De Bortoli Windy Peak Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV

I’m still on my “anything but Champagne” quest and last night saw me consume the most inexpensive sparkling wine I’ve had in years. Nowadays, $A8 buys you about half a bottle of Seppelt Fleur de Lys or a whole 750ml of this number from De Bortoli. Now, the Windy Peak range has a reputation for reliable quality at an excellent price, and even the Pinot Noir has been known to be quite drinkable — no mean feat for around $A10. Sparkling wine, though, accelerates the challenge somewhat, as it’s rare, in my experience anyway, to find true quality and interest at the lowest levels of price.A lively, coarse mousse that gives way to not much bead at all, but a pretty, rose-tinted wine of good clarity. The nose hints at a broad flavor profile, and shows slightly chunky strawberry and citrus notes, alongside some yeasty complexity. It’s kind of obvious and lacking in freshness. The palate offers a mouth full of fruit flavour, again mostly strawberry and citrus, quite full for the style, slightly effervescent, and easy to drink. There’s a slight mustiness that leads me to suspect a mild to moderate level of cork taint, so it’s hard for me to say this bottle is representative. The wine went well with light food.Keeping in mind possible cork taint, this wine is easy and full flavoured, but a little uninteresting too. I’d like to taste a fresher bottle, to see if the overall profile of the wine gains freshness and edge, as this would contribute greatly to enjoyment. De Bortoli Price: $A8Closure: CorkDate tasted: March 2008

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