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Sparkling Wine

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Akarua Brut NV (1x 75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2019 edition Weekday Wines feature (see blue link below).

Akarua Brut NV - March 2019 Decanter review

The Skeggs family were among the first people to buy and plant vineyard land in Central Otago in the mid 1990s, so were lucky enough to acquire a superb north-facing site in Bannockburn. Planted in 1996, this 50-hectare site has since provided the backbone of the Akarua wines. Due to the short growing season in Central Otago, site selection is one of the key elements in making a great wine, and Akarua have a site that is among the very best. Akarua was re-introduced after many years to Liberty Wines by Tony Jordan, who makes their sparkling wines. Tony built Domaine Chandon in Australia, and is one of the world's leading experts in sparkling wine production. He has been convinced of the potential for Central Otago to make top quality fizz for quite a while, and is now doing so with Akarua.

All the grapes are harvested from Akarua's 50 hectare estate on Cairnmuir Road, Bannockburn which lies at 270 metres above sea level. The soils are fine and sandy with loam topsoil overlaying schist. Vine age is 12 years.

67% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from several blocks on the vineyard were hand harvested and whole bunch pressed. All batches were kept separate. Juices were settled and racked to yeast fermentation in old oak barriques and stainless steel tanks. Once malolactic fermentation was complete, the base wines, together with up to 15% of reserve wines were blended to produce the Akarua Brut NV. The blend was transferred to bottle with yeast and a precise amount of sugar to undergo the secondary sparkling fermentation. The wine was then aged for a minimum of 18 months on yeast before riddling, disgorging and labelling.

Akarua Brut NV is a fresh aperitif style with floral perfumes and savoury bread dough aromas. With lovely balance and complexity, the palate is clean, has a creamy middle and a long, crisp finish.

£22.45

Cantina Cleto Chiarli Pruno Nero, Lambrusco Di Grasparossa di Castelvetro NV (1x75cl)

Deep ruby red in colour with an aromatic nose, strongly reminiscent of fresh strawberries. The palate is richly soft, generously fruity and delightfully refreshing, offering ripe, concentrated red berry fruits such as cranberries, raspberries and strawberries, a fine, persistent mousse and a soft finish. Low acidity and very little tannin combine to create a deliciously fruit driven, thirst quenching wine.

£13.45

Cantina Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena Lambrusco di Sorbara Premium NV (1x 75cl)

In 1850, Cleto Chiarli moved from the countryside to the town of Modena, together with his wife Lucia and their four children: Adalgisa, Oreste, Anselmo and Aristide. In 1860 he decided to dedicate himself to the making of Lambrusco. This proved to be a momentous turning point which would indicate the direction for future generations and which would bring about nothing short of a revolution in the selling of Lambrusco. The Company flourished and was able to reach an impressive production of one million bottles in 1910.

The wine undergoes a light maceration followed by a slow (or Pris de Mousse) fermentation in closed tanks. Lambrusco di Sorbara is an elegant wine which is pale and rosé-like and tends to be dry and lively.

Deep rosé in colour, with clear fragrances of strawberry and brushwood. This wine's taste is fresh, pervasive, mineral, and at the same time velvety and surprisingly pleasant. Dynamic.

£15.55

Cantina di Gambellara Monopolio Durello Spumante 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).

Cantina Di Gambellara Monopolio Durello Spumante 2017 - June 2019 Decanter review

The Cantina di Gambellara was founded in 1947 and has nearly 300 members who farm 600 hectares. The co-op is based in a small denomination on the border between the provinces of Vicenza and Verona only a few miles east of Soave. Last year, this cantina merged with the Cantina dei Colli Vicentini (from whom we buy the Ca’ di Alte wines) and Alberto Marchisio is now responsible for winemaking.

The Durella grapes are an ancient autochthon variety grown in the Lessinia area. The vineyards are mainly located on high hills with a south sun-exposure. The soils here are of volcanic origin.

