With a legacy of almost two centuries behind it - the House of GH Mumm, established in 1827, still aspires to the original aims of the great Georges Hermann Mumm, one of the father figures of the House. His passion was to achieve the highest possible quality for GH Mumm Champagnes: time after time he was heard to say Only the Best.
In 1875, he decided to decorate each of his bottles with the prized Cordon Rouge or red sash of the Légion d'Honneur, the highest French civilian distinction, created by Napoleon I. Over and above the symbol of excellence that it represents, the Cordon Rouge embodies the true spirit that drives the House: the quest for perfection, a spirit of adventure and panache.
The style of every Mumm Cordon Rouge cuvée is a constant, subtle balance of freshness and intensity. Mumm Cordon Rouge is blended from 77 crus, every one unique. The blend of grape varieties traditionally used by Mumm is Pinot Noir (45%) that endows the wine with structure and strength, Chardonnay (30%) that ensures both finesse and elegance and Pinot Meunier (25%) which has fruity, sharp and well-rounded notes that complete the blend. Each grape variety and cru is pressed and vinified separately to ensure a wide range of aromas and taste sensations, and 25-30% of reserve wines are added to bring depth and harmony to the final blend.
45% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Meunier.
Dosage = 8g/litre.
Mumm Champagne Cordon Rouge Brut is a fresh, golden yellow colour with hints of jade, the wine’s abundant bubbles, both fine and elegant, demonstrate the finesse of Mumm’s Cordon Rouge Champagne. On the nose, aromas of lemon and grapefruit, combined with the richness of firm, fleshy fruits such as white peaches, apricots and tart apples bring freshness and liveliness to the wine. These are followed by hints of vanilla, enriched with caramel. Honeyed nuts also play their part. The bubbles are rich on the palate, but never overpowering. The perfect balance is combined with a rounded, full vinosity. The mix of fresh fruit and caramel aromas give even more intensity to the finish. This is a subtly balanced wine with a remarkable capacity to linger in the mouth.
ABV = 12.0%.
Awarded 87 points and Recommended status by Decanter in their January 2020 edition panel tasting of English Sparkling Wine ("English Fizz") (see blue link below).
Balfour - Hush Heath Estate, situated in Kent, dates back to 1503. At the heart of the property is a Tudor manor surrounded by 162 hectares of perfectly manicured oak forests, vineyards, and apple orchards. Forward-thinking Richard Balfour-Lynn first planted vineyards on the property in 2002, with the aim of making England's finest sparkling rosé. Today, the 25 hectares of vineyards and eight hectares of apple trees are meticulously and sustainably managed by a family of viticulturists. The wines and cider, some named after Richard’s family, are made from estate grown fruit by winemakers Owen Elias and Victoria Ash. Owen is a four-time UK Vineyards Association 'Winemaker of the Year' winner and has nearly 20 years of experience making English wines. In the summer of 2018, Balfour - Hush Heath Estate opened their new state-of-the-art winery and cellar door tasting room.
The flagship Brut Rosé is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier, which spends over three years on its lees. The result is a crisp rosé with balanced red berry fruit, richness from the lees ageing and elegance from the restrained dosage. The non-vintage 'Leslie's Reserve' offers great value for an English sparkling wine. It is made from the same three grape varieties as Brut Rosé and is aged on its lees for 15 months. It is fruity and appealing, with lovely roundness on the palate and a refreshing acidity on the finish. The Blanc de Blancs is only produced in very small quantities and only in the finest vintages. The wine spends 30 months on its lees which adds depth and complexity. It is a clean vibrant style with crisp acidity and a wonderful lightness.
