Island popping Posted by Reef Magazine - 15 October 2013 In success you deserve it and in defeat you need it” – Sir Winston Churchill once famously said of champagne. One could also argue that summer and time spent lazing by the pure azure waters of Hamilton Island also lend themselves to the mandatory creation of sparkling memories. Today in Australia it’s simply one of the best times to be indulging a taste for bubbles. If champagne is your preferred style, there’s a large diversity of brands, from well known French Champagne Houses and small growers now available on our shores - thanks to a growing interest in imported wines. Australia is currently the seventh largest market in the world for champagne – drinking our way through 5.4 million bottles of it in 2012. The dedication to making more premium-style sparkling wines and the investment into several cool-climate wine regions ideal for growing sparkling grapes has paid off – and there’s now an exciting and eclectic range of home-grown bubbles to suit all tastes. The following seven wines represent a diverse cross-section of stylish sparkling wines and champagnes well worth a try. All available for purchase on Hamilton Island. Champagne Champagne Charles HeIdsIeck Rosé MillésImes 1999 Champagne Charles Heidsieck has a long and colourful history that dates back to 1851. This vintage rosé is made of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes and has enjoyed more than 12 years ageing in 1000 year-old cellars. It’s a restrained yet energetic champagne with notes of strawberries, raspberries, brioche and sandalwood. This full-bodied yet elegant style champagne is one of the most awarded rosé vintages in the world and a versatile match for diverse cuisine styles. Champagne Veuve ClIcquot La Grande Dame Brut 2004 The pinnacle champagne from Veuve Clicquot, La Grande Dame is named in honour of the wily widow Madame Clicquot, who at the age of just 28 took over the running of her late husband’s Champagne House and is credited with turning it into the highly successful House it is today. A richly layered wine, mineral notes combine with aromas of brioche, vanilla and jasmine. A blend of eight grand cru, this full-bodied and opulent champagne is beautifully balanced with a fine bead, impressive structure and persistent length of flavour. A most fitting tribute to one of the pioneers of Champagne. Champagne Moët Ice Impérial If you like your champagne cold, ice cold in fact, then you can’t go past Moët Ice Impérial. The first and only champagne specifically designed to be served over ice, it has a powerful, tropical fruit nose of mango and guava with hints of raspberry. Totally refreshing in the mouth with crisp acidity and grapefruit flavours, it’s a fun way to sip champagne in the summertime. Served in a large red wine glass, Moët Ice Impérial is further enhanced when paired with garnishes - get the full summer feel by adding mint, cucumber, lime zest or strawberries. Tasmania Clover Hill 2007 Vintage Reaease Tasmania has become recognised as arguably Australia’s pre-eminent region for cultivating grapes ideal for sparkling wine production and is currently considered de rigueur for its pure, cool-climate still and sparkling wines. This Clover Hill vintage 2007 sparkling is made with fruit from Pipers River, from what was a dry and cool year producing grapes of outstanding quality. A blend of the three classic champagne varieties, chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, and made in the traditional method, you can expect to find complex layers of apples and citrus mingled with elegant toasty and nutty flavours. Victoria Yarra Burn PremIum Cuvée Brut The fruit for this wine is sourced from across premium Victorian cool- climate vineyards. The wines made at Yarra Burn, based in the Yarra Valley, are overseen by Ed Carr, regarded as Australia’s most talented and awarded sparkling winemaker. This consistent and affordable sparkling is a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay and has lifted citrus and stone fruit aromas with toasty croissant flavours. It all comes together seamlessly to offer a sparkling of good structure and finesse. Western Australia Aurelia Chardonnay Pinot Noir PreStIge Cuvée Aurelia, meaning ‘the golden one’ is made by one of Australia’s most gifted winemakers. The chardonnay and pinot noir grapes here are sourced from a single vineyard in the West Australian cool-climate area of Pemberton. Matured on its yeast lees to contribute a creamy texture in the mouth, these bubbles exude apple and delicate citrus flavours balanced with a nutty and fine, fresh lingering finish. South Australia Wirra Wirra MrS Wigley MoScato 2013 This rather playful moscato offers something else entirely different in the sparkling experience. Made from red frontignac grapes from McLaren Vale, this salmon-coloured moscato has aromas of musk, citrus blossom and Turkish Delight while in the mouth, juicy bursting flavours of rosewater and lychee delight with balanced natural sweetness and a fine effervescent spritz. With low alcohol at just 4.5 per cent, you can enjoy this highly drinkable wine any time of day, but it’s particularly fitting to serve with breakfast alongside fresh brioche, croissants or fruit. About the Author 'REEF Magazine – Hamilton Island & the Great Barrier Reef' is a magazine that showcases all that Hamilton Island has to offer, from events, to an exciting array of activities, attractions and more. You can pick up your complimentary copy of 'REEF Magazine' at any Hamilton Island hotel, and you can also access some of our feature articles right here on The Island Blog.