House of Arras EJ Carr Late Disgorged

EJ Carr 2001 is one of the most refined sparkling wines ever made in this country. Southern Tasmania has proven just what heights it can achieve in elegant subtlety of yellow plum, lemon zest and white peach fruit. A touch over ten years on lees has built great complexity of dried fruits, butter biscuits, mixed spice, even a wisp of woodsmoke. It’s seamlessly strung, textured with chalky minerality and accented with a hint of seasalt. Such gloriously understated elegance is seldom seen outside the hallowed caves of Champagne itself. This is precisely the same wine as the Arras Grand Vintage 2001 released at around $60 some four years ago, with an additional four years on lees. Is a more than three-fold price leap justified, even for a production of just 170 dozen? If Dom Pérignon Oenothèque can more than double the price of the standard release after six years, perhaps $114 for EJ Carr at Dan Murphy’s this week is not quite so absurd? The 2001 will land later this year.