method traditional and robust red wine inhabiting the same glass seems to leave the rest of the world a little confused. "you do what with what!??!! here in australia its one of our favourite gurgles. although it's traditionally made with shiraz there are a few mavericks like myself out there who like it a little different.
75% cabernet sauvignon
25% shiraz in a nv cuvee
from 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 and 2000
tirage late 2005,
hand disgorged december 2019 - 14 years on lees
liqueur - 2017 cabernet sauvignon and 2019 mataro
total production 360 bottles - released december 2019
bright deep purple red with a visually delicious pink creamy mousse when first poured.
complex cassis over eucalypt mint and satsuma plum, rounded out with mushroom tea, old cigar box leather and crusty bread yeast notes.
a light creamy mousse seductively fills the palate with deliciously lifted and spiced rich cabernet round red berry. mouth prickling zip gives slowly way to palate filling richness. complex layers of summer fruits and balanced sweetness linger on the palate long after the wine has gone
from the very beginning i’ve been determined to make the traditional method sparkling red altogether more laid back and refined, sparkling black from a base of cabernet will always get my vote as the bubbles of choice when christmas comes around. why? barossa cabernet just works on my palate as the core of this style. for the tirage laid down in 2005, i coupled 75% black currants, cherries and chocolate of the cabernet with 25% rich plums liquorice and spice of the shiraz. i found that i was achieving the richness and elegance needed to make sure the nicole with bubbles matched my beautiful wife nicole, or ‘nicki’ as she is usually known. i certainly could not pick a better compliment to her personality as cabernet sauvignon is invariably her tipple of choice. the shiraz merely enhances the richness of this wine... after all, what better way to celebrate the love of my life than to say it with bubbles. the 2019 disgorged nicole cuvee was built from a base of 2000 cabernet and shiraz layered with 2001, 2002 and 2003 cabernet sauvignon. 2004 contributed again both cabernet and shiraz while 2005 was purely cabernet. while the percentages of years has become too complicated to bore you with here, the varietal breakdown is 75% cabernet to 25% shiraz. method traditional (as we now call it), is the ultimate process for producing sparkling wines. ‘tirage’ (where you add sugar, yeast and bottle under crown seal for secondary fermentation) is the first step. once the tirage had been laid down time as always is the next step in the process. this ‘nicole’ has spent 14 years on yeast lees to mature and enrich both the mouthfeel and the depth of the palate. the nicole is then taken from its gentle slumber and through a hand process called riddling, the yeast from the secondary fermentation is shaken down into the neck of the bottle. i then hand disgorged each bottle of nicole and topped with a freshening burst of 2017 cabernet and 2019 mataro which offsets nicely the richness of the fruit and wonderfully developed complexity. if you love the australian ‘sparkling black’ then please take a moment to savor the wine as much as i enjoy its namesake!