Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wine Blogging Wednesday #28

Culinary Fool is hosting this edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday that saw us searching for Sparklers of the non-Champagne variety.

My choice belongs in the Special Sparklers category - Dominique Portet Tasmanian Cuvée 2002


Right now, champagne/sparkling wine aficionados might have keeled over at the heresy - yes, that is indeed a crown seal topping this bottle.


Don't let the crown seal lead you to believe that this is anything but an exception Sparkler - the choice was made to eliminate cork taint and to maintain the wines freshness. In the end, maintaining quality is what is really important not the razzmatazz show of popping corks.

The vineyards of Dominique Portet can be found in the Yarra Valley, here in Victoria.


The cellar door is housed in this ivy-covered and decidedly French inspired chateaux.

The Cuvée is a product of a partnership between Dominique and the Sundstrup family - it's made using Dalyrmple vineyard grapes that come from Northern Tasmania. There's excellent pedigree behind this wine as Dominique was responsible for creating the well-known Clover Hill Sparkling Wines.

Made from a combination of 60% Chardonnay 40% Pinot Noir, the wine was tiraged in June 2002 and kept on lees for 3 years before being disgorged in March 2006 with a very light dosage (6% 2001 Reserve wine).

After this period on lees you'll immediately notice those fresh yeast aromas tinged with some apple notes. In the glass, there's a fine bead. Citrus elements give it good acid levels that combine with it's age to provide complex flavours and a lingering finish.

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  1. Haalo:
    You've certainly been busy with festive beverages over the last couple weeks! Thanks much for participating in WBW! I love your photos.

    I had recently read that this type of top is mostly on frizzante wines since there isn't as much concern about pressure popping it prematurely. Either way, it sounds like an interesting wine. I'll have to take a look around to see if we have anything from this producer here in Seattle.

    Happy Holidays!
    ~ B

  2. Thanks so much B!
    It's interesting that the crown seals are used on, I think, all champagnes while they sit in the cellars awaiting disgorgement. There is another Australian sparkling that has the crown seal, it's Domaine Chandon ZD Brut, also from the Yarra Valley. They went as far as producing a swish bottle opener to remove the crown seal. The ZD might be easier to find.
    All the best for the season!


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