For me, a trip to the Yarra Valley means a stop at the Domaine Chandon. My favourite glass of bubbles (that can be bought in Australia) is Chandon Cuvée Riche, so it was worth a visit if only to pick up a bottle or two in preparation for the festive season.
The property itself enjoys sprawling views over the vines and the sunshine on this particular Sunday afternoon had drawn quite a few people to pull up a patch of grass, glass in hand. We were briefly tempted to join them, but as the Domaine was our last stop before heading back to Melbourne and we were eager to beat the traffic.
As we headed back inside to select my bottles, I spotted the tasting counter, offering tasting at $5 per person, redeemable upon purchase. And I figured, since I was already planning on buying something, why not indulge in (my third for the day) tasting? There were 5 sparkling and 6 still wines to try, but it had been a some-what wine-soaked weekend already, so I elected to stick to the bubbly varieties.
And whilst all were perfectly enjoyable, the Cuvée Riche still came out on top for me, though I acknowledge that it can be too sweet for others. That is, until the knowledgeable lady running the tasting offered me a sample of their prize 15 year old stash. Now I’m not sure if it was Max’s French accent that evoked this rare act of generosity, or something else, but we greatly appreciated the royal treatment.
In a word, it was divine. On par with my favourite French champagnes, albeit for a somewhat heftier price tag.
Sadly though, after a weekend of a bottle here, a bottle there, our budget couldn’t quite stretch to the $90 price. As well, I knew that we’d probably hold onto it for so long, waiting for a special enough occasion that it’d go off before we could drink it.
But I did slip an order form into my handbag, you know – just in case.
All images courtesy of avlxyz on Flickr.