This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Australian Sparkling over £15 went to Smithbrook, Yilgarn Blanc de Blancs, Pemberton, Western Australia 2010 (12.3%)
- No other Golds in this category
An extremely impressive debut, this is the first vintage of Smithbrook’s 100% Chardonnay blanc de blancs. Situated 90 minutes’ drive south of Margaret River, Pemberton has seen a number of wineries founded in recent years, with winemakers taking advantage of deep, rich, gravelly loam soils and a cool climate high in rainfall. Established in the 1980s, Smithbrook was one of the first to plant here. Former barrister Peter Fogarty bought the estate in 2010, adding it to his portfolio of wineries which include Lake’s Folly in the Hunter Valley.
The winemaker is Ben Rector, who was also based in the Hunter (at Brokenwood) for a number of years, and has notched up 25 vintages in Australia and abroad. His focus at Smithbrook has been Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Merlot for the most part, with environmentally friendly viticulture employed as far as possible, which includes free-roaming guinea fowl to control insects and pests.
Made in the Champagne method, this worthy Trophy winner spent 12 months on its lees prior to disgorgement, with only 500 cases produced.
‘Yilgarn’ in the name refers to a huge mass of granite rock called the Yilgarn Craton, on which Smithbrook is based. This is recognised by geologists as the oldest rock formation on earth, dating back more than three billion years.
Written by Decanter