Ever since Tourism Australia let the rest of the world in on the secret that Tasmania is a world-class food and wine destination, tourists have been heading to the Apple Isle in droves. What those savvy Aussies and others have learnt is that some of the best sparkling wine on the planet is grown in Tassie. Sparkling rosé in particular is gaining lots of attention.
One of the pioneer producers of Tasmanian sparkling, Jansz Tasmania is perfectly placed at Pipers River. The sub-Antartctic winds mean the Pinot Noir grapes ripen slowly. The resulting sparkling rosé is intense, elegant and full of flavour.
Today, Jansz Tasmania calls their method ‘Méthode Tasmanoise’ to reflect the relationship between this harsh environment and the winemaker.
Champagne expert Tyson Stelzer has been telling the world for years about Jansz’s extraordinary sparkling wines. He once referred to the Premium Vintage Rosé 2007 as a ‘poor man’s Krug rosé’.
The comparison seems fair when you understand that in 1986, Jean-Claude Rouzard, the head of the esteemed Maison Louis Roederer saw the similarities between Pipers River and his beloved Champagne. The famous house partnered with the owners of Heemskerk Wines to produce Tasmania’s first vintage sparkling wine.
Heemskerk Wines is now Jansz Tasmania. Named after Dutch explorer Able Janszoon Tasman who first sighted Tasmania in 1642 aboard the Heemskerk. The original vineyard was established in 1975 as Heemskerk Wines.
Today, Jansz Tasmania is an Australian owned business, acquired by the Hill-Smith family in 1996. The Hill-Smith name has been part of the Australian wine industry for over 165 years and the family oversees some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s most prestigious labels.
A few words with the Jansz Tasmania vigneron Jennifer Doyle
What makes the region so perfect for growing the classic grape varieties for sparkling wine?
The Pipers River, in north-eastern Tasmania, is perfect for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for sparkling wine because of its cold climate – the icy chill that blows off Bass Strait drives pure, crisp acidity – essential for creating sophisticated Sparkling wine. Mild temperatures, balanced by these cool breezes create a long, slow ripening season, resulting in a delicate wine that is full of flavour, intense yet elegant with natural balance. The positioning of Jansz Tasmania vineyard is incredibly unique – we are very lucky.
Why has the market for sparkling Rosé been so slow to grow in Australia? (Tyson Stelzer remarked on how he is still astonished about this (& Rosé champagne) taking so long to get a foothold in Oz.
Visitors to our Wine Room (cellar door) are sometimes reluctant to taste Sparkling Rosé, as there is a perception of ‘sweetness’, not a delicate dry style that Australian consumers enjoy in Sparkling Wine. Popularity has grown only as this perception changes and the wines are understood. We think it’s also fair to assume that as still Rosé becomes more popular, so will Sparkling Rosé. Australian and particularly Tasmanian Sparkling Rosés are great with or without food and offer a crisp style that shows a beautiful softness from Pinot Noir.
Luckily, TML recently tasted the newly released Jansz Tasmania Vintage Rosé 2013. It is elegant with very fine bubbles, crisp yet creamy pink diamond in colour. With rosewater and strawberry aromatics it is superbly dry making it an excellent match for seafood or the perfect toast for Mother’s Day lunch. I’m thinking grilled lobster. https://www.jansz.com.au/