Jeez, if ever there was a year where the Champagne was kept on ice, it was 2021.

But whatever happens next, we’ve come this bloody far and it’s time to celebrate in style.

Here’s a selection in white, rosé, red and sweet; you’ll find notes and reviews beneath the table:

NV Airlie Bank Yarra Cuvée SparklingYarra Valley$24
NV Stefano Lubiana Brut ReserveTasmania$45
2020 Frédéric Mabileau Orgasmic Pét NathLoire Valley$54
2015 Stefano Lubiana Blanc de BlancsTasmania$55
2011 Contratto MillesimatoPiedmont$64
2014 Hattingley Valley Blanc de BlancsEngland$124
NV JmSélèque Solessence NatureChampagne$125
NV JmSélèque QuintetteChampagne$139
NV Jacquesson Cuvée No. 744Champagne$149
2013 JmSélèque PartitionChampagne$190
NV Airlie Bank Yarra Rosé SparklingYarra Valley$24
2021 Chalmers Col Fondo AglianicoHeathcote$36
2015 Stefano Lubiana Brut RoséTasmania$55
2014 Hattingley Valley RoséEngland$91
NV JmSélèque Solessence RoséChampagne$122
2018 Chalmers LambruscoHeathcote$43
NV Balnaves Sparkling Cabernet SauvignonCoonawarra$41
2020 G.D. Vajra Moscato d’AstiPiedmont$43


NV Airlie Bank Yarra Rosé Sparkling $24

The NV Airlie Bank Rosé Sparkling is a blend of 82% Chardonnay and 18% Pinot Noir- sourced from within the Yarra Valley. Small portions were barrel fermented and given extended time on lees to build texture and complexity. The wine is fresh and vibrant with a focused nose and palate of orange blossom, delicate strawberry, lemon and complex brioche notes. – Tim Shand, Punt Road

NV Stefano Lubiana Brut Reserve $45

Steve Lubiana has almost 30 years of sparkling wine experience behind him and his current range of bubblies is the best I’ve tasted. This stunningly bright, pure, crystalline non-vintage fizz, with subtle hints of leatherwood honey, is a blend of 70 per cent chardonnay and 30 per cent pinot noir, and spent two years on lees. The complex, savoury 2015 Lubiana Brut Rosé is also a beauty. Drink with oysters.

Max Allen, Financial Review

2020 Frédéric Mabileau Orgasmic Pét Nath $54

Frédéric Mabileau Orgasmic Pétillant Naturel – or Pét Nath, more correctly, since it’s named in honour of Nathalie Mabileau – is 100% Chenin Blanc. The handpicked bunches are slowly pressed and the must fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts. This is a soft and pure pét-nat with extremely fine mousse and aromas of peach, apple and pear.

2015 Stefano Lubiana Blanc de Blancs $55

100% single-vineyard Chardonnay traditional-method grower sparkling. Disgorged early July 2021 with a dosage of 6g/L. Pale golden straw with apples and freshly baked bread on the nose. Creamy rich mid-palate with a slight tannic grip. Textured with rich complex fruits, custard apple and a hint of orange.

2011 Contratto Millesimato $64

A sparkling wine with complex aromas of bread dough, cooked apples, hints of cheese and citrus fruit. Full body, lots of flavours and impressive richness. Develops nicely in the glass with pear puree and hints of minerals. Drink and enjoy.

92 points. James Suckling,

2014 Hattingley Valley Blanc de Blancs $124

A light greeny-lemon hue, this is immediately fresh, crisp and sharp in aroma. There are fresh, nicely balanced stone-fruit flavours, a touch of creamy-textured ripe sweetness and well-balanced fresh acidity in a rounded and restrained style, with a clean crisp dry finish.

91 points. Anthony Rose, The Real Review

NV JmSélèque Champagne Solessence Nature $125

Disgorged in November 2020, the NV Extra Brut Solessence Nature is based on the 2015 vintage, seeing three years longer sur lattes than its dosed counterpart. Wafting from the glass with aromas of pear, warm bread, white flowers and baking spices, it’s medium to full-bodied, layered and seamless, with bright acids and a saline finish. It’s beautifully harmonious out of the gates.

93 points. William Kelley, Wine Advocate

NV JmSélèque Champagne Quintette $139

Sélèque’s latest NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Quintette, based on the 2016 vintage, was disgorged in October 2019 with two grams per litre dosage. Unwinding in the glass with scents of crisp orchard fruit, freshly baked bread, citrus oil and blanched almonds, it’s medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a layered core, tangy acids and chalky structuring extract, complemented by an elegant pinpoint mousse. This has turned out beautifully.

94 points. William Kelley, Wine Advocate

NV Champagne Jacquesson Cuvée No. 744 $149

Despite its putative parentage of the balmy 2016 vintage, which makes up 70% of the blend, the Cuvée 744 bears all the Jacquesson hallmarks, namely encyclopaedic complexity, with tropical notes of guava and pineapple discreet behind the mealy, rich and yet wonderfully controlled mid-palate. Shard-like acidity runs through the ensemble and the finish is powerful and satisfying.

