Chardonnay Pinot Noir Meslier Eden Valley South Australia
Why Meslier? Within the region of Champagne Meslier, or Petite Meslier as it is otherwise known, the Meslier grape is used, albeit in small quantities. Prized for it's acidity it gives the sparkling wine a vivaciousness synonymous with the style. Not only does Meslier bring acidity, but also vinosity and delightful light florals to both bouquet and taste. Irvine decided to tirage Meslier completely on its own for a number of reasons, but primarily to find out exactly what the grape could offer when ripened fully and fashioned into a pure Methode Traditionelle.
Meslier was first noted in Australia by William Macarthur in 1844 as bearing very little, but being of excellent quality. Irvine are the only producers of a 100% Meslier in Australia, and one of only a handful in the world. The varietal is difficult to grow, not something that has ever deterred Irvine, the longer, slower ripening periods in Eden Valley allows sufficient time to let the varietal characteristics develop fully. The grapes are small and round, the bunches appear similar to Riesling, emerald to green/yellow in colour. Planted in 1985 upon the estate's Springhill property, inaugurally vintaged in 1992, a long time coming but well worth the wait. Assemblage into a non vintage Cuvee enhances the flavours.
Pale sparkling hues, a wonderful fine bead. Lifted and light floral bouquet. Crisp acid races across the palate while the natural fruit in the middle taste gives weight and flavour. Think of ripe Granny Smith apples as the descriptor and it becomes easy to understand the Meslier character. Quite dry even for a Brut Cuvee, but with excellent mid palate fruit and crisp tingly acid finish.