With the festive season approaching, the liquor barn specials on champagne and sparkling whites are coming thick and fast. And while the imported French Champagnes are generally a terrific drop, their inflated price point doesn’t always fit within the pre Christmas budget.
While they can’t call their sparkling whites “champagne”, Australian winemakers are now crafting some exceptional bubblies in the sub $30 price range. Take, for example, the Heemskerk “abel’s tempest” 2010.
Winemaker, Anna Pooley, has masterfully balanced the abundant fruit of the Pinot Noir grape with the acid and minerality of her cool climate Tasmanian Chardonnay and retained a crisp elegance through bottle fermentation in “methode champenoise” style.
It’s a delightfully zesty bubbly which may not be as dry and yeasty as some French champagnes but which retains semi-dryness and a citric austerity through the use of greenish Chardonnay.
At around $25 to $30 a bottle, you’d rather two or three of these to one big name French Champagne!
Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is managing partner of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and lover of fine food and wine