Sparkling Wine – New Release

Reviewed: 16 February 2013

My perceptions were really challenged during this tasting by the wines from Yellowglen.

  • Firstly, the quality and style of the new releases from Yellowglen are completely different to the cheap wines in the range and are nothing short of stunning!
  • Secondly, whilst there has been a wholesale move to Tasmania as a source of fruit for sparkling wines, this demonstrates just how good the Adelaide Hills wines can be.
  • Finally, as a die-hard fan of Champagne, here is an Australian sparkling wine that I really want to drink.

The 2002 XV is a wine that has changed my perceptions of Australian sparking wine.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are a couple of cheap and cheery wines that represent excellent value for uncomplicated drinking.


Yellowglen – Pinot Noir/Chardonnay – Exceptional Vintage – XV – 2002 (18+). Very fine mousse and developed straw colour. There is a creamy, powerful nose with plenty of autolysis characters from the extended lees contact. This wine is fine and elegant, yet complex, developed and round. With Brioche and cookie/bread dough characters,the palate is soft, round and gentle, with delicate acidity to balance the complex fruit. Could be mistaken for Champagne, this is a fine wine with a complex powerful finish. Powerful enough to take food, this is a truly amazing wine. Having spent 9 years on lees and with 8g/l of dosage, this pinot dominant blend is at the very top of Australian sparkling wine. With a RRP of $50, I intend to put some in my cellar for drinking over the next 6 months.

Yellowglen – Pinto Noir/Chardonnay – Exceptional Vintage – XV – 2004 (17.5). Remarkably fresh compared to the 2002 and a brilliant aperitif style. There is good complexity on the nose with restrained fruit characters over buttery/nutty lees characters. The palate is linear and taut, with a touch of yeast and toast to add interest. More fruit driven than the 2002, with a lovely racy edge.

Marri Wood Park – Chenin Blanc – Grandis – Brut Reserve – 2009 (16.6). A straightforward wine with apple like fruit and gentle creamy finish. Fills the mouth nicely and delivers plenty of joy. An easy drinking fun wine that will make many friends. (The name is a little close to that of the French wine perhaps).

Lindeman’s – Bin 25 – Brut Cuvee – NV (16.4). Vibrant mousse! This is in a different style and delivers plenty of charm. Fresh apply fruit on a vibrant palate that is full of life. A fun wine that will provide great drinking on a warm afternoon with friends. Should be about the same price as a fancy bottle of water… Bargain!!!

De Bortoli – Emeri – Chardonnay/Pinot Noir – NV (16.6). This is an interesting wine. Opens with complex bready aromas. The palate has brioche and creamy satisfying mousse. Not particularly complex, but long, refined and very satisfying. The creamy finish is a highlight.

Wolf Blass – Gold Label – Pinot Noir/Chardonnay 2008 (16.5). Simple, straightforward wine that is quite long, round and satisfying. Easy to drink and well made, this should also be very affordable.v