Ninth Island is a little island that sits off the northern coast of Tasmania. This wine, the Ninth Island Sparkling Rosé, isn’t made or grown there (nor are any of the Ninth Island wines), it’s simply named after it. This range is part of a broader stable of wines that includes higher-priced offerings like Kreglinger and Piper’s Brook. It’s probably fair to say it’s been an underperforming estate/group for a while. However, the quality seems to be improving under current winemaker Natalie Fryer. In fact, Tyson Stelzer, the Champagne guru, reckons this is the best sub-$20 sparkling he has ever tasted. I couldn’t find it for less than $20, not as a single bottle anyway, but still, that’s high praise.
The Review: Ninth Island Sparkling Rosé
I ended up writing three separate tasting notes over the course of the evening. It was a tricky wine to get my head around. The nose isn’t particularly expressive, though there are some strawberry and citrus notes in there. There is a nice balanced acidity on the palate, which is its main appeal: no obvious sweetness but it’s not overly dry either, aside from a refreshing finish. It’s an enjoyable drink for sure.
Being a non-vintage, I’m not sure if I’m tasting the exact same Ninth Island Sparkling Rosé Tyson tried but I wouldn’t personally say this was the best sparkling for under (or around) $20. It’s very well structured but not especially complex. In fact, there isn’t a lot of flavourat all. I found it more impressive than enjoyable,if that makes sense. It’s definitely good value, and punches above it’sweight, but, for pure drinking pleasure at this priceI’d still recommend the Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot.