While oenophiles often flock to Italy and France, more may be looking at Australia as a Tasmanian sparkling wine was just crowned the best in the world.
Named in Decanter’s Wine of the Year 2020, House of Arras’ E.J Carr Late Disgorged 2004 has received the accolade of best sparkling wine in the world, being awarded an Outstanding Classification with an impressive 96 points by a fine wine judging panel. It was chosen above all other sparkling wines from around the world, including Champagne. The top 100 wines are judged every year by some of the most revered experts in the field, and the wines that make the list are subject to rigorous tasting processes in order to crown winners.
“It’s an absolute honor to be judged alongside some of the best sparkling wines from across the globe. House of Arras was born from a vision to create an Australian sparkling wine on parity with the world’s finest champagnes and sparkling wines. Today’s announcement reinforces this vision and is proof that the world’s best can be found right her in Tasmania,” House of Arras chief winemaker Ed Carr said.
The wine is made from a mix of 69% Chardonnay and 31% Pinot Noir, with grapes sourced from well-established cold-climate vineyards in Tasmania. The tirage process (where wine is drawn from barrels in preparation for bottling and undergoes a secondary fermentation resulting in bubbles) takes 13 years. Priced at AU$265.99, the wine is amongst a selection that also won four Gold Medals at the 2020 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships.
Australian wine is having a moment. So much so that Lonely Planet recently unveiled Wine Trails: Australia & New Zealand, a collection of 40 perfect weekends in wine country, including personal insights from winemakers as to what to try and what wines are truly special.
Australia’s wine manufacturing dates back two centuries, with the country using most of its grapes to make fortified wine up until the 1970s. A decade later and an export boom quickly saw the country being celebrated for its full-bodied reds and refreshing whites. Today the nation can stand up to its European competitors in terms of quality and demand. As well as that, wine tourism has really taken off over the past 40 years. With hot, dry summers and moderate winters, the Barossa is one of the world's most celebrated wine regions, with the compact valley producing over 20% of Australia's wine, and is a popular choice for travelers.