2017 was characterised by cold winter weather with abundant rainfall. At the end of April, there was a period of frost. For this reason, budburst in the valley did not begin until the beginning of May, although on hillside vineyards it began sooner. Sunny weather allowed for normal vegetative growth over the summer months. It was a difficult year due to the combination of frost and then drought, but nevertheless grapes were harvested healthy and of good quality.

First fermentation took place in steel autoclaves under controlled temperature. Second fermentation then took place at low temperatures in steel autoclaves with selected yeasts, according to the Charmat (tank) method.

This wine is pale yellow in colour with delicate aromas of papaya and plums. On the nose, there are fresh notes of minerality and apple. The finish is fine and long.

£11.95

Cloudy Bay Pelorus NV (1x 75cl)

Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the first five wine makers to venture into Marlborough. At the time, it was almost an unimaginable place to set-up a vineyard but Cloudy Bay’s founder, David Hohnen, was convinced of its potential to produce great wine and invested in the best land of the region. The winery was named after Cloudy Bay, a body of water explorer Captain James Cook found during his voyage to New Zealand in 1770. His discovery coincided with flooding in the region, which washed large amounts of sediment into the sea. Noticing the water’s opaque appearance, Cook christened the area Cloudy Bay. 

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes used in the production of Pelorus are sourced from a combination of vineyards located within the Wairau Valley. They have free-draining gravel based soils with shallow sandy-loam horizons.

All Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are pressed without crushing. Juice is given a short period of settling before racking and inoculation with a pure strain of Montrachet yeast. The base wines are fermented and aged in a mixture of stainless steel tanks, large oak vats and small French oak barrels. Following a spontaneous malolactic fermentation the wines are left to age on lees for a further eight months prior to blending each November. This chardonnay predominant blend is put on tirage using prise de mousse yeast the following February and subsequently allowed to attain a minimum of two years lees ageing in the bottle before disgorgement.

Jim White, Technical Director at Cloudy Bay says the following of Pelorus: "We are not after big, bright, loud flavours; what we are after is pastel colour flavours; apple skin, flowers, light citrus. Elegance meets complexity in a melange of crispness and toasted brioche."

Pelorus is a  fresh, aperitif style sparkling wine with apple crisp flavours, underpinned by nutty yeast complexity derived from two years bottle maturation on lees. This is a sparkling wine that manages to subtly combine fresh and fruity Chardonnay notes with rich and savoury hints of Pinot Noir.

£22.80

Contero Brachetto Dacqui Docg 2018 (1x 75cl)

Formerly owned by the Lombardini family (proprietors of La Giustiniana in Gavi), Contero is now owned by the Marenco family, who are Moscato and Brachetto specialists in Strevi. This 11 hectare estate remains one of the best producers of invigoratingly delicious Moscato d'Asti and Brachetto d'Acqui. The ripest and best Moscato grapes are used for Moscato d'Asti rather than Asti.

The Contero vineyards are situated in a perfect amphitheatre in the commune of Strevi, the heart of one of the best zones for Brachetto in Piemonte. The vines are superbly tended and produce fruit of stunning quality. They are located on steep hills with tufaceous-marl soils which contain layers of fertile clay. The vines are Guyot trained and planted at a density of 4,800 vines per hectare. Grapes are hand harvested into wooden boxes and the average yield is five tonnes per hectare.

The 2017 vintage saw a dry winter and freezing temperatures in April. The rest of spring and summer were very dry. Harvest started one week earlier than in 2016. Despite dry weather, which led to a 20% reduction in yield, the grapes were very healthy and rich in flavours and aromas.

The grapes were pressed gently and the must fermented on the skins at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks. The wine was drawn from the vat at an alcohol content of 5.5% and bottled under pressure for a light sparkle.

This wine is light cherry red in colour. The rich, persistent mousse accompanies bright aromas of roses and violets. The slightly sweet, aromatic palate has a typical bittersweet note on the finish.

