Tasmania’ is said to produce some of the best sparkling wine in the world (second only to the Champagne region in France), but these bottles of bubbles from around the country are giving even Tassie’s finest a run for their money.
Australia has a fantastic reputation worldwide for its sparkling wines; a selection that is both diverse and delicious. From the multi-award-winning House of Arras to the “easy on your wallet” Claire Valley, the wide range of Australian sparkling wine on offer provides a fascinating insight into the nation’s benchmark styles that are proving to be so popular right now. It’s nonsense to think that you need a special occasion to enjoy a brilliant sparkling…life is short, enjoy it while you can!
Here are some of our best Australian sparkling wine producers: warning – you will definitely want to “taste test” them all!
House of Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged
When Tasmania’s House of Arras won “Best Sparkling Wine” in the Decanter Magazine Top 100 wines of 2020 for its E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2004, it was seen as proof that Aussie sparkling wines are challenging the world’s finest.
This sparkling wine is made from the noble grape varieties of prestige sparkling wine, sourced from exceptional cold climate Tasmanian vineyards. A mix of 69 percent Chardonnay and 31 percent Pinot Noir, this wine has spent 13 years on tirage.
The wine, which retails for $179, was awarded an Outstanding Classification with an impressive 96 points by the fine wine judging panel, chosen above other prestigious sparkling wines such as Champagne Krug 2006.
But while the House of Arras wine is spectacular, its price tag is out of reach for most of us…but never fear, there are plenty of great sparkling wines out there for the budget-conscious.
Claire Creek sparkling Moscato Rosa
It’s incredible that this delicious sparkling wine is under $5 at Aldi and it’s one of the best we’ve tasted: pink, bubbly and deliciously refreshing.
It features flavours of musk, candied fruits, pineapple and citrus fruits and light red berry fruits. Claire Creek hails from “south eastern Australia” – the location is “secret” as per the agreement with Aldi that many of the top wineries that supply to the supermarket chain keep their identity to themselves. It’s no secret, however, that many of Aldi’s wines are award winning too, regularly picking up prizes on the national wine show circuit.
NV Brown Brothers Prosecco Brut
I’m a huge fan of Brown Brothers and this Prosecco is one of my go-to sparklings for special occasions (or any occasion really!) It’s described as a “vibrant pale-gold with aromas of granny smith apples and lemon zest on the nose.” It’s made from grapes picked from Brown Brother’s Banksdale Vineyard in the King Valley, Victoria.
This drier style of Prosecco is bright, zesty and vibrant, with aromas of apple and citrus. The refreshing, crisp flavour and fine, delicate bubble fills the palate and is said to be perfect with seafood.
2015 Daosa Piccadilly Valley Blanc de Blancs, Adelaide Hills
A delicious vintage wine from Xavier Bizot showing aromas of coconut, nougat, cashew nut, lemon curd and hints of oak barrel. It’s full bodied and weighty, displaying concentration and richness, known as one of the best vintage Blanc de Blanc in Australia.
This Australian sparkling wine 100 percent Chardonnay sourced from the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills and was aged on lees for 30 months. It’s a very impressive sparkling wine and often flies off the shelves at Christmas time for $90 a bottle.
2013 Yarrabank Cuvee
The Yarrabank Cuvee is produced with pristine chardonnay and pinot fruit sourced from the upper Yarra Valley, Victoria. Yarrabank is widely recognised as one of Australia’s flagship sparkling wines, poured at many of our finest restaurants.
A joint venture between Champagne Devaux in France and Yering Station of Yarra Valley has produced this top shelf vintage sparkling – 51 percent Chardonnay and 49 percent Pinot Noir.
Jansz Rosé NV
Jansz Tasmania vineyard lies in the Tamar Valley in the heart of the Pipers River region in north eastern Tasmania. Jansz was Tasmania’s first sparkling wine to be made according to the traditional method champenoise and, as the only Tasmanian specialist solely devoted to the art of sparkling winemaking,
With its beautiful pink hue, ripe strawberry and berry flavours, this Tasmanian sparkling wine has fine beads (bubbles) and a soft, creamy finish. This is great if you’re looking for some bubbles but wanting something a bit different.
