All that sparkles

04 February, 2021 by Brydie Allen

In the annual sparkling wine review, the National Liquor News tasting panel sent corks popping on a range of different styles within the category, from Champagne to Prosecco, sparkling rosé, sparkling Shiraz and more. 

The first sparkling wine was apparently created by accident in northern France, long before the 1600s when winemakers embraced it to craft the styles we drink today. And the sparkling category has come a long way in this time, with various grapes, blends, methods and profiles showcased throughout the incredible depth of wines on the market.

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Of all these wines, one in five bottles are produced in France. However, in Australia local producers are increasingly becoming valued, and the results of our annual sparkling wine review show that they can certainly compete with their international counterparts.

Below is a taste of some of the standout wines from this tasting. You can find the full selection of the highest scoring wines in the November issue of National Liquor News, available online here.

The Standout Wines

 

 

NV Champagne Vadin-Plateau Premier Cru Origine (95 points)

Region: France

Distributed by: Decante This

“Good structure, sublime fruit, balanced. Ticks all the boxes – Geoff Bollom

 

 

NV Jansz Premium Rosé (93 points)

Region: Tasmania

Distributed by: Samuel Smith & Son

“Long finish and delightful red fruits.” – Christine Ricketts

 

 

2018 Taltarni Sparkling Shiraz (91 points)

Region: Victoria

Distributed by: Oatley Fine Wine Merchants

“Great colour. Pleasant. Fantastic BBQ wine.” – Geoff Bollom

 

 

NV Champagne Vadin-Plateau Blanc de Noirs (94 points)

Region: France

Distributed by: Decante This

“Austere and mineral, showing both restraint of fruit and power.” – Michael Mcintosh

 

 

NV Champagne Montaudon Brut (93 points)

Region: France

Distributed by: Single Vineyard Sellers

“An intriguing and interesting nose – in a good way. Enjoyable acidity to balance the fruit.” – Andy Young

 

2019 Voyager Estate Project Sparkling Chenin Blanc (90 points)

Region: Margaret River

Distributed by: NSW/ACT/QLD: Déjà Vu Wine Co.; VIC/TAS: Bibendum; SA: Alpha Box and Dice; WA: Liquid Library

“Nice, pleasing wine with a pleasant finish.” – Christine Ricketts

 

 

NV Trentham Estate Reserve Pinot Chardonnay (90 points)

Region: Tasmania

Distributed by: VIC/NSW/ACT/QLD/TAS: Bacchus Wine Merchant; SA/NT: Empire Liquor; WA: Dave Mullen Wine Agency.

“Creamy, soft finish. Good structure. Green apple, lemon, nougat.” – Geoff Bollom

 

 

2009 Château Tanunda Blanc de Blancs (88 points)

Region: Barossa

Distributed by: Crush Wine + Drinks

“Balanced and approachable. Some leesy notes over rich appley fruit.” – Michael Mcintosh

The Panel

  • Christine Ricketts, Wine Educator, Endeavour Group
  • Geoff Bollom, Retailer, Fennell Bay Cellars
  • Brian Chase Olson, Director, Blend Public Relations
  • Emmanuel Conde, Brand Ambassador, Cerbaco
  • Michael Mcintosh, Fine Wine Brand Ambassador, Accolade Wines
  • Jye Hosking, Account Manager, Agnew Wines
  • Al Fencaros, Chief Winemaker, Allinda Wines
  • Andy Young, Editor, The Shout & Bars and Clubs

Judges Comments

“The lower price point is showing the leverage towards the younger drinking group with more fruit forward, easy drinking styles.”  – Christine Ricketts, Wine Educator, Endeavour Group

“Australian sparkling is showing a lot of strengths. Great quality, considered winemaking and fresh, beautiful wines.”  – Brian Chase Olson, Director, Blend Public Relations

Editor’s Picks

  • 90 Rotari Rosé 2014, Italy, LUC $35 (Single Vineyard Sellers)
  • 87 Pepperjack Sparkling Shiraz NV, Barossa, LUC $24.46, (Treasury Wine Estates)
  • 86 Mezza di Mezzacorona Italian Glacial Bubbly NV, Italy, LUC $25.00 (Single Vineyard Sellers)
  • 80 Calabria BEVI Prosecco NV, Australia, LUC $8.16 (Calabria Family Wines)

Food Pairing

  • “I’d pair Australian sparkling with fried calamari, roast veggie skewers or a beautiful charcuterie platter.” – Brian Chase Olson
  • “Oysters natural or crayfish.” – Geoff Bollom
  • “Prosecco with battered fish goujons and chips with tartare sauce, and Blanc de Blancs Champagne with tuna tartare and finger lime.” – Michael Mcintosh
  • “Snapper, hollandaise and chat potatoes with a fair share of butter, lemon and rosemary.” – Emmanuel Conde

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tasting in our digital magazine!