Mitchell Harris Sabre 2008 (Macedon and Pyrenees, Vic)
|A Sabre in its natural habitat.
Note the Lazy Susan – old school
12.5%, Diam, $40
I took this for a roadtest at the best place to test crisp white wines in the country – Golden Century. I say best as GC offers a wide range of white wine friendly foods, plus the BYO is dirt cheap, the service is entertainingly haphazard, the food is superb and it is open very late. All of which adds up to my sort of dinner venue.
This particular wine comes to us from the talented hand of John Harris, formerly winemaker at Mount Avoca and, notably, Domaine Chandon, with John now focusing solely on his Mitchell Harris label. The 2008 Sabre is the first sparkling release for Mitchell Harris and is a blend of Macedon Chardonnay, Macedon Pinot Noir and Pyrenees Chardonnay. 3 years on lees, a very low dosage (5g/L) and some very careful handling all add up to a slimline, crystalline sparkling of some style.
At first glance this looked a little too lean, a little too acid driven and angular I thought. There is some lovely biscuity lees character along with strawberry, citrus and white flower fruit but, on initial approach, it looked skinny. More air and, curiously, some fried icecream with strawberry topping (apparently chocolate and caramel also worked well. Strawberry is the correct topping for fried icecream though) had that pure taut fruit singing though and it all came together nicely.
Well formed, tight and driven by grapefruit acidity, this quite a sophisticated Australian sparkling in the lean and clean mould. I’d like to see it with a little more bottle-age, yet the structure and form are tip-top – there is classic lines here, the wine just itching for more time.
Score: 18/20 93/100
Would I buy it? Yes. Well packaged, correctly priced, I’d definitely put it on the fizz shopping list.