The participants: The Settler’s Liquor Store Tasting Collective (S.L.S.T.C), guided by Charlotte & Beth.
The mission: Sparkling/Champagne tasting
Time: Tuesday night
Place: Reputable Margaret River drinking establishment (upstairs)
With the arrival of the Spring Racing Carnival, there’s a certain undeniable scent in the air at this time of year. No, it’s not the smell of the turf and the thoroughbreds…the geldings and the green, green grass. It’s not the sickly sweet tang of blood, sweat, and tears. Or even the powerful waft of wonga! It’s that indefinable fresh-baked-plastic-biscuit scent that can only mean one thing. Fake tan season is here!
Yes, that, and the decidedly more aromatic whiff of Champagne and Sparkling wine of course. As filtered through the finest fillies and farnarklers of fashion in the field. Or something.
Huzzah! Horse-racing and fine bubbles. It’s an unbackable, rolled-gold quinella!
Anyway, let’s take a punt on tonight’s tote. Go, you good thing!
Blind Corner Pettilant, Chenin (Shiraz), Margaret River (Wilyabrup), WA.
A great little starter out of the gates drawing a nice and light acid line, dry with a gentle citrus palate. Blushing pink in hue with a light fruity tinkle on the nose. A natural.
De Bortoli, Prosecco, King Valley, Vic.
A very pale straw in colour with apple and a hint of pear on the nose. A super easy-rider, soft and light in the saddle.
Ninth Island, Chardonnay/Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier, Tasmania.
The finer the bead, the finer the breed! This pale yellow floral number has just that, with a soft lemon acidity to boot.
Watershed Blanc de Blanc, Margaret River, WA.
This golden steed has very evident Chardonnay characters, and is better for its slight heaviness. A solid performer at a nice weight.
Howard Park Jeté Brut Blanc, 94% Chardonnay, 6% Pinot, Mt Barker, Great Southern, WA.
This fine breed has the fine bead, as well as a great acid line, and crispness in its length. A stayer.
Vasse Felix Blanc de Blancs, Karridale, Margaret River, WA.
Another fine beaded steed with more oaky Chardy notes and green apple on the palate. And on the nose. A winner!
Howard Park Jeté Sparkling Rosé, 98% Pinot, 2% Chardonnay, Mt Barker, Great Southern, WA.
A blushing salmon meets a bubbly strawberry with great length. What a combo! Get on!
Nicolas Feuillatte, Champagne, France.
This French filly is liquid gold in hue with a caramelised brandied fruit palate. A class act.
Billecart Salmon, Champagne, France.
Is that brioche I detect on the nose? A very fine, subtle, crisp and lean performer. A French stud!
Franck Bonville 2009, Champagne, France.
Another golden French breed. Same same but different. Aged, characterful, and a definite stayer.
La Spinetta Moscato D’Asti, Italy.
A sweet little gelding with a light spritz in its step. Fruity with muscat and lychee undertones.
And there we have it. A strong field with some very classy performers. The winning place-getters? I think it’s safe to say that the educated money in this race was spread evenly. Too close to call. Everyone’s a winner, baby. You say no to bubbles, you say no to life!
(Remember to drink and gamble responsibly, punters).