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Champagne Jacquart Blanc de Blanc 2012 (1x75cl)

The varied origins of their Chardonnays are one of the key components of the Jacquart signature. This very singular 100% Chardonnay cuvée is the fruit of a blend of a variety of nuances, selected with lavish care and attention. Crafted from one single variety, Chardonnay, and only the noblest of grapes, which find their pure and unreserved expression in a vintage of absolute exception. The 2009 vintage will be remembered for its excellent conditions and superb balance.

This champagne is made using the area's traditional methods but it also spends 5 - 6 years maturing on its lees giving the champagne its unique character.

A seductive nose, full of finesse, with the fragrance of acacia flowers, rose petals and lime blossom. A few minutes airing allows notes of preserved lemon, almond milk, fresh hazelnut, brioche and pear compote to develop. Fresh and supple with beautifully creamy, soft effervescence, this is a mouth-filling champagne with a chalky minerality and pronounced aromas of Mirabel plums and herbs such as coriander and anise. The finish is lingering, concentrated, full, sensual and mouthwateringly saline.

£43.06

Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaïque Rosé Non Vintage (1x 75cl)

Delicate bubbles wrapped in intense salmon pink. Red berry-fruit aromas of ripe redcurrants, cherries and wild strawberries give way to notes of plum. Fresh and full, with a fine finish.
£44.48

Champagne Marc Hebrart, Selection Brut 1er Cru (Vieilles Vignes) NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition review of Value Champagne (see blue link below).

Champagne Marc Hebrart, Selection Brut 1er Cru (Vieilles Vignes) NV - December 2018 Decanter review

Marc Hébrart and his wife started making Champagne in 1963, adding to the land little by little due to the high price of land in Champagne. In 1983, their son Jean-Paul started his own small production. In 1997, the parents and sons of Champagne Hebrart merged together, making Jean-Paul the director of the company. Their land now covers 15.5 hectares, over 68 plots spread across the two banks of the river Marne. On the right bank (Côtes des Blancs), Hébrart Grand Cru terroirs of Avize, Oiry and Chouilly are producing fine, ripe and mineral Chardonnays. On the left bank (Vallée de la Marne and Montagne de Reims), Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Bisseuil and Avenay-Val-d'Or are Premier Cru villages producing juicy and structured Pinot Noirs. This diversity and owned supply allows Jean-Paul to create very precise cuvées, controlling the grape quality from growing to winemaking. In the vineyard, natural methods are used rather than insecticides. In 2014 Hébrart was quoted as being among the 100 Best Wine Producers in the World by Wine & Spirits Magazine.

The Cuvée Selection is a selection that orignates from the best vineyards belonging to Hébrart and which have benefitted from age. The Chardonnay grapes come from the Grand Cru terroirs of Avize, Oiry and Chouilly, on the right bank, or Côtes des Blancs. These Hébrart plots produce fine, ripe and mineral juice. The Pinot Noir part of this blend comes from the left bank, in the Vallée de la Marne above Mareuil-sur-Ay. Here the old vines grow on steep south facing slopes and the resulting grapes are concentrated and rich, due to the old vines and the clay layers of the soil. Mareuil-sur-Ay is a Premier Cru village (scored 99% in the echelle des crus) and is considered to be one of the very finest of Champagne's Premier Cru villages. Marc Hébrart practices sustainable viticulture. He keeps chemical treatments to a strict minimum on the vines, which have an average age of 36 years.

Pinot Noir 70%, Chardonnay 30%.

Each parcel is gently pressed and vinified separately to preserve their individual characteristics. This wine is made from the coeur de cuvée, the heart of the freerun juice. Fermentation takes place in small tanks. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation. Dégorgement is carried out approximately six months prior to release. Lees ageing is for a minimum of three years, ie that seen by many vintage Champagnes.

An elegant, precise and mineral Champagne; hints of pear and plum are underpinned by a salty backbone and a touch of jasmine on the finish.

