Tasmania, tasmania Australia

Ed Carr, the man behind Arras, has been making sparkling wines in Australia since 1986 and for the Hardys group since 1994. He was one of the first winemakers to see the potential Tasmanian fruit had for producing world-class sparkling wine and has been producing Arras solely with Tasmanian fruit since the 1998 vintage. Much to the horror of the accountants, however, he has insisted on ageing the majority of the wines on lees for over six years prior to release, with the Late Disgorged remaining on its lees for 10 years, something that increases both the cost and complexity of the wines.

We’ve long been fans of these wines, drinking them on regular trips to Australia, so weren’t surprised to read James Halliday’s comment in The Australian a couple of years ago: “Arras is made by a quietly spoken genius, Ed Carr, whose name should be known around the world. It’s not. Why? These wines aren’t exported. It’s a disgrace and an excellent example of why Australia has lost its mojo.” Prompted by James’ remarks, we got in touch to see if they wanted an importer in the UK. The answer was quick coming back, so we’re delighted to be selling these outstanding wines and, as with the rest of our Australian portfolio, keeping the ‘mojo’ alive.

The Rosé Vintage combines a red berry fruit profile with delicious brioche notes derived from six years on lees. The Blanc de Blancs Museum Release includes a 1% splash of Pinot Noir in the Chardonnay, which adds an aromatic and textural twist. This special release has spent a staggering 15 years maturing on its lees.

The exception to Carr’s six year minimum lees ageing rule is the new ‘A’ By Arras Premium Cuvée, which spends at least three years on lees and six months in bottle before release. With a rich but fresh flavour, this is an excellent example of a non-vintage style with beautiful poise and freshness on the finish.


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