2012: The Year of Superb Australian Bubbles

Mr Neo Luxe Chandon Vintage Brut 2012Whether you’re celebrating the end of the working week, a major milestone or reconnecting with a friend, a bottle of bubbles is my drink of choice. When it comes to Australian sparkling wine, a brand I have been enjoying for years has been Chandon, in particular, Chandon Brut. For an Australian sparkling, I’ve always been impressed by the quality and how much it reminds me of French champagne. It wasn’t until I started doing my research and discovered the winery creates its bubbles using the time honoured technique – méthode traditionnelle. This practice employed in France’s Champagne region for centuries involves two separate fermentations of the grape juice, one in a barrel and the second in a bottle. The result, exceptionally fine, tiny bubbles.

Last weekend I was caught up with a friend and decided to mark the occasion with a bottle of Chandon Vintage Brut 2012. According to the winery what makes this vintage so exceptional was the near perfect wine season of 2012. Cooler than average weather during growing season meant the acid retention in the grapes and low crop levels ensured concentration of flavour. Created using grapes from the Yarra Valley, Whitlands Plateau and Strathbogie ranges, the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes were pressed and fermented separately to ensure the unique characteristic of each fruit was retained. Following the tirage and secondary fermentation, Chandon Vintage spent over 36 months ageing on yeast, an essential part of the méthode traditionnelle process.

The wine itself is a pale yellow colour and features an extremely fine bead and mouse. On the palate, the primary flavours are tangy lemon curd and kaffir lime, followed by secondary flavours of fresh baked pastry. This wine pairs well with spicy Asian dishes and not to mention cheeses and dried fruit, which is how I enjoyed this refreshing wine.

Chandon Vintage Brut 2012 RRP $40.99. Available from Chandon online and leading bottle stores nationally. To locate your stockist within Australia please call 1300 136 590.

For the wine connoisseur:
Winemaking process: Grapes pressed and fermented separately. Following tirage and secondary fermentation, Chandon Vintage Brut 2012 spent over 36 months ageing on yeast, an essential part of the méthode traditionnelle process.
Vineyards: Yarra Valley, Whitlands Plateau and
Varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes
Tasting note/Palate: A reductive, flinty aroma overlays quince, nashi pear, pine nut, citrus blossom and lemon zest. Toasty brioche and chalky mineral aromas present in the background.
Shows excellent palate weight with primary flavours of tangy lemon curd and kaffir lime. Secondary flavours of fresh baked pastry derive from extended ageing on yeast lees. The palate finishes with tightly wound acidity, giving the wine remarkable freshness and length of flavour.
Alc/Vol: 12.38%
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