The Estate’s still wines, known as the ‘Family Collection’, are a real discovery. ‘Skye's English White’, a blend based on 55% Chardonnay, has a lively citrus fruit character on the palate and racy acidity that is balanced by good depth on the mid-palate. The beautifully pale ‘Nanette's English Rose’ is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Meunier, which gives it a citrus edge. ‘Luke’s Pinot Noir’ is an elegant red, with ripe and soft tannins, beautifully balanced acidity and juicy red fruit and spice notes. ‘Liberty’s Bacchus’ is a new addition to the list, made from grapes from the Foxwood vineyard, the highest point on the estate. A proportion of the wine underwent fermentation in barrel with wild yeasts, resulting in a lovely toasty complexity balanced by zesty acidity. The Springfield Chardonnay is the first still Chardonnay that Balfour has made since 2015. Made exclusively from fruit from the marvellous 2018 vintage, with careful use of new French and American oak, this wine showcases the huge potential of English still wines. With a bright straw complexion and a fresh palate of grapefruit and green apple, this wine is drinking beautifully now but also has the capacity to age elegantly.
All vineyards are located on the 400 acre estate in the heart of Kent. Wealden clay soils overlay Tunbridge Wells sand. Vines are trellised using the double guyot method with vertical shot positioning. Planting density is 3300 vines per hectare and the whole estate is managed sustainably.
The grapes for this non-vintage (NV) wine are usually harvested in October.
The grapes were whole bunch pressed and then fermented at 16°C in stainless steel. Secondary fermentation took place in bottle and the wine aged on its lees for 15 months. The grapes are all grown, fermented and bottled on the Estate.
Residual sugar = 19g/l (ie this is just a Sec).
55% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Meunier.
A golden colour with pink highlights, Leslie's Reserve is a fresh and vibrant style with an expressive and fruity character of citrus, green apple and a creamy mousse. It has a lovely roundness on the palate, refreshing acidity on the finish and complexity derived from the lees ageing.
ABV = 12.0%.
A towering inferno of swirling, ting-tangling strawberry fizz that rolls away like a fluffy cloud caught in a light, summer’s day breeze. This wine brings together big, juicy Perthshire strawberries and light, fragrant elderflower blossoms. A marriage made in heaven; bottled sunshine.
ABV = 11.0%.
The Perelada estate, an impressive fortress and palace that was previously owned by the Counts of Pereleda and a Carmelite monastery, was purchased in 1923 by Miguel Mateu, an active political and cultural ambassador of the time. Don Miguel revitalized the wine producing tradition of the estate records showed that there where vineyards planted in the Medieval period. He turned the estate into his own private cultural centre, building up the collections which would become the Castle museum which is today open to the public.
After primary fermentation, the wine is aged in bottle on the lees for 9 months before disgorging.
See the link below for full details of the wine, in Parelada's own data sheet.
This is a fine Cava, and that offers markedly better quality than its price might indicate.
Garnacha (69%), Pinot Noir (17%), Trepat (14%).
Residual sugar/dosage = 8g/litre.
Pale cherry red in colour this Rosado has a generous stream of fine bubbles that form a crown. It has a fruity aroma with a slight ageing tone. This wine has a complex and fruity taste, sweet and with a good balance in the mouth.
ABV = 11.5%.
Awarded a Gold medal and 96 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).
Champagne Collet with its elegant Art Deco packaging is evocative of the Belle Epoque era from when it was established. It is the oldest cooperative in Champagne, dating back to 1921. Since its inception, Collet has been creating Champagnes of character with authenticity, elegance and great finesse. Located in Aÿ, in the heart of the Champagne region, Collet represents some of the finest growers and mainly sources from vineyards which are based on Premier and Grand Cru sites. Each cuvée reflects the diversity of the region’s terroirs and has been masterfully blended to suit gastronomic cuisine.
The Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru was aged for a minimum of five years in Collet's centuries-old limestone cellars.
Vivacious, with a light texture this 1er Cru delivers citrus notes of Sicilian lemon and lime, with hints of lemon tart on puff pastry. Nuances of white pepper, liquorice and smoke add to the kaleidoscope of flavours. This is fresh, taut, complex and full of finesse with a beautifully long finish.
ABV = 12.5%.
Taittinger remains one of the few Champagne Houses to remain owned and actively managed by the family named on the label. Its origins date back to 1734 when the original house was founded by Jacques Fourneaux. The Taittinger link was established in 1931 when Pierre Taittinger, the founder of today's company acquired the House. Pierre had spent much time in the Champagne region when serving in the 1st world war as a young cavalry officer. Stationed at the Château de la Marquetterie, he fell in love with this remarkable property and its vineyards and eventually purchased the company.Today, the Reims-based House is headed up by Pierre's grandson, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, his son, Clovis and daughter, Vitalie, both of whom are actively involved in the day to day running of this thriving family Champagne House.
