With Richard Slater and Grant Foulkes
NV Brown Brothers sparkling Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier
12.5% King Valley (Victoria), and Tumbarumba (NSW) RRP $25
It’s not from Champagne but it’s made by the traditional method from appropriate grape varieties grown in cool sites. This wine delivers greater personality, ambition and quality than the industrial brands and alternatives that can easily be double its price. Brown Brothers has an awesome track record with this style – its experience fully on display. Light gold in colour, with a very fine and persistent bead, it shows pastries, gingerbread spices, lemon and red apple plus some cashew notes from oak maturation; the palate is bright, fresh and its rich red strawberry fruit flavours linger. It’s an immensely clever, classy, and satisfying effort. Sparkling wines are immensely food- versatile, but this powerful and refreshing wine just begs for salmon – smoked, baked or pan-fried; it also has the muscularity and drive to match with poultry or dishes with creamy sauces.
Conclusion; Serve in a white wine glass (not a flute) to let this wine dazzle with its quality – and congratulate yourself for a shrewd purchase.
Moorilla Wines ‘Praxis’ Chardonnay Musqué 2018
12.8% Tasmania, RRP $29
After having our minds well and truly bent at Hobart’s ‘MONA’, my wife and I found ourselves at Moorilla’s slick cellar door situated atop the museum for a relaxing tasting. But our understanding of the ‘norms’ were to be challenged again when we were handed a sample of this ‘Chardonnay Musque’… This tastes nothing like any Chardonnay I’ve come to expect. If I was blind tasting it, I’d have confidently guessed it a Gewurztraminer; Lavender, lychee and potpourri over nose, a syrupy mouthfeel but not sweet, rather dry with mineral notes, lemon sorbet and unripe peach finish with subtle length. For those of you playing at home, Chardonnay Musqué is an aromatic mutation popularly grown in Canada and New York State, yet this cheeky little drop was sourced from the St. Matthias vineyard in the Tamar Valley.
Conclusion: Pair with your local charcoal chicken and a creamy potato salad.