Jansz Vintage Pinot Chardonnay 2003
I think if you served this up blind with some mainstream, lower end French Champagne (Lanson, Piper etc) it would shit all over them. There are so many freely available Australian and Kiwi sparklers out there now that are more than capable competitors for the French benchmarks - and as we continue to gain a better grasp on fruit sources, production methods and style parameters, our bubblies will only get better. Hoorah.
This is quite golden yellow in colour, with some obvious development on the nose - but that only enhances the appeal of this complex style. Custard, freshly buttered bread & lemon on the nose, with yeasty autolysis characters intertwined with toasty bottle age. Champagne like nose, yet set in a quite forward frame (like a few of the 03 Tasmanian wines - the lovely 03 Clover Hill shows this too).
The palate is delightfully layered, moving from front palate bready richness, through a bright citrussy middle, before finishing all cuddly and yeasty on the dry back palate. It arguably lacks the minerality of top Champagne, but it has twice the complexity of most of the aforementioned NV's, without the excess dosage, at a very real price. Excellent. 18.5