Jansz Vintage Cuvee 2010


After doing a relatively good job of keeping up weekly posts I’ve dropped into an unplanned hiatus. I blame (in part) the fact that some contractors near home cut through a big chunk of telecommunications cable, leaving us without phone or internet for over a week. Of course, if you’re kind that excuses just one week (sort of) …

Anyway, ’tis the season to be jolly and drink bubbly so I’ve got a couple of sparkling reviews lined up for you. I’ve decided to start with this, the Jansz Vintage Cuvée 2010, in part because it was a sample and I do try to review samples promptly but also because Jansz’s NV offering is such a well known wine. I suspect many people will not even be aware of the other wines in this range.

You may be aware that a vintage sparkling wine (or Champagne) is made from grapes from a single vintage (that is, the grapes are all picked in one year, the year that appears on the bottle). This means that you should see variation in the wine between one vintage and the next (whereas with a non-vintage – NV – wine it is likely to follow a consistent house style). Vintage wines are often (necessarily) made in smaller quantities and this is reflected in their price. Indeed, in France, Champagne producers are obliged to age the wines for longer so this increases the price further.

This wine has had four and a half years ageing on the yeast lees so you should see plenty of yeast character in the wine. It is 51% Pinot Noir and 49% Chardonnay.

The wine

Pale gold in the glass, the nose is quite pronounced and shows apple and citrus, some smoke and spice and even verges towards a talcy character. There are, unsurprisingly, yeasty notes.

In the mouth, the mousse is beautifully fine and mouth-filling – straight away you feel like you’ve got a mouth full of teensy-tiny bubbles. The wine is very apple-y, with green apple skin but also some good yeast and brioche characters. The acidity is good (always essential in sparkling wine – it’s what makes it refreshing!) and the wine has good length.

This wine is lovely and would work really well with seafood – think oysters, scallops, prawns – fresh and not messed with too much! For me the highlights were the lovely mouthfeel – the explosion of fine bubbles – and the extra complexity.

Definitely a step up in the sparkling wine stakes and if you’re going to splash out over Christmas then this is worth a look. While the RRP is $46.95 the chances are that if you do some research you will find it more cheaply. I spotted it at under $40 – a very compelling price point.

And props to the marketing people for the “méthode tasmanoise” strapline!

Jansz Vintage Cuvée 2010, sample. RRP $46.95.
Cork (standard sparkling wine closure).
12.5% abv.

42°S Premier Cuvée


On the weekend we bought a new car. This was not an exciting car purchase – more one borne of necessity after our trusty old car was crumpled by an SUV neglecting to stop. With both time frame and budget severely limited we were so pleased with our efforts that I decided celebratory bubbles were in order.

I ducked into a wine shop I don’t normally visit and I felt that I was a little bit spoilt for choice with novel wines. After some umming and ahhing, I chose the 42° South Premier Cuvée made by Frogmore Creek in Tasmania. This decision was ultimately based on the fact that, at $25 a bottle, it was $5 cheaper than my initial choice!

Pale gold in the glass, with the nose requiring some thought. Milk arrowroot biscuits and lemon are the two things that immediately spring to mind. In the mouth, the mousse is fine, persistent and foamy. There’s good acidity which drives lemon, shortbread, a hint of brioche and some simple red berry fruit (strawberry). There is even a hint of chalkiness. The length is pretty good.

This is a good wine: it’s straightforward and not particularly complex. The flavours are not so much obvious as a little one dimensional. Having said that – I am talking about a wine that retails at $25 and is a non vintage bubbles, and both the wine’s length and acidity deserve a big tick.

Sparkling wine at this price point seems to be particularly competitive at the moment. There are equivalent (or even slightly better) wines that you can spend less on, and there is a lot of choice out there. $25 is fair money for this wine and if I were to spot this on special, I’d definitely buy this again. If you have the spare $10 or so, then I would buy this in preference to Blue Pyrenees Luna.

This wine was purchased from Cellarbrations, Brighton for $25.
Closure: Diam.
12% abv