From the tasting team

Tyson Stelzer: Tasmania’s top sparkling rosés

By Tyson Stelzer

8 Oct, 2020

In the first of a series of emails from the tasting team, Halliday Wine Companion chief editor Tyson Stelzer sings the praises of pink fizz from Tasmania.

Spring has come and my drinking turns to cooler regions. While Tasmania has no official subregions, the zone of Piper’s River in the northeast is one of the coolest. This remarkable little district of rolling hills and sweeping Bass Strait vistas has increasingly established its credentials as home to Australia’s most elegant sparkling wines.

The ever-present influence of the nearby ocean makes this a particularly humid place, and this is a key to its success with sparkling, according to local grape-growing pioneer and PhD scientist in viticulture, Dr Andrew Pirie.

“Humidity is as important as temperature in determining wine style and the fingerprint of every region,” he says. Andrew perceives the most profound impact of moisture to be in the level and texture of the tannin structure. Dry conditions produce not only more tannin, but also more assertive tannin. This is most dramatically expressed in pinot noir for sparkling rosé, where the soft, subtle tannins of Piper’s River are the holy grail.

I drink and serve a lot of sparkling rosé in springtime, and when it’s not Champagne, it’s Piper’s River. There’s a good reason that sparkling rosé is the flavour of the moment, and I love its food-friendly versatility and wide appeal, as seen with the four examples below.

This article was taken from the Halliday Wine Companion newsletter on Thursday, October 1, 2020. Want more like this delivered to your inbox? Sign up.

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