Arras, Tasmania (Australia) – interview with Ed Carr ( #notachampagnewine )
AGT Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year 2011 Ed Carr, the man who makes Australia’s most famous world class sparkling wine ARRAS from Tasmania, certainly knows his bubbles – in fact he’s Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemaker and also a huge fan of champagne. In the last two decades he’s bagged more than one hundred trophies at Australian wine shows.
Ed began his wine career in 1977 at the Wynn Wine Growers Group Glenloth winery in Reynella, as a Microbiologist. He was appointed Assistant Winemaker in 1984 and two years later relocated to Nuriootpa as Seaview Sparkling winemaker, where he managed the on-site Traditional Method Cellars.
Ed joined Constellation Wines Australia (CWAU) in 1994, as Group Sparkling Winemaker, with a wide-ranging brief to establish the company as Australia’s leading sparkling wine producer, offering a portfolio of products covering all market segments from the best expression of cold climate sparkling (Arras) to affordable commercial styles (Bay Of Fires).
Ed firmly believes that the stand-out Australian regions for premium sparkling are Tasmania, the Upper Yarra Valley and the Macedon Ranges – and that the premium end of the Australian industry has the potential to equal the world’s best sparkling wines.
Ed laid the foundation for the first Tasmanian prestige cuvée “Arras” in 1995 and released the first vintage 1998 (made from 100% Tasmanian fruit) in December 2002. Arras 2002 has frequently beaten French champagnes in blind tasting competitions. (Watch Channel 9 Champagne Taste Test 2008 )
In 2010 Ed oversaw the launch of the House of Arras, which includes the super high quality NV House of Arras Brut Élite (exceptional within the portfolio because it’s a pinot noir dominant blend),the 2003 House of Arras Grand Vintage Sparkling, which tastes just as good as most NV champagnes, as well as the extremely rare House of Arras EJ Carr Late Disgorged Sparkling, a re-release of the original all-Tasmanian Arras sparkling from 1998.
Just 600 bottles of the LD 1999 were released on the market.
Arras E.J.Carr Late Disgorged Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir
Grape Variety: Chardonnay 57.1% Pinot Noir 42.8%
Medium straw in colour and crystal clear in appearance – with an excellent fine and persistent bead. On the nose, this wine shows intensely complex aromas of toast and honeysuckle which delivers great freshness and rich texture on the palate. After 10 years on lees the wine has amazing complexity and yet retains the remarkable freshness of the character typical of a world class prestige cuvee. A true expression of Tasmanian terroir and impeccable winemaking – the 1999 vintage is the second only release of this wine.
Arras Grand Vintage 2003
Grape Variety: Chardonnay 61.3% Pinot Noir 38.7%
Straw colour with golden hues, the nose is rich and complex with notes of honey and mushroom. The palate structure is tight and seamless with a strong natural acid backbone. What a wonderful example of the very best sparkling wine made in Australia!
Arras Brut Elite:
Grape Variety: 58% Pinot Noir 32% Chardonnay, aged on lees 5 yrs before release
Crystal clear with an extremely fine bead and persistent mousse, the House of Arras Brut Elite is delicious green gold with a nose of
The Brut Elite has a mineral and elegant palate structure with flavours evolving in the glass around lychee, truffle, cinnamon and lanolin. The natural acidity and subtle quality oak tannins are the backbone of this textural wine that exhibits fantastic persistence of flavour.
In October 2011 Champagne Jayne TV met with Ed Carr in Sydney to taste the latest releases from the House of Arras: Arras Brut Elite, Grand Vintage 2004 & the Late Disgorged 2000 (see above Arras Tasting video – note: #notachampagnewine).
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