Chandon 2013 Vintage Brut, $41
Domaine Chandon’s senior winemaker, Dan Buckle, doesn’t shy away from the fact that his sparkling wines have a lot of character – more so than you are likely to find from Champagne. Buckle puts this down to the abundance of fruit character in Aussie wines, resulting in a less subtle base wine. He says that when his colleagues from Champagne taste Chandon’s base wines, they regularly remark on this. The Pinot Noir that Chandon takes from Victoria’s Whitlands Plateau is particularly notable, lending its wines a distinctive pink grapefruit, zesty character. Buckle says he could do a lot of work with the base wines to make them more ‘neutral’ and more Champagne-like, but he prefers minimal intervention. Instead, he allows the delightful fruit flavours to shine, and that makes for a very Aussie bubbly with lots of personality, including aromas of lemon tart and a bright, creamy palate with a lovely long finish.