect, with lemon and brioche overtones. This is a serious sparkling that is fairly priced. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 12.8%. Price: $65. Website: www.schramsberg.com.
This is a pretty serious sparkling wine from Mitchell Harris. From the 2013 vintage, it is made “properly” (aka using the traditional method), is a blend of 75/25 chardonnay/pinot noir and spent 40 months on lees. The fruit is from Macedon and the Pyrenees. In the glass, the aroma is clean and reminds of lemons. The palate is very dry in impression with a classic and fresh expression of lemon supplemented by coffee biscuit. (Alc: 12%, Region: Macedon and Pyrenees, Victoria, Rating: Good to Very Good, Drink: now, Tasted: August, 2017, Source: Sample)
Other vintages reviewed:
There was a time when I could relatively easily spot Tasmanian sparkling wines in amongst Champagnes in a blind tasting. The give aways? More primary fruit, lower acidity, less yeast and a honeyed character even in young releases. No longer. Tasmania is Australia’s premier sparkling wine region and comparisons with Champagne are comfortable in quality terms. The reasons Tasmania has been able to achieve this are worthy of their own post, and so I shall do that. If you have a view, please let me know. This particular Tasmanian wine is a delicious sparkling from Kreglinger. A blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, and consumed at 13 years of age, it has very attractive toast and yeast aromatics, and a racy, fresh palate with flavour and poise. (Alc: 12.5%, Region: Tasmania, Rating: Very Good, Would I buy it based on this tasting? Yes, Drink: now to 2027, Tasted: Mar, 2017)
Other vintages reviewed:
Aged wine isn’t for everyone. Many, perhaps most, won’t be better after two decades of cellaring. This Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs, however, is simply delicious drinking at 20 years of age. It has aromatics of lemon, toast and strawberry. The palate is dry, the mousse delicate but persistent, the finish long and the acidity crisp and racy. There are still plenty of primary lemon and yellow grapefruit characters. Yes.
Rating: Very Good
Read more: http://www.polroger.com/en/
The “Pollyanna Polly”, aka “Polly”, is d’Arenberg’s sparkling non-vintage wine with fruit sourced from the Adelaide Hills. It is made in using the traditional Champagne varieties of chardonnay (52%), pinot noir (40%) and pinot meunier (8%). The grapes are early picked (the abv is only 11%) and the wine is fermented in bottle and left on its lees for approximately 4 years. In the glass, it has aromatics of lemon, yellow grapefruit, lees and yoghurt. The palate is dry and balanced, with crisp acidity and a fine bead.
Vendors and website: http://www.darenberg.com.au