DeBortoli Cartolina King Valley Prosecco
The King Valley in Victoria is known as “Australia’s home of Prosecco” – De Bortoli, along with other grape growing families living in the area, originated from Northern Italy where the Prosecco grape is indigenous.
De Bortoli Prosecco Rosé is a lovely pale rose colour and tastes light and fragrant with notes of brioche, wild strawberry and pomegranate. Gentle creamy flavours, fine bubbles, fresh as a flower and very drinkable.
2016 Josef Chromy Brut Finesse
The Brut Finesse is a traditional method vintage sparkling comprising 76 percent Pinot Noir, 24 percent Chardonnay.
This Australian sparkling wine contains aromas of fresh rising dough give roundness to the nose. The palate is generous with beautiful texture. On the palate, red apple skin and brioche notes with hints of seaspray minerality. It features a softer acid profile owing to the warmer vintage.
2015 Sidewood Cassandra Blanc de Blancs, Adelaide Hills, A$50
Located at Oakbank, Sidewood’s Cassandra Blanc de Blancs is known as a superb sparking, showcasing a complex, creamy mouthfeel marrying notes of buttered brioche, marmalade and dried orange peel on the nose, leading to a saline, oyster-shell minerality and racy acidity on the palate. Fig, ginger and white peach are abundant; Cassandra Blanc de Blancs is a powerful and persistent vinous songstress, with each ‘note’ in complete operatic, sensory-harmony.
Dal Zotto L’Immigrante Prosecco 2018
Dal Zotto Wines uses two methods to produce Prosecco, these being for its L’Immigrante Prosecco, which is the traditional method champenoise, while the majority of the harvest goes into making the Vintage Pucino Prosecco and NV Pucino Prosecco produced using the Charmat method. (In Italy the Charmat method would be used for 99 percent of all Prosecco produced.)
This prosecco has been described as having “a touch of toasty complexity, underpinned by ample levels of pear, and struck quartz mineral complexity…beautifully constructed and a fitting tribute to Otto Dal Zotto’s heritage.”
2016 Yarra Burn Vintage Bottle Fermented, Victoria, A$25
This is a rich sparkling wine, sourced primarily from the Upper Yarra Valley; the region is well known for producing fine sparkling wines. The Yarra Burn displays the distinct citrus and white stone fruit characters of cool climate fruit, as well as the delicious aged Chardonnay characters of toast, butter and mushroom, complemented by the earthy truffle flavours of mature Pinot Noir.
It’s an elegantly structured and complex sparkling, blended from the three classic varieties, resulting in a consistency of style and elegance.
2015 Chandon Vintage Blanc de Noirs, Yarra Valley, A$39
This wine is made with fruit from the cooler Upper Yarra, Victoria. It’s pale golden in colour and filled with complex aromas and flavours – buttered toast, a touch of butter and raspberry fruit is powerful and is matched by a creamy but crisp palate.
It is big for a sparkling wine in the Blanc de Noir style but also has great finesse and fruit depth.
Bellebonne Vintage Rosé
Made from 100 percent Tasmanian Pinot Noir, this is delicate pink with salmon blush and super fine bubbles. The aromas are a meld of strawberry, marzipan, Turkish delight and buttery pastry. While the flavours are subtle, there is a delicious roundness in the mouth set against a fine tannin finish with the barest touch of bitter orange pith.
Bellebonne Vintage Rosé goes for a modest $75 a pop.
Vasse Felix sparkling blanc de blancs
Vasse Felix lies deep in the middle of Western Australia’s iconic “wine country” Margaret River and the sparkling blanc de blancs is absolutely delicious. Made in the traditional method, this is a serious ‘grower style’ sparkling wine from our coolest sections and specialist clones of Margaret River Chardonnay. Terroir is at the forefront of this single vintage Blanc de Blancs (‘white from white’), with the wine reflecting Vasse Felixs’ distinct Chardonnay sections and winemaking style.
Dumont Prestige Cuvée
The traditional champagne trio of varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier make up this full-bodied and creamy sparkling wine. Flavours of citrus, nougat and biscuity notes extend on the palate with a pristine crisp and dry finish. This Australian sparkling wine is made in an oxidative style, with a light golden yellow in colour; the nose shows creamy stone-fruits and a touch of marmalade. Citrus tinged brioche and fuller white peach lead to a grippy finish on the palate. It sounds delicious and it’s very affordable too!
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