Taittinger's home is situated above miles of chalk tunnels and cellars. These 4th-Century UNESCO listed cellars once belonged to the Benedictine monks of the abbey of St Nicaise and are perfect for the slow ageing process required for great Champagne. The hallmark of the Taittinger Champagnes is the high percentage of Chardonnay used in their winemaking which can be anything from 40% in the Brut Réserve Non Vintage to 100% in the prestigious Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. This Chardonnay dominance provides for a style of elegance, delicacy and finesse which is recognised worldwide and has earned the House many accolades and awards over the years. Today it is served in over 140 countries worldwide and made recent history by becoming the first Champagne house to purchase land in England to ultimately produce a premium English Sparkling Wine.
Taittinger produces a Vintage Champagne only when the harvest has been of exceptional quality. Made from first press wines the wine is only released after several years of cellar ageing, allowing the aromas to mature slowly and the length and complexity of the wine to develop. Winemaking The Taittinger Brut Vintage comprises only wines from the first press with a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. The Grands Crus make up a significant proportion at 70% while the other selected villages are all classified as Premiers Crus. A 5-year long ageing period in the cellars unlocks its full potential.
Residual sugar: 9g/litre.
A vivacious, fresh nose offers aromas of hawthorn, grapefruit and pear. The palate is crisp and wonderfully precise. Marked by citrus fruit, it offers an excellent balance of structure and finesse. The complex finish is elegant and long.
ABV = 12.5%.
** NOW IN STOCK! **
Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition panel tasting of traditional-method Italian sparklings (see blue link below). There is a difference in price between what appears there and our actual price - we have been able to bring this to the market more cheaply then we expected!
When Antonio Deltetto took over from his father in his early twenties in 1977, he was fresh from university and full of new winemaking ideas that his father's meticulous cultivation of traditional varieties allowed him to develop. This spirit of innovation has stayed with him and he has passed this on to his children Carlo, Cristina and Claudia, who now all work for the estate. The estate covers 21 hectares of vineyard in the Roero, the gently hilly region on the northern bank of the Tanaro. The soil is sandier in this area and, as a result, the wines are more aromatic and less structured than those from the Langhe hills on the south bank.
This Classic Method Spumante was born in 1981 from Signor Deltetto’s passion for sparkling wines, experimenting with indigenous varieties: Arneis and Nebbiolo. In 1997, for the first time, Pinot Nero and Chardonnay were planted and, in 2000, the first Metodo Classico made with international varieties was released. From this passion for bubbles, in 2016 the first Alta Langa DOCG wine was born.
For qualification for the Alta Langa DOCG, vineyards must be located in the area of Alessandria, Asti and Cuneo, over 250m above sea level and on the hills (ie valley, damp and flat land is forbidden). The Deltetto vineyards are located in Roddino, a small town on the borders of the south-western Langa.
Deltetto lay claim to two vineyards facing north and west. One part is already in production and the other will go into production over the coming years. The former is located at the entrance of Roddino, overlooking the castle of Serralunga d’Alba. The other vineyard is located at the exit of Roddino, an area towards higher altitudes. The exposure of both is ideally sunny without reaching high temperatures, ensuring perfectly-ripening clusters, acidity, freshness and characteristic aromas.
Soil is marly, calcareous-clay, with moderate fertility.
Organic production, see here for more details.
The 2016 vintage is the first Deltetto Alta Langa Brut. Forthcoming are a Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) and a Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot Noir).
The harvest is made by hand in the second half of August. Primary fermentation of the base wine is conducted at 18° C in stainless steel. Secondary, in-bottle fermentation is conducted at 12° C.
Tirage/lees ageing in-bottle for at least 30 months to promote complexity and flavour development. Riddling/remuage by gyropalette. Disgorged in January 2020.
55% Pinot Noir (Pinot Nero), 45% Chardonnay.
