BF and I went to Howard Park Winery when we were down south for the 2012 Margaret River Gourmet Escape to partake in the Jete-Methode Traditional Wine Experience.
The tasting occurred in their cellaring room and the numerous barrels filled with red wine made for a delightful aromatic setting to conduct our tastings in.
1st Tasting: Blind Tasting
We began the session with our first tasting which consisted of a blind tasting of 6 different Australian sparkling wines and Champagnes.
Palate: dry, fresh, vibrant, zesty, not overly developed.
Nose: toasty and nutty.
Palate: dry, butterscotch overtones, very spritzy and creamy.
Nose: lime and citrus.
Palate: Smooth, sherberty texture, dry and tight – potential for cellaring.
Nose: syrupy/Fortified, nutty,
Palate: not a fan.
Dark colouring, potential cork taint?
Nose: fresh, vibrant, musky fruit tones.
Palate: dry and creamy.
developed but still tight.
Palate: slight fortified aftertaste, full-bodied, rustic – barrel fermented.
Wine 1: Voyager Estate 2010 – 100% Chardonnay, recently disgorged and not yet relaxed.
Wine 2: Cestulat Champagne – Pinot Noir Chardonnay blend.
Wine 3: Grand Jete 2009 – Disgorged in October 2012.
Wine 4: Penet Chardonnet – 100% Chardonnay.
Wine 5: Veuve Cliquot NV.
Wine 6: Stella Bella 2009 – 100% Chardonnay and Brandy dosage.
2nd Tasting: Chrysallis to Butterfly – taste the journey from raw base to finished wine.
The purpose of this tasting was to show how a traditional-methode sparkling develops. To do so we tasted our way through from the raw base, 4 different vintages and finally the finished product.
Wine 1: 2012 base wine.
Palate: dry, citrus, fruity, still.
Wine 2: 2012 in triage 3 months.
Nose: yeasty and nutty.
Wine 3: 2011 on lees 12 months.
Wine 4: 2010 on lees 24 months.
Palate: beginning to taste like a sparkling wine.
Wine 5: 2009 on lees 36 months.
Palate: smooth and creamy.
Wine 6: 2009 as a finished wine.
Nose: nutty and syrupy.
Palate: balanced, creamy, smooth, rich.
After the second tasting we were taken through to the machinery when the disgorging, corking and packaging of sparkling wines occurs. We were also shown that while there is modern machinery that can do a lot of the process of the traditional-method there is still the presence of the traditional racking method.
Tasting 3: Dosage
The final tasting consisted of different final dosage’s
Dosage 1: water with 5gLt (grams per litre).
Dosage 2: water with 10gLt (grams per litre).
Dosage 3: 1% Brandy, no added sugar.
Dosage 4: still wine with 5gLt (grams per litre).
Dosage 5:still wine with 10gLt (grams per litre).
From this tasting we individually determined what the dosage would be for our own personal bottle of 2009 vintage Jete. I chose dosage 4 while BF chose dosage 5.
While we waited for our dosage to be added and the bottles to be corked we had the chance to sample Howard Park’s non-vintage Jete and Rose with freshly baked bread, soft white rind cheese and smoked salmon. The NV in comparison to the vintage were not as good I think having tried all the other champagnes and sparkling wines at the start made for the NV to be a little disappointing at the end.
I highly recommend that if anyone gets the chance to do something like this to do so! The experience of disgorging and the chance to try numerous different sparkling wines and Champagnes was amazing!
Until next time!