Austrian winemaker Rudi Bauer was the first to work with a champagne family to make sparkling wine in Central Otago, using the same grape varieties (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) and winemaking techniques as they do. The early wines were amazing quality and value for money and were called Quartz Reef Chauvet, in homage to winemaker Clothilde Chauvet, who worked vintage in Central and then embarked on this collaborative project with Rudi.
Chauvet it no longer involved but her legacy remains in this outstanding southern sparkling wine made in the traditional champagne method.
It is one of the best quality bubbles we have here in store at Regional, doubly so when the relatively low price is taken into account.
It's also a fitting tribute to Central Otago where PInot Noir rules the roost, in this case in a white bubbly.
The stats on this bubbly
Quartz Reef NV Brut is dry with 4 grams residual sugar per litre of wine, which is significantly lower than many bubblies made using the traditional method.
The starring role in this wine goes to... Pinot Noir, which makes up 62% of the wine, balanced by crisp and creamy freshness from Chardonnay with 38% of the blend. All the grapes in this wine are biodynamically grown (and certified) from Rudi's single vineyard in Bendigo.
He ages this wine for two years in the bottle after its second fermentation. And the fresh baked bread flavours, dry flavours and vibrant acidity all make for a lingering, lovely, refreshing, complex wine.
And that's no mean feat for $34 and here at Regional for a usual price of $26.99 - incredibly modest, even if we do say so ourselves.
Come on down and buy it.