£15.55

Cremant de Bourgogne Grande Cuvee Veuve Ambal NV (1x75cl)

Veuve Ambal has 230 hectares of vineyards in Burgundy and is one of the most prestigious wineries in the region. All of the company's domaines are managed using sustainable methods. The use of specific cultivation techniques aims to reduce the use of treatments by optimising their position and efficiency.  This approach is an indication of Veuve Ambal's desire to reduce its impact on nature. These environmental concerns are at the core of the company's ethos, from the vineyards right up to the vinification of the wines.

The domaines are located in 6 different terroirs. This diversity brings richness and aromatic complexity to the wines produced. This Crémant de Bourgogne draws on the unique characteristics of each Burgundian terroir, just as an artist uses his palette of colours in order to magnify the beauty of his painting.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical and tasting note from the winemakers at Veuve Ambal.

Cremant De Bourgogne Grande Cuvee Veuve Ambal NV - fiche technique

40% Pinot Noir,  30% Chardonnay, 10% Gamay, 10% Aligoté.

Predominantly a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this Burgundy Crémant offers remarkable complexity, doubly so at the price. It is full, well-structured and balanced on the palate. Aromas of red and citrus fruits dominate, but the nose has hints of flowers and butter too.

£14.95

Dom Stephane Aladame Cremant de Bourgogne Brut NV (1x75cl)

Stéphane Aladame is one of the stars of the younger generation of French producers. Whereas many young winemakers inherit their estate, Stéphane began from scratch in 1992, at the age of 18. He completed his studies in Beaune before renting vineyards in Montagny, in the Côte Chalonnaise. The wines of Montagny can easily rival those from the more famous Côte de Beaune, which lies immediately to the north, and often at considerably better prices. Stéphane is also a bit of an anomaly in Montagny, as the village is dominated by cooperatives (at around 75%), with only 18 independent producers. Stéphane now cultivates eight hectares, with seven hectares situated in Montagny Premier Cru.

The vineyards are farmed organically and are harvested by hand. Stéphane vinifies the grapes in a small cellar under his house, while his wife Julie takes care of the administrative side of the domaine. The soils in Montagny are calcareous, as in Chablis, which gives a similar streak of steeliness to the wines.

Never has the phrase 'all's well that ends well' rung so true as in the case of the 2014 Burgundy vintage. Devastating hailstorms in June were followed by a cold and rainy August, where temperatures struggled to reach 20°C. These conditions meant that the threat of rot, under-ripe grapes and another low-yielding vintage hung over the growers. Just as all hope was fading, September was bathed in sunshine and rescued the 2014 vintage from the brink of disaster.

The grapes from a single vintage are picked by hand in open boxes and gently pressed immediately after, using a pneumatic press. The first fermentation is carried out in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks. The wine is then bottled and put into their cellar and spends 15 to 18 months on lees. The 3g/L residual sugar results in an Extra Brut which is particularly crisp, yet balanced.

Aromas of white fruits with notes of acacia. On the palate, the Cremant is supple, attractive and dominated by peach flavours. It is fresh and crisp with good minerality and a long finish.

£17.54

Dopff Au Moulin Cremant d'Alsace, Cuvee Julien Brut NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition expert review of French Cremant(s) (see blue link below).

Dopff Au Moulin Cremant D'Alsace, Cuvee Julien Brut NV - August 2018 Decanter review

The Dopff family has been winegrowers since 1574 and still manage the 70 hectare estate near the charming medieval town of Riquewihr. The vineyards are more than 300 metres above sea level, nestled in the foothills of the lower Vosges. As a family of pioneers, they were responsible for the use of the stemmed wine bottles, which today distinguish Alsace wines from other regions. In 1900, tenth generation Julien Dopff was so impressed by the Champagne tastings held in Paris' World Exhibition, he learnt the art of winemaking in Champagne for two years before returning to Alsace. After WW II Julien Dopff strongly believed that a Crémant made from local grape varieties and reflecting the terroir of Alsace should be produced and protected. In 1976, together with five other producers, he finally obtained official recognition for Crémant d'Alsace as an AOC.

