Whicher Ridge Margaret River Whitetail Sparkling Chardonnay 2016

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It’s refreshing to see an Australian sparkling wine labelled varietally rather than using French terms. Hence, for its new sparkling release, Whicher Ridge has chosen the term sparkling chardonnay over blanc de blancs.

Grapes were sourced from the Clairault vineyard in the Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River, and the name of the sparkling – Whitetail – refers to the whitetail black cockatoos that visit Whicher Ridge daily. It’s another nice Aussie connection to this sparkling.

The wine was on tirage for 15 months, so expect a degree of yeasty, bready autolysis. A reserve wine – 12% of a 2015 barrel-fermented chardonnay – was added, too.

The result is the scent of fresh-baked biscuit and almond bread sitting side by side in harmony with honeysuckle, white peach and lemon. This sparkling offers a lot of developed flavour; it’s generous in nougat, honey, stone fruits with a flash of oyster brine-rockpool to close. Acidity is keen and lemony which brings everything up fresh, but the overall tasting impression is of fruit. Texture, too.

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