This wine is salmon pink in colour, with a fine and persistent fine bead and a strong mousse. The 2007 vintage displays aromas of fresh red berry fruits, along with notes of field mushrooms and toast. On the palate, initial flavours of strawberries and cream give way to complex secondary characters of truffle, sourdough and lychee. This wine has great structural elegance complemented by firm tannins and natural acidity.
For more than a decade, the House of Arras team has been identifying and developing the ideal vineyard sites for world class sparkling wine, which led them to call the ancient soils and cold climate of Tasmania home. Its climate is significantly cooler than the mainland of Australia, with long summer daylight and maritime influences, which are ideal conditions for long, slow and consistent fruit development. The House of Arras sources fruit from many outstanding vineyards in southern Tasmania and the south-east coast. Each location bestows its own nuances of character on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir fruit.
The 2007 vintage was characterised by low rainfall, in line with the near drought conditions that were frequent throughout the decade. These dry conditions led to some severe frosts in spring, resulting in significant crop loss. The early start to the season meant the vines could fully recover and the fruit ripened during a dry and cool autumn. These conditions allowed the fruit to be harvested with optimal flavour maturity at a relatively low sugar content with a great balance of natural acidity.
The grapes were hand picked from premium cold climate Tasmanian vineyards prior to gentle whole-bunch pressing, from which only the free-run juice was collected. Individual batches were then fermented, followed by malolactic fermentation. Once clarified, the wines were blended, bottled and then matured for six years on the lees. The dosage, which introduces oak and brandy spirit into the blend, completed this traditional wine to add the last components of complexity and ensuring a balanced palate.
Ed Carr, the man behind Arras, has been making sparkling wines in Australia since 1986 and for the Hardy's group since 1994. He was one of the first winemakers to see the potential Tasmanian fruit had for producing world class sparkling wine and has been producing Arras solely with Tasmanian fruit since the 1998 vintage. Much to the horror of the accountants, however, he has insisted on ageing the wines on lees for over six years prior to release, something that increases both their cost and complexity.