The vineyard uses the Guyot training system with green harvest and meticulous canopy management to ensure good light penetration and air flow.

The grapes are gently crushed and pressing is limited to 100 litres of must per 150kg of grapes. The first fermentation is carried out in stainless steel and glass tanks, while the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, using the traditional Champagne method. The wine is aged for 18 months in bottle on its lees with automatic riddlings using gyropallets. This Crémant D'Alsace is mostly based on a single vintage, currently being 2012 crop.

Dry and elegant Crémant, showing hints of quince and white flowers, fine bubbles with good length and weight. Ideal as an apéritif or excellent white fish, sushi, oysters or fresh fruit.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£17.05

Ferrari Maximum Brut NV (1x 75cl)

A deep straw yellow. A gentle, yet positive and persistent bouquet, with a note of ripe fruit accompanied by hints of crusty bread, hazelnuts and variegated floral aromas. Dry, elegant and well-balanced. It displays notable personality, with the intense f
£24.95

Ferrari Maximum Rose NV (1x 75cl)

Delicately fragrant, with hints of berry fruits, yeast and a faintly balsamic undertone of considerable complexity.
£27.85

Ferrari Perle 2013 (1x 75cl)

The legend of Ferrari began with a man, Giulio Ferrari, and his dream of creating a wine in Trentino capable of competing with the best French Champagnes. He was a pioneer; it was he who was the first to realize the extraordinary vocation of his area, and it was he who first made substantial plantings of Chardonnay in Italy. The third generation of Marcello, Matteo, Camilla and Alessandro now lead the company with the aim of combining innovation and tradition, taking Ferrari around the world. Ferrari’s quality is the result of lots of small, daily procedures. Their wines are created in mountainside vineyards, in the finest areas of Trentino and perfected in the winery using the mandatory techniques for making Trentodoc wines.

With its mountain viticulture, Trentino is an area that is extraordinarily suited to the production of sparkling wines of great elegance and complexity: the alternation of warm days and cool nights gives added quality to the grapes, giving them a rainbow of different flavours and fragrances. It is thanks to the intuition of Giulio Ferrari that this area represents today the largest vineyard zone planted with Chardonnay in Italy; a lovely garden of vines, guarded like a treasure by the mountains that surround it.

A normal start to the spring of 2013 was followed by a period of exceptional rainfall, which really put the vine growers’ skills to the test. The weather conditions stabilized with the onset of summer and the sunshine brought with it renewed peace of mind and optimism in the vineyards. Bud-break was late (as was flowering), but it was homogeneous and regular. The ripening of the grapes during August was slow, resulting in a relatively late harvest with slightly higher yields, healthy grapes and excellent quality.

The wine attracts one’s attention with its brilliant golden yellow colour and its perlage of fine, continuous and very persistent bubbles. The aromas on the nose are particularly clean and complex: here one finds suggestions of very ripe apple, mango and pineapple. With time in the glass, the wine also offers hints of roasted coffee powder, nuances of vanilla and faintly honey-like notes. It is harmonious and well-balanced on the palate. The finish is persistent, revealing lingering, delicately brackish sensations.

This wine is 100% Chardonnay.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine whicha has been written by the team at Ferrari, please click on the blue link below.

Ferrari Perlé - fiche technique

£29.95

Ferrari Perle Nero 2010 (1 x 75cl)

The legend of Ferrari began with a man, Giulio Ferrari, and his dream of creating a wine in Trentino capable of competing with the best French Champagnes. He was a pioneer; it was he who was the first to realize the extraordinary vocation of his area, and it was he who first made substantial plantings of Chardonnay in Italy. The third generation of Marcello, Matteo, Camilla and Alessandro now lead the company with the aim of combining innovation and tradition, taking Ferrari around the world. Ferrari’s quality is the result of lots of small, daily procedures. Their wines are created in mountainside vineyards, in the finest areas of Trentino and perfected in the winery using the mandatory techniques for making Trentodoc wines.