£29.60

CHAMPALOU Vouvray Brut NV (1x 75cl)

Pale straw in colour with extremely elegant bubbles and a fine mousse. The palate is fine and elegant with well balanced acidity and a crisp dry finish.
£15.65

Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition producer profile of Charles Heidsieck (see blue link below)...

Charles Heidsieck Blanc De Blancs NV - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Charles Heidsieck is one of the most admired Champagne houses thanks to the unrivalled and consistently high quality of its wines. Founded in 1851 by the man who would become known as ‘Champagne Charlie’, this family-owned house is the smallest of the Grandes Marques. Their size, and commitment to excellence, has been underpinned by a winemaking team that between them have been named 'Sparkling Winemaker of the Year' at the International Wine Challenge 15 times.

Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs combines several of the best Chardonnay crus from three Champagne sub regions. It is made from a majority of crus from the Côte des Blancs (Oger, Vertus), completed by the Montagne de Reims (Villers-Marmery, Trépail, Vaudemange) and the very special cru of Montgueux in the northern part of the Aube, near Troyes.

After the first fermentation, the wines were racked to separate the lees and then underwent malolactic fermentation to soften the natural acidity and to enrich their texture. This 100% Chardonnay blend comprises 25% reserve wines with an average age of five years. All the reserve wines were aged in stainless steel vats on their fine lees. In order to achieve depth and complexity required by the house style, the Blanc de Blancs was aged for four years in Charles Heidsieck’s chalk cellars (The Crayeres), much longer than the legal requirement of 15 months.

Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs is a pale, crystalline gold colour. The nose is characterised by aromas of mature Chardonnay; white peach, candied citrus with notes of lime, honeysuckle and fresh hazelnuts giving way to subtle hints of tangerine and lemon. On the palate, the Blanc de Blancs bears all the hallmarks of a Charles Heidsieck Champagne: boldness, generosity and elegance. Embracing yet light, it displays appealing mineral, slightly salty, iodine notes, and has a silky, creamy texture – unexpected from a Chardonnay – that leaves a lasting impression.

£57.70

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve half bottle (1x37.5cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition producer profile of Charles Heidsieck (see blue link below)...

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Charles Heidsieck is one of the most admired Champagne houses thanks to the unrivalled and consistently high quality of its wines. The current range is one of the most awarded collections of wines in the world. The intricacies of the champagnes' complex make-up have been perfected over the years by one of the most celebrated winemaking teams in Champagne - between three winemakers they have been awarded 'Sparkling Winemaker of the Year' at the International Wine Challenge fifteen times. This winemaking legacy, paired with the house's flamboyant history since its foundation in 1851 by the man who would become known as 'Champagne Charlie', makes it a unique offering from Champagne: a house with great, hand-crafted wines, heritage and proven quality.

Charles Heidsieck have built exceptional relationships with the most experienced growers across the Champagne region, and can draw on a rich palette of crus. Precise selection of grapes takes place from 60 specific sites. Vineyards which are integral to producing grapes which build the house style are Oger for Chardonnay for its texture, floral notes and ageing ability, Ambonnay for Pinot Noir for its power, vinosity and fruit, and Verneuil for Pinot Meunier for its acidity, body and aromatics.

After the first fermentation, the wine is racked to separate the lees and then undergoes malolactic fermentation to soften the natural acidity. After blending, using 40% reserve wines which have an average age of 10 years, the cuvée is bottled and selected yeast added to begin the second fermentation. The bottles are placed in the cellars at a temperature of 10°C. In order to achieve the depth and complexity required by the house style, Charles Heidsieck age their Non-Vintage champagne for 5 years before disgorging, much longer than the legal requirement of 15 months.

The Brut Réserve NV is a radiant pale gold colour with fine, persistent bubbles. The nose is characterised by complex pastry aromas, with an opulent combination of ripe apricot, mango and greengages, dried fruits, pistachio and almond. The palate begins with a silky-smooth sensation, developing into ripe fleshy apricot, melon and enticing plum pastry notes and delicate spice. There is perfect balance of freshness and generosity.

