Sponsored by House of Arras
In 2015, a 2006 Arras Blanc de Blancs made history by taking out the Len Evans Memorial Trophy being named Champion Wine at the National Wine Show of Australia. It was the first time a sparkling wine had won the overall champion title. A day later, the man who created it, Ed Carr, was awarded Winemaker of the Year at the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology’s Awards for Excellence in Adelaide, becoming the first sparkling wine winemaker to be so honoured.
House of Arras has had a remarkable few years, adding trophies to the cabinet in both domestic and international wine shows, taking their total to 99, making the brand the most awarded sparkling in the country. While the efforts of Chief Winemaker Ed Carr are not to be undervalued, Tasmanian sparkling, as a category, has gone from strength to strength, now regarded by those who know as one of the best regions for sparkling wine outside of Champagne.
In our Good Taste video, Ed attributes the success of House of Arras wines entirely to Tasmania’s exceptional climate which allows the fruit to develop slowly, adding intensity to its flavour while remaining acidic – the perfect combination for making sparkling wine. However, folks have been growing grapes on the island for almost 200 years, and mirroring Méthode Champenoise (Méthode Traditionelle as it is known outside of Champagne) exactly, with riddling, disgorgement and secondary fermentation in the bottle, but no one has had the same success as Ed Carr. Which forces one to ask what the secret ingredient is at House of Arras?
The answer can only be the man himself, the Chef de cave, Ed Carr. He’s considered the ‘Godfather of Australian Sparkling’ because of his consistent ability to produce wines with incredible elegance and finesse with House of Arras being the absolute pinnacle. From their A by Arras Cuvee to the Ed Carr 20th Anniversary Late Disgorged 1998 rated 97 and 98 points by Halliday and Hooke, respectively, House of Arras offers impeccable drinking and value across the range. And, in case you’re wondering if a 2006 House of Arras Blanc de Blancs rated at 96 points is a better wine than a NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru rated at 95 points, Tyson Stelzer says the answer is, ‘absolutely, there is only one playing field.’
For more information on House of Arras wines, head to their website.