Dosage = 2.5g/litre (ie effectively Extra Brut).
Straw yellow pale colour with a fine, lasting finish with an intense bouquet of bread crust and brioche; dry, sapid and well-balanced.
ABV = 12.5%.
** STOCK WITH US WEDS 30th SEPTEMBER! **
Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).
Devaux is a boutique Champagne brand located in Bar-sur-Seine in the southerly Aube region of Champagne, some 60km north of Burgundy. Thanks to this favourable southerly location, Devaux is a Pinot Noir and rosé specialist. The house was founded in 1846, and was family owned for generations. In 1987, in the absence of a family heir, ownership was passed to a united group of winegrower families, known today as the Groupe Vinicole Champagne Devaux. Thanks to being owned by these growers, Devaux can boast total control over its grape supply which is a rarity in Champagne, a region where growers traditionally sell to the houses who control the brands.
The "D Collection" wines are Devaux's very best. The grapes come from highly select, sustainably farmed parcels across 35 hectares. The majority of the vineyards are situated in the Aube on Kimmeridgian limestone-clay soils. This continental location, on the slopes of the Côte des Bars, is important; it gives the Pinot Noir richness on the nose and a long finish, while retaining finesse. The Chardonnay in the blend is grown on the fine chalky soils of the Côte des Blancs, Vitry and Montgueux ("the Meursault of Champagne") to give liveliness and elegance.
2008 was initially a difficult year with widespread mildew. However, drier conditions in August and a fine, warm September helped to balance the ripening of the grapes. The 2008 wines have fresh acidity balanced by sound ripeness achieved towards the end of the season.
The wine was fermented in stainless steel, followed by partial malolactic fermentation to give extra suppleness. Following fermentation, the liqueur de tirage was added and the wine underwent a slow second fermentation in bottle, and extended ageing on its lees for seven to eight years. This resulted in a wine with a finer, more persistent mousse and greater potential for complexity. After disgorgement, the wine received a Brut dosage of around 6g/l and was aged for a further six to nine months before release.
50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir.
Deep gold in colour. Complex and elegant aromas of white peaches and orange zest are followed by warm bready notes. The palate has a refreshing acidity and evolves with elegant citrus notes, finishing with a dried fruit character.
ABV = 12.0%.
Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2018 (see blue link below).
Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) (see blue link below) in their Summer 2018 review of English sparkling wine.
For a full description of this wine, we would direct you to the data sheet/fiche technique from Gusbourne themselves (click blue link below).
A bright golden colour with a delicate mousse, the Blanc De Blancs has classic Chardonnay aromas of green apple, citrus and mineral notes combined with buttered toast and tarte tatin richness from extended lees ageing. This wine is a great accompaniment to seafood in general, but is perfect with freshly shucked oysters.
ABV = 12.0%.
This winery changed hands in May 2016, with one family company, Brown Brothers, taking it off the hands of another, its founder, Phil Sexton. So associated is Innocent Bystander with the Yarra Valley that the new owners made the intelligent decision to build a new winery in Healesville, just across the parking lot from Giant Steps. They quickly signed contracts with all the grape growers that Phil used for Innocent Bystander, so that the style of the wines remains unchanged. This regional and varietal style, reflecting the soil, climate and topography of the cool climate in the Yarra Valley is the base upon which the reputation of Innocent Bystander has been built.
The fruit for the Moscato was sourced from a number of vineyard sites across the Swan Hill region of North West Victoria. Soils here are predominantly calcareous sandy loam. The wine is a blend of three different types of the Muscat grape: Muscat of Alexandria, Black Muscat and Red Frontignac (one of the many clones of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains).
The 2018 season started off relatively dry with below average rainfall coming into budburst. October was quite cool, and the vines grew quite slowly. From November, there was a distinct change in the weather with an increase in heat and subsequent rapid growth. Great weather with warm and sunny days led to a fast and uniform flowering from mid-November. High fruit set and larger berries led to very high bunch weights.
