The sun was out after a week of rain, and I had scored a free ride on the UoM wine society bus. Designated driver – check! All that I had to worry about was avoiding all that American broken glass. This is a timely recap of my last trip to Domaine Chandon in the Yarra Valley because the wine society’s next foray to the Yarra Valley is this Sunday 14th Sept. If you are interested, there might be a couple of spots left, please contact them here.
An Australian leaf from LVMH’s portfolio, the little brother of Moet & Chandon, Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot and the beautiful Krug. It’s almost like the outfit that the rest of the family kinda ignore. Not to be confused with Domaine Chandon in the Napa Valley, but they have the same parents anyway. Domaine Chandon does benefit from French winemakers coming over to be involved in vintage. The winery produces both still and sparkling wines, but it is for the latter that it is best known for.
Domaine Chandon NV Brut
AUD$27.50 winery online store ($22 in a 6-pack). The sparkling you are most likely to see on most Christmas tables, this is an appreciably complex wine to put together pooled from 45 different base wines. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the reserve wines are stored in a combination of large oak barrels, barriques and stainless steel. Produced by méthode traditionelle, the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle then transferred into a larger tank for additional ageing on yeast lees for 15 to 18 months. Pale straw colour with a tinge of green. A fresh, fruity nose with aromas of lime florals, nectarines, warmed pear slices and sweet spice. A broader initial mouthfeel than most other sparkling wines, crisp crunchy acidity with a rough mousse texture. Medium-bodied overall, nice citrus flavours with green apple and green pears. This is Melbourne Cup’s wine. Always buy a fresh bottle! 88/100.
Domaine Chandon Vintage 2009 Blanc de Blancs
AUD$37.50 winery online store ($30 in a 6-pack). A nice standard sparkling wine with pretty floral aromas, apple blossom, stone fruit and sweet baking spice. Slightly toasty, hint of beeswax. Lovely creamy texture, fine mousse. Ripe acidity with rich flavours of citrus fruit, lemon rind, green apple. The aftertaste is persistent. Drink now. 90/100.
Domaine Chandon Vintage Brut 2010 Chardonnay / Pinot Noir / Pinot Meunier
AUD$32. The flagship vintage brut offered by Domaine Chandon is a consistent offering, coming in at 5.5grs. A multi-regional blend made from fruit from the Yarra and King Valleys. Youthful notes of lightly toasted white bread, red currants and red apples. Dry, high acidity with smooth creamy textured mousse. A good weight of lemon fruit on the mid-palate, before the acidity kicks back to finish. This is a great sparkling for any occasion, a step up from the NV brut. Drink now. 89/100.
Domaine Chandon NV Red label Pinot Noir Shiraz 30grs
I really didn’t like this offering. 14.5% alc. Plum, herb, raspberry candy. slight pepper. Personally, I feel this lacks structure and definition. Way to candied to be a serious sparkling on my table.
Domaine Chandon NV Cuvee Riche 55grs
AUD$32. Even though this has more residual sugar than the Red Label, the Riche has the body and acidity to hold that sweetness in taut restraints. There is slight deepness of colour from the addition of base wine. A riper, fruit-forward and giving nose, with notes of red berries, guava?, tropical fruit with a soft delicate mousse. Richness of the fruit is also present on the warm mid-palate, also sense of that dry meringue sort of crust. Needs further acidity to trump the sweetness, but interesting to have with desserts. 87/100.