£22.65

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition producer profile of Charles Heidsieck (see blue link below)...

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Charles Heidsieck is one of the most admired Champagne houses thanks to the unrivalled and consistently high quality of its wines. The current range is one of the most awarded collections of wines in the world. The intricacies of the champagnes' complex make-up have been perfected over the years by one of the most celebrated winemaking teams in Champagne - between three winemakers they have been awarded 'Sparkling Winemaker of the Year' at the International Wine Challenge fifteen times. This winemaking legacy, paired with the house's flamboyant history since its foundation in 1851 by the man who would become known as 'Champagne Charlie', makes it a unique offering from Champagne: a house with great, hand-crafted wines, heritage and proven quality.

Charles Heidsieck have built exceptional relationships with the most experienced growers across the Champagne region, and can draw on a rich palette of crus. Precise selection of grapes takes place from 60 specific sites. Vineyards which are integral to producing grapes which build the house style are Oger for Chardonnay for its texture, floral notes and ageing ability, Ambonnay for Pinot Noir for its power, vinosity and fruit, and Verneuil for Pinot Meunier for its acidity, body and aromatics.

After the first fermentation, the wine is racked to separate the lees and then undergoes malolactic fermentation to soften the natural acidity. After blending, using 40% reserve wines which have an average age of 10 years, the cuvée is bottled and selected yeast added to begin the second fermentation. The bottles are placed in the cellars at a temperature of 10°C. In order to achieve the depth and complexity required by the house style, Charles Heidsieck age their Non-Vintage champagne for 5 years before disgorging, much longer than the legal requirement of 15 months.

The Brut Réserve NV is a radiant pale gold colour with fine, persistent bubbles. The nose is characterised by complex pastry aromas, with an opulent combination of ripe apricot, mango and greengages, dried fruits, pistachio and almond. The palate begins with a silky-smooth sensation, developing into ripe fleshy apricot, melon and enticing plum pastry notes and delicate spice. There is perfect balance of freshness and generosity.

£39.60

Charles Heidsieck Rosé Millésimé 2005 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition producer profile of Charles Heidsieck (see blue link below)...

Charles Heidsieck Rosé Millésimé 2005 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

The 2005 harvest in Champagne was particularly successful due to a cold, dry winter, an early heat wave in June that promoted  flowering, a reasonable amount of rainfall in the summer and, finally, a return to high temperatures in early September, ideal for ripening the grapes.

The  first grapes were brought in on 9 September. The weather was magnificent, cool, dry and sunny. Cool nights helped to boost the level of sugar in the grapes. Thanks to the heat and rain, grapes were plump, heavier than average and showed an exemplary level of sugar with a potential alcohol level of about 10%. In addition to these promising points, excellent acidity ensured perfect balance and very promising ageing potential for this vintage. First tastings reveal exceptional chardonnays, and subtle and aromatic pinots noirs.

The 2005 Rosé took its time to mature: thanks to the sunlight during the year, it developed a generous angular structure that, over the years, became full-bodied and radiant. After more than 10 years on the lees, the wine has today fulfilled its promise, redolent and powerful with excellent ageing potential.

The 2005 Rosé Millésimé has an elegant pearly pink colour with a delicate, joyful effervescence. The nose initially offers a deep and powerful luxuriance with notes of kirsch and exceptionally ripe cherries,  fleshy plums, pomegranates and cranberries. Rich, radiant and generous, this cornucopia of ripe fruit introduces a universe redolent with pastry, with the notes of brioche and fresh butter that characterise the spirit of this vintage. On the palate there are subtle flavours of candied grapefruit and warm underbrush. Unbridled and indulgent, the wine is luxurious, with a powerful palate and terrific breadth. The palate thrills to the full body and long-lasting aromatic persistence.

£87.00

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.

£25.15

Contero Brachetto Dacqui Docg 2017 (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.

£15.45

Cuvee Prestige Millesime, Champagne Gobillard 2011 (1x75cl)

the 2010 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition panel review of Vintage Champagne (see blue link below).