With its mountain viticulture, Trentino is an area that is extraordinarily suited to the production of sparkling wines of great elegance and complexity: the alternation of warm days and cool nights gives added quality to the grapes, giving them a rainbow of different flavours and fragrances. It is thanks to the intuition of Giulio Ferrari that this area represents today the largest vineyard zone planted with Chardonnay in Italy; a lovely garden of vines, guarded like a treasure by the mountains that surround it.

This wine is 100% Pinot Nero (aka Pinot Noir).

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine which has been written by the team at Ferrari, please click on the blue link below.

Ferrari Perlé Nero - fiche technique

£48.00

Ferrari Perle Rose 2013 (1x75cl)

The legend of Ferrari began with a man, Giulio Ferrari, and his dream of creating a wine in Trentino capable of competing with the best French Champagnes. He was a pioneer; it was he who was the first to realize the extraordinary vocation of his area, and it was he who first made substantial plantings of Chardonnay in Italy. The third generation of Marcello, Matteo, Camilla and Alessandro now lead the company with the aim of combining innovation and tradition, taking Ferrari around the world. Ferrari’s quality is the result of lots of small, daily procedures. Their wines are created in mountainside vineyards, in the finest areas of Trentino and perfected in the winery using the mandatory techniques for making Trentodoc wines.

With its mountain viticulture, Trentino is an area that is extraordinarily suited to the production of sparkling wines of great elegance and complexity: the alternation of warm days and cool nights gives added quality to the grapes, giving them a rainbow of different flavours and fragrances. It is thanks to the intuition of Giulio Ferrari that this area represents today the largest vineyard zone planted with Chardonnay in Italy; a lovely garden of vines, guarded like a treasure by the mountains that surround it.

A normal start to the spring of 2013 was followed by a period of exceptional rainfall, which really put the vine growers’ skills to the test. The weather conditions stabilized with the onset of summer and the sunshine brought with it renewed peace of mind and optimism in the vineyards. Bud-break was late (as was flowering), but it was homogeneous and regular. The ripening of the grapes during August was slow, resulting in a relatively late harvest with slightly higher yields, healthy grapes and excellent quality.

Along with a lively, brilliant old rose colour with salmon-like nuances, the wine reveals a refined perlage in the glass. The nose is rich and multi-faceted, offering suggestions of cherry, dog rose and orange, combined with an initial hint of vinosity, a touch of talc and a whiff of peach kernels. On the palate, the wine displays rich, full, potent and chewy fruit, whose concentration, depth and balance make it very appealing and satisfying to drink. The finish offers hints of red fruits and spicy bread.

This wine is 80% Pinot Nero (aka Pinot Noir), 20% Chardonnay.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine which has been written by the team at Ferrari, please click on the blue link below.

Ferrari Perlé Rosé - fiche technique

£35.95

Fontanafredda Asti DOCG NV (1x 75cl)

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The Fontanafredda estate was bought in 1858 by Vittorio Emanuele II as a gift to his mistress Rosa Vercellana, also known as "La bela Rosin". Later, it was handed down to their children, Maria Vittoria and Emanuele Alberto, Count of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda. After several changes of ownership Fontanafredda is once again in the hands of Piedmont natives. In 2017 Fontanafredda was named “European Winery of the Year” by the prestigious American magazine Wine Enthusiast.

Relying on the most advanced models for sustainable agriculture (organic, integrated and biodynamic), they have adopted the agricultural disciplinary guidelines of Vino Libero which defines the vineyard-cultivation techniques they use whilst striving to both reduce the environmental impact and safeguard human health.

This wine is 100% Moscato Bianco.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine from the winemakers at Fontanafredda, please click the blue link below.

Fontanafredda Asti DOCG NV - fiche technique

£14.00
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