Ninth Island is the second label of Piper's Brook; arguably Tasmania's premier winery, which itself is part of the large Belgian company Kreglinger. To be honest I've never been terribly inspired by any Ninth Island wine, but as with Piper's Brook, I've always deeply admired their wine packaging.
Beautifully presented in a heavy, squat bottle with 2 (!?) layers of foil, this non-vintage Tassie sparkling is pale-straw with fine bead and lace, unravelling a quite savoury, pinot-influenced and earthy bouquet of dry cherry and wholemeal toast backed by a tone of grapefruit. The round palate is rich and creamy upfront, announcing a similarly savoury profile to the nose, yet it is fresher and fractionally less complex. It finishes with a zingy stronghold of lemony tang and fizzy acids, but its climax is too simple, lacking the length of fruit flavour (which is overawed by tang) and regal balance required for a higher score.
O Stylistically, I consider this to be a more savoury expression of what is essentially a quaffing-style Tasmanian sparkling. Drink now.