Add some sparkle to your spring racing carnival

Photo: istock

Photo: istock

Once upon a time, the Spring Racing Carnival heralded the start of sparkling season. From the middle of spring, newspaper inserts were filled with the best deals on champagne, with the major chains cutting the price of Moet and Veuve Clicquot to ridiculous prices.

Whether it’s the grand marques, grower champagnes, prosecco or Australian bubbles, we’ve got you covered.

Champagne

Champagne is often a blend of chardonnay for elegance, pinot noir for perfume and pinot meunier for body – and champagne houses often have a preference for one grape to be dominant.

See blanc de blanc on a label and you’ll be getting a wine made from chardonnay. Blanc de noir is made from the red grapes, pinot noir and meunier.

Cava

Hailing from Catalonia, Cava is made from the macabeu, xarel-lo and parellada grapes. Law decrees that cava must be made in the same way as champagne – with a second fermentation and ageing in the bottle – and vines cannot be irrigated.

Prosecco

Fresh and fruity, prosecco is actually a grape rather than a region. Prosecco’s roots are in Italy’s north-east near Veneto and the best examples come from around Valdobbiadene.

UNDER $25

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

ask-the-wine-guy-bannersmall

Segura Viudas Brut NV

Cava; $15; 12%

Score: 90/100

The dominant macabeu grapes highlight the wine’s fresh acidity and floral, fruity flavours, with peach, tropical fruits and lime.

Dry and refreshing, it’s soft, easy to drink and quite the bargain.

Airlie Bank Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV

Yarra Valley; $22; 13%

Score: 91/100

Airlie Bank is part of the Punt Road stable of wines. Smelling of lemon zest, white stonefruits and marzipan, this hits the mouth with a wash of vigorous bubbles that deliver rich flavours and pithy citrus.

Umberto Luigi Domenico Cosmo Extra Dry NV

Prosecco DOC; $20; 11.5%

Score: 91/100

Smelling of pear, Jonathan apple and biscuit, this is a clean and crisp wine – the perfect start to a long lunch – with a smooth mousse, chalky grip and gentle flavours to its lengthy finish.

Aubert et Fils Brut NV

Champagne; $25; 12%

Score: 89/100

From Epernay in Champagne and exclusive to Dan Murphy’s, this is about as cheap as champagne gets in Australia.

Golden stonefruit and Salada biscuit aromas lead to a vigorous mousse, lemon sherbert vibrancy and a toasty finish.

UNDER $50

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

Serge Mathieu Tradition Blanc de Noirs Brut NV

Champagne; $49.99; 12.5%

Score: 92/100

Blanc de Noirs is 100 per cent pinot noir or, as the label says, pur pinot. It is subtle and complex, with cherry, brioche and chalky minerality – as crisp and refreshing as a spring morning.

Bay of Fires Pinot Noir Chardonnay Rose

Tasmania; $35; 12.5%

Score: 92/100

This is a cracking rose – one of Australia’s best. Bursting with strawberries and citrus, it’s lively and refreshing with a terrific structure. There’s creaminess and grip and it’s a joy to drink. Just delicious.

Chandon Brut Rose NV

Australia; $32; 12.5%

Score: 92/100

If pink had a flavour, it would be this – it’s all rose petals, strawberries, cherries and Scotch finger biscuits. It’s bright, refreshing and has zippy grippy acid. This would be perfect with a parfait.

Domaine Parigot & Richard Cremant de Bourgogne Rose NV

Burgundy; $42.30; 12.5%

Score: 90/100

Using 100 per cent pinot noir, the grape’s strawberries and raspberry traits lead to smoky berry and blood orange flavours. There’s a touch of sweetness, but a line of chalky acid brings it into balance.

SPLASH OUT

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

Louis Barthelemy Brut Amethyste NV

Champagne; $55.80; 12.5%

Score: 93/100

Rich, complex aromas of citrus, stonefruit, salada and lemon zest lead into a vigorous mousse and intense, crisp flavours.

Billecart Salmon Brut Rose NV

Champagne; $120; 12%

Score: 94/100

The NV Champagne rose that all others are gauged against. Aniseed, red berry, cherry and grilled peach aromas are complex and refined and there’s a line of energetic pithy citrus and cherry, raspberry flavours.

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2006

Champagne; $350; 12.5%

Score: 96/100

This wine is made using chardonnay grapes from grand cru regions. This is a complex champagne, with finesse and power, stonefruit, a bright orange and lemon rind aroma and a touch of escargot pastry.

There’s an underlying drive to the grapefruit, white peach, fennel seed and mineral salinity

 

MORE TO LOVE FROM OUR SPRING RACING EDITION:

 

 

 

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