The best sparkling wines of the year under $50

The $30-$50 category represents the most exciting chapter of Australian sparkling wine at the moment. If there is one place where your investment pays the greatest returns in sheer drinking pleasure, this is it. Why? Because the high cost of sparkling winemaking in cool regions almost universally rules out truly great fizz under $30. And because spending more than $50 can land you a serious bottle of champagne.

Testimony to Tasmania’s lead in the premium sparkling stakes, my top six wines in this category hail from the island state. This year I reviewed 86 Australian sparkling wines between $30 and $50 (excluding blanc de blancs, rosés, sparkling reds, proseccos and moscatos) with a median score of 89 points.

Tyson Stelzer’s sparkling wine of the year under $50

Frogmore Creek Cuvée Evermore Méthode Traditionnelle Vintage 2008

$38 | Tasmania | DIAM | 12% alcohol | Drink 2016-2020

Appropriately named, I first reviewed Evermore on release in 2013 and my score has progressively ascended on each tasting since.  2008 is a benchmark vintage for Tasmanian sparkling wines and this is a cuvée of towering magnificence. It’s a wondrous panoply of the red apple, red cherry, strawberry and white pepper of pinot noir (87%), the toasty/nutty personality of a touch of 2007 vintage matured in old oak barrels and the citrus crunch and fine acid line that defines this outstanding season. A long, refined palate is perfectly balanced with 7.5g/L dosage.

95 points