Lebrina vineyard Clover Hill is celebrating being placed in wine writer Tyson Stelzer’s Australian Sparkling Report 2017 Hall of Honour with a six star rating.
Chief winemaker Robert Heywood said all Clover Hill wines considered for this year’s report were awarded, and five of those received more than 90 points.
Mr Stelzer has not scored an Australian sparkling at 100 points yet, but he said this score reflected, “the pinnacle of character, balance and persistence”.
Clover Hill’s Cuvée Prestige Late Disgorged Blanc de Blancs 2005 was named ‘Blanc de Blancs of the year’ with 96 points and Cuvée Exceptionnelle Blanc de Blancs 2010 was first runner-up on 95 points.
“This is a true testament to Clover Hill's uncompromising quality, elegance and commitment to excellence,” Mr Heywood said.
“This puts us back to where we want to be. [Tyson Stelzer] is a notoriously hard marker so it’s great for us,” he said.
Mr Heywood credits Clover Hill’s success to a number of factors.
“I think our house style is different to other sparkling producers in Tasmania and Australia, but it mainly comes down to terroir, soil conditions, the cool season and a great region,” Mr Heywood said.
“Tasmania is the be all and end all for sparkling producers. Clover Hill is one of the first sparkling houses in Australia and is similar to the Champagne region in France.
“I can’t wait until our next release is upon us. The next 4-5 years are going to be exciting,” he said.
The timing of the sparkling report could not be better for Clover Hill, with its cellar door at Lebrina on schedule to open in July.
“This is the perfect platform for us and the perfect opportunity for us to display what Clover Hill is,” Mr Heywood said.
Mr Stelzer was very complimentary about Tasmania’s wines and said the highest number of cuvées tasted, and shortlisted, came from the state.
“Tasmania topped the charts this year on every measure,” Mr Stelzer said
“Tasmania confidently holds its place as Australia’s sparkling capital.
“Tasmania’s top cuvées demonstrate the potential to live for up to 30 years,” he said.
Other North and North-West Tasmanian vineyards mentioned in Mr Stelzer’s 2017 sparkling report include Relbia Estate, Ninth Island, House of Arras, Delamere Vineyards, Barringwood, Josef Chromy, Apogee, Pipers Brook, Ghost Rock, Jansz, Goaty Hill, Bay of Fires, Wines for Joanie, Milton, Freycinet Vineyard and Moore’s Hill.