93 points. Simon Field MW, Decanter Magazine 

2013 JmSélèque Champagne Partition $190

Disgorged in March 2019 with two grams per litre dosage, the Chardonnay-based 2013 Extra-Brut Partition is a blend of seven barrels, each derived from a different lieu-dit, from four different communes. It opens in the glass with an incipiently complex bouquet of crisp yellow orchard fruit, green mango, fresh pastry and white flowers, followed by a medium to full-bodied, tight-knit and chiselled palate that’s concentrated and vinous but youthfully austere, with uncompromisingly bracing acids despite evident fruit maturity—an impression surely emphasized by its recent disgorgement, as the wine unwinds very promisingly when followed over several days. The finish is saline and penetrating. While this is sufficiently dry and tangy that it will mostly appeal to unabashed acid-lovers, it’s a beautifully rendered cuvée from Sélèque.

94 points. William Kelley, Wine Advocate


NV Airlie Bank Yarra Rosé Sparkling $24

The NV Airlie Bank Rosé Sparkling is a blend of 82% Chardonnay and 18% Pinot Noir- sourced from within the Yarra Valley. Small portions were barrel fermented and given extended time on lees to build texture and complexity. The wine is fresh and vibrant with a focused nose and palate of orange blossom, delicate strawberry, lemon and complex brioche notes. – Tim Shand, Punt Road             

2021 Chalmers Col Fondo Aglianico $36

The Chalmers family imported the first Aglianico vines into Australia back in 2001, and produced a first Col Fondo wine in 2019. This is a sparkling wine, undisgorged after a second fermentation in bottle – meaning it’s creamy, chalky lees are still present in the cloudy, dry wine. It is bright, creamy and chalky with a delicate fizz and notes of pollen, cassia and ruby grapefruit.

2015 Stefano Lubiana Brut Rosé $55

A pale blush of a rosé with a delicate and sumptuous nose, I was swept away at first sniff! Flavours of strawberries and cream, redcurrants, raspberries and red cherries all warm from the summer sun, combine with hints of vanilla yoghurt and a hint of cherry Danish pastries dancing in the background.
Some wines inspire a bit of poetic licence and I got very carried away with this one, the complexity of flavours, delicacy of mousse, the elegance of structure and long, lingering length made me go all Lizzy Bennet, writing letters to Jane back at Longbourn.
Seriously stylish, this is one to watch as it develops over the next decade or so, with those soft and fruity flavours making way for more savoury flavours, much as you would expect from a Pinot Noir.

96 points. Curly Haslam-Coates, The Wine Front

2014 Hattingley Valley Rosé $91

Very pale pink in glass, the bouquet is likewise ‘pale’ with soft strawberry, raspberry scents, overlay of talc, a whiff of red apple and some faint citrus. The palate is assertive in its chalky, sherbety acidity, a belt that runs through lightly juicy red berry fruit flavours and zings the wine long and refreshing, to an almost pin-point-mouth-watering conclusion. It’s a very precise feeling wine, barely showing fruitiness, all about the elemental, mineral-esque charm. Very good wine here, bound up and full of energy and freshness. Yep, worth the visit.

93 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front

NV JmSélèque Champagne Solessence Rosé $122

Based on the 2018 vintage and disgorged in January 2021, the latest NV Extra-Brut Solessence Rosé offers up lovely aromas of sweet red berries, anise, bitter orange and baking spices. Medium to full-bodied, round and enveloping, with a fleshy core of fruit, bright acids and a charming, seamless profile, concluding with a sapid finish. This is an especially demonstrative rendition of this cuvée that’s showing very well out of the gates.

93 points. William Kelley, Wine Advocate


2018 Chalmers Lambrusco $43

100% Lambrusco Maestri from the Chalmers Vineyard in Heathcote, where these vines grow at 150-170m on red Cambrian soils. The grapes are handpicked before traditional-method fermentation. The wine spends nine months on lees and is given 4g/L dosage at disgorgement. Vegan friendly.
Made in a dry, aperitif style, this vibrant wine displays notes of violets, blackcurrant and spice, with a slight but affirming tannic grip.

NV Balnaves Sparkling Cabernet Sauvignon $41

Balnaves uses Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to make this modern sparkling red. This wine is a blend of complex and elegant parcels from 10 vintages of reserve wines, matured in a solera system. It’s rich and complex with cassis, blackberry and violet, combined with mature Coonawarra Cabernet characters of chocolate, leather and truffle.


2020 G.D. Vajra Moscato d’Asti $43

Moscato d’Asti is a wine of wonderful but little-known potential. Light and fragrant, fresh and without cloying sweetness, it presents minerality and savoury notes that allow you to experiment with food pairing, or just enjoy it by itself. The fruit comes from three beautiful vineyards: Riforno and San Donato in Mango, and Moncucco in Santo Stefano Belbo – and all from old, deep-rooted vines. The grapes are gently pressed before a brief cold settling and then fermentation, which goes for about a week. The first bottling, as soon as November, allows the wine to cheer the Christmas table. – Giuseppe Vaira

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