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Fizz And Bubbles For The Weekend


According to the latest figures we’re drinking more sparkling wine than ever before, with some eight million Aussies now counting themselves as sparkling wine drinkers, all helping to make Australia the 10th largest fizz market in the world.

What is interesting (or frustrating for some Australian producers), is that we’re drinking less locally produced bubbly and more imports, as French champagne, Italian prosecco and Spanish cava take sales from Australian-made sparkling.

That’s a shame, really, for the best Aussie fizz is superb stuff, with a quality level that is genuinely impressive, even on a world scale. But it’s not champagne, is it?

Mitchell-Harris-Sabre-2011Top Aussie Fizz

Mitchell Harris
Sabre 2011

This is the third Sabre from Mitchell Harris and another smart release. In a similar mode to the 2010, this is a blend of 60/40 chardonnay and pinot noir from the Macedon and Pyrenees in Victoria in a cross-town Victorian combination.

A delicate and very pure wine, all white flowers and lemon fruit, in a style that is perhaps just a little too linear, but gee the finesse and gentle, water-fresh flavours are thirst quenching. Good.


Score: 17.8/20
RRP: $40
Would I buy it?
I’d definitely drink this if I spotted a glass on a list. A cut above many.

2013-Loftia-Vintage-BrutMore local glory

Deviation Road Loftia
Vintage Brut 2013

Deviation Road is a new name to me, but with no shortage of noise behind the label. Indeed, this wine won the Best Sparkling at the 2015 Adelaide Hills Wine Show. A blend of 70 per cent chardonnay and 30% per cent pinot noir, it spent two years on lees.

Water clear, the nose appley and very primary, the fizz primary and very pristine in its fruity freshness. Nice clean aperitif style and quite long, it’s just a little too lean and bracing to be delicious yet, but certainly good promise. Long too. Really promising, if all acid and more at the moment – worth hanging on to.


Score: 17.8/20
RRP: $45
Would I buy it?
Yes, but I’d wait another six months before drinking.

colfondo-1Something different

Ca’ del Zago Col Fondo
Prosecco 2014

This biodynamic prosecco is made in what is known as the ‘col fondo’ method, where the prosecco fermentation is finished in the bottle and produces a cloudy yet delicate fine fizz.

Here, dynamic winemaker Christian Zago has produced a beautiful prosecco from the hills of Valdobbiadene, carrying a delicacy and texture rarely seen in other Prosecco. Yes, it’s slightly cloudy, but in a way reminiscent of classic Belgian wheat beer, and the wine is so fine that you don’t miss the brightness of more modern fizz.

Delicious, intriguing sparkling that is worth tracking down.


Score: 18/20,
RRP: $40
Would I buy it?

heidsieck-1Top of the pops

Charles Heidsieck
Brut Reserve NV

Much like the pioneering Charles Heidsieck Mis En Cave wines, this carries both the year when it was disgorged and when it was put down in the Heidsieck cellars.

It is an intriguing wine too – rich and bacony on the nose with the tell-tale honeyed richness of older material. The tangy palate has a liqeured, mature edge alongside an array of nutty flavours, lots of yeast-derived weight and a serious density before tightening up on the finish. A rather bold sort of champagne, this is satisfying in its intensity. How can you not love the complexity of this? An amazingly layered wine for an NV and a superb champagne.


Score: 18.5/20
RRP: $100
Would I buy it?
In a heartbeat.

“An amazingly layered wine for an NV and a superb champagne whichever way you look at it.”


Andrew Graham

Andrew-Graham-Profile-GRAY2009/10 WCA Wine Journalism ‘Young Gun; Wine Judge; Gourmet Traveller WINE and Breathe Hunter Valley magazine contributor; LattéLife columnist; National Liquor News Tasting panellist and Chablis lover who fell into the liquor industry chiefly to buy cheap beer. Over a decade later and I’m still here, now studying towards a Masters of Wine Technology and Viticulture, and still spending all my money on beer and wine.


About the author

Alana Lowes

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