The world of moderately priced Australian sparkling wine can be mouth-puckering in its disappointment, so I’m always on the lookout for good wines at prices cheaper than low-end Champagne. My go-to wine for a while has been the regular Brown Brothers NV, but this slightly more expensive wine is also an attractive proposition.
On pouring, an alarmingly abundant mousse that settles quickly to a subdued, spare bead. The nose is initially savoury, with hints of mushroom and yeast, though this could never be described as a style that is heavy on these elements. Rather, they are an accent to fine, crisp fruit notes, part apple and part strawberry, delicate and bright. The palate is stirring while, thankfully, avoiding the edgy acid that can plague our affordable sparklings. Entry is lively and surprisingly full, rounded fruit flavours becoming more prominent as the line progresses. This fullness does come at the expense of defined incisiveness; whether this is a good or bad thing is, I imagine, a matter of taste. For me, it robs the wine of that last ounce of freshness. No matter; there’s plenty of flavour and a well-balanced amount of spritz. Dosage seems restrained. The after palate is brighter, tilting towards a citrus sharpness that becomes bleached as the wine moves through its ultra-clean finish.
This is a cleverly made wine that privileges drinkability above clarity of articulation. A real crowd-pleaser.
Stefano Lubiana Wines