The Burch family at Howard Park are dead serious about sparkling wine, with this the latest output from their fizz journey.
Making premium sparkling in Australia seems like a thankless gig – once you start to get to the pointy end (ie >$50), most drinkers just want Champagne. Making it from WA just makes it harder (which doesn’t have the fizz reputation of Tassie or the Yarra/Adelaide Hills/Macedon etc).
Anyway, this Pinot Chardonnay comes from the Mount Barrow vineyard in Mount Barker, and spends 54 months on lees. Smells it too – all leesy custard autolysis dominates the nose with a smack bang impact. Promise! Yet the palate doesn’t match – all tight lemon juice with some toasty bits at the edges, and the acid feels like a citrus hit rather than shaping the finish.
In other words, lots of promise here, and it’s plenty fresh enough, but the palate just doesn’t match what the nose lays out.
Best drinking: nowish. 17.5/20, 91/100. 12%, $54. Howard Park website. Would I buy it? A glass or two.