Harvested in the cool of the night, the fruit was chilled and crushed with six hours skin contact to extract a vibrant hint of pink from the Black Muscat grapes. The juice then underwent a cool fermentation in pressurised stainless steel vats to retain the freshness and to trap the natural effervescence. Fermentation was stopped at 5.5% alcohol by chilling the wine before it was then bottled under pressure.
This wine is a blend of 71% Muscat of Alexandria, 26% Black Muscat, 3% Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains.
Vivid pink in colour, this highly aromatic wine has notes of blackcurrant, Turkish delight, mandarin peel and a hint of candy floss. The palate is rich and fruity with balanced residual sugar, a cleansing natural acidity and a spritzy finish.
ABV = 5.5%.
** IN STOCK WEDS SEPTEMBER 30th **
Awarded a Gold medal and 96 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).
Sourced across 1,800 winegrowers, Jacquart boasts a terroir as vast as it is unique, covering 2,400 ha, to shape its wines with a very contemporary elegance. Jacquart is part of the Alliance Champagne Group which aims to meet quality and environmental requirements while protecting the future of the vineyards.
The maturing period for Champagne is one of the longest in the world and is crucial to the final quality of the wines. The wine is laid down in the cellars to start the process, whereby the effervescence is created and mature slowly on lees. With a promise of plenitude, the cuvee Brut Mosaic Signature is only disgorged after a full 5 years’ maturing, during which the Champagne mellows and the bubbles are perfected.
Chardonnay 40%, Pinot Noir 35%, Pinot Meunier 25%.
On first pour, the nose conjures up honeysuckle and orange blossom delicately interwoven with limestone minerality. Then pastry aromas, hazelnut, milk caramel, honey, marshmallow and marzipan develop. The Signature label develops fleshy, succulent weight supported by lemony and pomelo-driven tension. The balanced and concentrated palate delivers a fresh, savoury finish with fleshy fruits leaving a consistent, indulgent impression.
ABV = 12.5%.
Without the efforts of men like Ken Forrester, South African Chenin Blanc might be scarcely more than a footnote to the country’s recent winemaking history – a workhorse (see below) grape responsible for vast amounts of forgettably bland white wine. But this Zambia-born former restaurateur saw the potential of this grape, placing it firmly at the centre of his resurrection of the historic Scholtzenhof farm on the slopes of Stellenbosch’s Helderberg mountain in the early 1990s. More than twenty years on, Ken is known as ‘Mr Chenin’.
Sparklehorse is made using the Cap Classique method (MCC appears on labels, Méthode Cap Classique), which is the South African term for the traditional method/méthode traditionelle of in-bottle second fermentation used to create many of the world's classic sparkling wines (including Champagne).
The grapes for Sparklehorse - 100% Chenin Blanc - come from a carefully selected cool vineyard site which was first planted in 1975. The vineyard faces south-south-west and has sandy soil. These factors all allow the grapes to mature whilst continuing to maintain a high level of refreshing acidity which gives the wine its character.
This wine is aged for 14 months on its yeast lees to allow it to develop a creaminess and delicate mousse while still maintaining bright, fresh apple, pear and quince aromas. Intense green apples dominate the nose and first sip is like biting into a crisp, bright, green cooking apple. Fresh mousse and soft finish make it a delicious wine. Served as an aperitif or with food or simply with friends. As they say at the Forrester vineyards, "ideal with seafood, salmon, sushi, salads and sunsets.”
"And why Sparklehorse?", we asked.
Ken replied, “I was always captivated by the intricacies of sparkling wine. One specific vineyard on the property offered the right conditions for full-flavoured, early harvest wines and so with this fruit I decided to embark on a special project. Since deriving from the workhorse variety, I wanted to have some fun and cheer the whole package up and the name "sparklehorse" had instant appeal, with the idea of a colourful fairground pony, a sparkling carousel horse - every child’s first pony! And so the concept was presented- a dreamy, colourful, sparkling horse, straight off a carousel. The label captures the spirit and fun of the fair, the horse is truly the embodiment of fun and all that sparkling wine represents!"
ABV = 11.5%.
