Western Australian Limited Pinot Chardonnay 2012
What is traditional Method Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay?
Apart from Sparkling Reds, the finest Australian Sparkling wines (and French Champagne) are made from three grape varieties, mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The method of production largely determines the quality of Sparkling wines. All Sparkling wines undergo a primary fermentation to produce a base wine. The best producers have a vast selection of base wines, which are blended together to produce the desired style.
The most cost-effective method for Sparkling wine production is the injection method. As the name implies this simple method involves the injection of carbon dioxide, the same process used in soft drinks, which produces big bubbles that dissipate quickly in the glass. This method is used for the cheap, commercial Sparkling wines.
The Charmat method sees the wine undergo a secondary fermentation in tanks, before it is bottled under pressure. This method is used widely in Italy.
The transfer method involves the wine undergoing a second bottle fermentation, which gives the wine yeasty complexity, before the Sparkling wine is transferred out of the individual bottles into a large tank. The Sparkling wine is then separated from the spent yeast cells and bottled under pressure.
The traditional method or méthode Champenoise is the most labour intensive, costly and lengthy method, but it produces the highest quality Sparkling wines. The traditional method involves a second fermentation taking place in the same bottle that the wine is sold. The traditional method is used for the production of Champagne in France. The wine is left in contact with its spent lees cells after the secondary fermentation, usually at least 15 months. The yeast cells are then removed from the wine, then the bottle is topped up with a dose of base wine and sugar before it is corked.
Most Australian Sparkling wine producers will make a Non-Vintage wine each year that is blended across vintages to produce a consistent product. In favourable years a Vintage wine may be produced. These wines tend to be more expensive and refined, offering a good expression of the region, variety, year and house style. You may often see a Blanc de Blanc style that is produced entirely from Chardonnay or a Blanc de Noir style, made entirely from Pinot Noir. After the wines have completed their second bottle fermentation, they are usually matured on the spent lees for longer, which imparts complex bread-like characters.
The cool regions provide the best base wines, which are usually picked early with high levels of acidity. With our broad climate spectrum, we boast a range of Sparkling wine styles from the ultrafine Tasmanian Sparkling wine to the more robust Victorian and New South Wales examples.
About The Wine
This 2012 vintage Western Australian Limited Release Sparkling Pinto Chardonnay is a world class vintage traditional method sparkling. Nothing has been overlooked in producing these amazing bubbles using traditional bottle fermentation with the base wine being left on ‘lees’ for 6 year!
The resulting wine has a beautiful fine pale yellow colour with a beautiful fine bead. There is a beautiful bouquet of grapefruit, dried biscuit and elegant jasmine perfume. The palate has good strong mouth texture with creamy buttery flavors, biscuit, spice and a well-rounded finish. A magnificent traditional method sparkling wine.
Comments from Wine Buyer Steve
In 15 years of wine buying for our company I had never been able to get my hands on a traditional method Western Australian sparkling wine….They are just so rare and expensive. Thank goodness I was recently offered this absolute beauty. This traditional method Western Australian Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay Vintage 2012 spent an amazing 6 years on lees which is just unheard of in WA.
The result is a sparkling wine that could easily compete with the great ones from the Champagne region of France. The rich texture and biscuit flavours are amazing together with the fine bead and creamy finish. It has been worth the wait to get this traditional method WA bubbles. There is only 100 dozen of this wine available so please be quick!
My Score – 98/100 WACC Trophy.