‘A’ By Arras. House of Arras, Tasmania

59% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 8% Pinot Meunier. Stainless steel and oak, 3 years on lees with 11g/l dosage.

Notes as written blind from The Big Blind Bargain Bubble Tasting.

This is curious. I can’t place it. At first it smells like detergent. Floral, aromatic, perfumed, possibly a little blowsy. But the palate is good – fresh, balanced. Dosage quite high. Intriguing, and I cannot work out what it is, even by elimination! 16

/ Arras, Classic Blend, Tasmania

Jansz Premium Cuvée NV

I was possibly even more impressed with the Premium Cuvée, all lemons, lime, peach and almond with some fresh bread richness and a real deftness on the palate. Delicate, but there’s a proper finish with some ripe, grippy citrus fruit.

16.5

Date Tasted : 23/01/2020

/ Classic Blend, Jansz, NV, Tasmania

Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2004

This is the Grand Vintage, kept back for over 10 years on lees. In this case I didn’t find the lees-ageing tones to be much more intense than in the 2008 Grand Vintage. Nor was it massively funky (although my taste was towards the end of the bottle, and some of the more funky tones can disappear over a few hours). There’s an almost crème fraîche-like richness of texture, with sea shells and white butter on sourdough. The fruit is bold and exotic, with charred grapefruit and mango, lime zest and a vein of sweet salted toffee and pith running through the finish. Positively outlandish, but fascinating stuff.

17.5

Date Tasted : 23/01/2020

/ 2004, Arras, Classic Blend, Tasmania

Arras Brut Elite 1501 NV, 2015 Base

Brut Elite 1501 is the current iteration of the mid-tier wine, and starts to show some real Arras character. Struck match and lime oil open up, whilst fenugreek spice and some nice wild buttery richness are thrown against a cleansing freshness on the palate. The marine, sea-spray sort of saltiness is here too. There is some real intensity of tropical fruit lurking, but this shows a quieter style than the vintage wine. Some may prefer it.

17.5

Date Tasted : 23/01/2020

/ 2015 Base, Arras, Classic Blend, NV, Tasmania

Arras Grand Vintage 2008

The Grand Vintage 2008 definitely ramps up the intensity, with dried citrus and citrus oil meeting sourdough starter, oyster and quite an exotic richness of yellow fruits. There is baklava and sea salt, and some reductive complexity that almost threatens to become vegetal. Broad, quite saturated and finishing with a flourish of toffee. It’s hard not to break into a smile at this wine! The sweet spot in the portfolio is somewhere between the Brut Elite and here.

18

Date Tasted : 23/01/2020

/ 2008, Arras, Classic Blend, Tasmania

Jansz Premium Cuvée Rosé NV

The Premium Rosé is a charmer, with fragrant raspberry shortbread, pear and frangipane wrapped up in a sweet floral freshness. It closes in with lovely clarity and dryness. Dosage is felt in the mid palate, but it stops short of cloying.

16

Date Tasted : 23/01/2020

/ Jansz, NV, Rosé, Tasmania

Arras ‘A’ By Arras NV

‘A’ By Arras is the freshest, most direct wine in the portfolio, showing off vivid lime and grapefruit fruit alongside gentle dairy notes. At RRP of £19.99 this is a slightly edgier style than the Jansz entry level, but equally convincing.

16.5

Date Tasted : 23/01/2020

/ Arras, Classic Blend, NV, Tasmania

Arras Rosé 2007

The Vintage Rosé 2007 is, as you would expect, a powerfully-styled interpretation with some meaty red fruits, salted butter and plenty of peppery spice. It feels a little angular compared to the other wines for now, with its grippy, linear palate and dryness.

17

Date Tasted : 23/01/2020

/ 2007, Arras, Rosé, Tasmania

Arras Brut Elite 1301 NV, 2013 Base

57% Pinot Noir, 43% Chardonnay. Based on the 2013 vintage, with a small percentage (less than 10%) aged in barrel. Oyster shell, sea salt and sourdough frames the whole nose – a small vegetal note lurks, but dissipates. The balance starts to appear 20 minutes after opening, with those reductive characters falling into line really nicely. The fruit is yellow with fresh, bright lemon and yellow grapefruit, before milky papaya sweetness and some fresh red berries pop up very attractively. Intriguing touches of kiwi, jasmine and dried ginger give some lovely colour to the whole picture.

On the palate cool, creamy yellow fruits precede a full, almost blowsy creaminess to the mid-palate before grapefruit pith grip and spice close out quite cleanly. Quite distinctive winemaking here! There’s a lot of flavour interest riding on fairly humble, light bones in terms of line and length, but who can complain; at the price this is remarkable.

16

Date Tasted : 01/02/2019

/ 2013 Base, Arras, Classic Blend, NV, Tasmania