The best Champagnes are wonderful. Made from fully ripe grapes and a judicious dosage, if any at all. They are however, incredibly intense, concentrated and deep in flavour, so much so that it’s hard to knock it back in 40 degree heat, or drink more than a glass before the second goes flat. Food and wine matching is not always easy. But what if you were able to find a sparking wine that is complex and vinous, full of flavour from ripe grapes and easy to drink? Bubbles without the fist of Champagne. Serious frivolity in other words.
Nathalie Fryar began Bellebone in 2015, after spending 14 years with Jansz. The fruit is sourced with intimate knowledge from growers in the Pipers River region of Tasmania. Vintage wines undergo barrel fermentation and ageing, and 100% malolactic fermentation. Ageing on lees is kept to a minimum, and to be sure, it is the fruit’s flavour, texture and structure that you really taste, as opposed to the process.
Full flavoured, elegant, pristine, ethereal – the wines display wonderful balance and clarity with chalk-hewn, integrated, structured and ripe acidity. Dosage is used to balance. There is tension, without being tense, and I couldn’t imagine any other sparkling wine producer able to combine such a beautiful full flavoured profile with such a lightness of touch.
Bellebonne Vintage Cuvee 2017 – Biscuit aromas, strawberry, apple and preserved lemon. Full on the palate, with terrific amplitude and mouth coating chalky structure. There is a brush of hazelnut and a saline quality that is as absorbing as it is refreshing. Beautiful wine to sip, and a better wine to drink.
Bellebonne Bis NV Rose – Strawberries and cream, raspberry and roses, all with wonderful clarity. Brioche notes are offset by that saline quality and again the chalky mouthfeel. So bright and engaging, you can taste the ripe grapes are utterly pristine. Fresh, engaging and incredibly moreish. The best value and most delicious pink fizz at this price in Australia.
Bellebonne Vintage Rose 2019 – Complex, deep and ethereal. Plums, cherry, brazil nut, marshmallow and a lick of coconut. Structured, luminous and fine with some notes of seaweed and grapefruit. Full and round, with terrific line and the balance of elements is perfect.