Krug 1996 is an undeniably extraordinary champagne. It caresses the senses with it's rich aromas and firm texture before exploding in a bouquet of freshness, Krug 1996 was a very special year which is said to be one of the best vintages of the century and is often compared to the legendary 1928. It is a vintage with as very high level of freshness as well as maturity which is very rare in Champagne. 1996 will go down in Champagne's history books.
At the House of Krug, even Paul Krug II, known for his strictly objective observations, noted that Krug 1996 may well have been “the next 1928”.
Krug 1996 is also the last Vintage created by three generations of the Krug family working together; Paul II, Henri and Rémi, and Olivier.
Pinot Noir 48%, Chardonnay 31% and Meunier 21%.
TASTING NOTES Krug 1996, with radiant, rich gold colour and resplendent bubbles, first caresses the senses with its rich mature aromas before exploding in a bouquet of freshness; it elevates contrast and character to unprecedented extremes. With firm texture, its full, ripe flavours are followed by fresh pear, candied lemon, ripe summer fruit, honey, gingerbread and hints of delicate mocha.
ABV = 12.0%.
The Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier bottle, with its generous, curvaceous lines, is unique – an invitation to self-indulgence.
When Bernard de Nonancourt launched Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier in 1968, he decided to present his creation in a uniquely distinctive bottle to magnify this very special cuvée. He found his inspiration in the rather stubby bottles manufactured in the time of King Henri IV, adding the seal-like monogrammed ‘LP’ shield. The packaging, which seemed very modern at the time, has gradually evolved since 1968.
The grapes for Laurent Perrier Rose come from 10 different crus located mainly in the South and North areas of the Montagne de Reims – including the famous Côte de Bouzy – notably from the finest crus of Ambonnay, Bouzy, Louvois and Tours-sur-Marne.
The grapes from carefully selected plots are sorted and destemmed before vatting. The maceration – lasting from 48h to 72h depending on the harvest – helps the extraction of the colour and the development of the full aromatic richness of the Pinot Noir. It is aged for a minimum of 5 years.
Elegant, with colour changing naturally from a pretty raspberry hue to salmon-pink. A precise nose of extraordinary freshness and a wide range of red fruits: raspberry, redcurrant, strawberry, black cherry. A fresh and sharp attack for this supple and rounded wine. On the palate, it offers the sensation of plunging into a basket of freshly picked red berries.
Its aromatic depth makes it ideal for pairing with marinated raw fish, grilled prawns, exotic dishes, Parma ham and red fruit desserts. Those who are more daring will try it with Asian or Indian cuisine.
ABV = 12.0%.
This wine comes from the purest grape juice and it alone allows Laurent-Perrier to craft ‘La Cuvée’, a champagne of great finesse and a beautiful freshness obtained after a long ageing process in their cellars. Laurent-Perrier’s style and personality are defined by its very high proportion of Chardonnay. Purity, freshness and elegance – essential characteristics, expressed in this champagne – are a good introduction to the spirit of the House.
In opting to blend its Brut champagne with a majority of Chardonnay, the rarest grape variety in the Champagne region, Laurent-Perrier was expressing its difference and asserting the signature ‘House’ style of freshness, lightness, and elegance. This has taken 15 years of extensive work on supply quality, steady progress regarding wine making and increased mastery of the art of blending.
This champagne is made using a majority of Chardonnay, over 50%, Pinot Noir, over 30% and is rounded off with Meunier, between 10 and 20%. Some of the wine that is used to make La Cuvée is reserve wine which ensures a perfect consistency in style. This blend of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée is made from more than 100 crus selected by Laurent-Perrier. La Cuvée benefits from ageing in the cellar. Its balance and freshness are enhanced by a light dosage.
This champagne is pale gold in colour. Fine bubbles feed a persistent mousse. A delicate nose with hints of fresh citrus and white flowers. Its complexity is expressed in successive notes like vine peach and white fruits notes. There is a perfect balance between freshness and delicacy with fruity flavours present on the finish.
This fresh and pure champagne is perfect as an apéritif. Its citrus and white fruits notes and its remarkable balance supported by a subtle effervescence, make it an ideal accompaniment to poultry and the finest fish.
ABV = 12.0%.