Gobillard Cuvee Prestige Brut 2010 - January 2018 Decanter review

Hard to believe today, perhaps, but the 1930s were a tough time in Champagne. Only the most famous names were enjoying success and prosperity, while smaller producers and growers suffered in relative poverty. All of which makes Gervais Gobillard’s decision to branch out on his own, buying two hectares of vines in Hautvillers in 1933, particularly courageous. This is the true heart of Champagne. Thierry lives about 10 metres from the grave of Dom Pérignon, and decades of hard work have secured 26 hectares of vines, much of it Premier Cru. Grapes from carefully selected growers are also sourced, yielding a range of Champagnes that accentuate brightness, minerality and elegance over power and richness.

The grapes for this cuvée are selected from old vines with low production, which have the the best exposure, located mid-slope on the chalk. The base wines from this first plot selection, more concentrated, will then undergo a blind taste test which is very rigorous before it is included in the cuvee that will become the flagship of this Champagne House. 

This fine, vintage 'grower Champagne' is aged for at least four years before it is ready for release, the extended time on the lees creates complex tertiary aromas of dried fruits and hazelnuts that lead to an elegant palate of citrus blossom, greengage and honey. It is a connoisseur's wine, made with hand selected premier cru grapes, delivering the ultimate expression of premium Champagne, a style that will work perfectly as a distinguished food match or sophisticated aperitif.

£31.80

Deutz Brut Classic Champagne (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition review of Value Champagne (see blue link below).

Deutz Brut Classic Champagne - December 2018 Decanter review

A founding member of Champagne’s prestigious Grandes Marques houses, Champagne Deutz of Aÿ, France, has been making distinctive champagnes marked by finesse, elegance and complexity since 1838. The house has upheld the traditions of fine Champagne making handed down through five generations.

Champagne Deutz owns 42 hectares of vineyards, which supply 20% of its grapes. The rest of the grapes are sourced from growers, many of whom have been working with Deutz for generations. Grapes are harvested from the Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, and Vallée de la Marne, with over 80% of the grapes coming from vineyards that are rated Premier or Grand Cru. Harvest is usually around mid September and is done by hand, with pickers paid by the hour rather than the kilo, to ensure they do not compromise on the quality of the fruit that they harvest. Deutz farms all its vineyards according to the principals of la lutte raisonnée.

All the grapes in this blend were pressed and vinified at Deutz’s state of the art winery in Aÿ, with each individual parcel being vinified in its own separate tank. Using Coquard presses, only the free-run juice and first pressing was used for this wine. Following alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the vin clairs were tasted and blended in the Spring following the harvest, with the final assemblage happening in June. At Deutz anywhere between 25% and 40% of the blend will be reserve wines. The wine was then aged for a minimum of 3 years on the lees, and a further 6 months following dégorgement before release.

The Brut Classic represents the distinctive house style of elegance and finesse, which has made Deutz one of the most respected of all Champagne houses. The colour of the wine is an intense gold with fine effervescence that signifies long maturation on the lees. On the nose, the wine initially displays notes of hawthorn and white flowers, which are followed by aromas of toast, marzipan and ripe pears. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and elegant with the freshness of Chardonnay and richness of Pinot Noir. Overall, the wine is well-rounded with a fruity finish. The Brut Classic is an ideal aperitif, served with simple canapés, smoked salmon, crab pâté or Sole a la Meunière.

£42.10

Devaux Cuvee Rosee NV (1x 75cl)

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.

Devaux are Pinot Noir and Rosé specialists. The majority of their vineyards are located in the Aube. This location, on the slopes of the Côte des Bars, is important; it gives Pinot Noir a lovely richness on the nose and finish, yet retains the finesse. Some Chardonnay is included in the blend; this is also grown in the Côte des Bar, with a proportion from the fine chalky soils of the Côte des Blancs to give liveliness and elegance.

Fermented in stainless steel, the traditional method of Rosé production is used, involving the addition of Pinot Noir still wine (14% of the total blend) prior to the second fermentation. The wine undergoes a slow second fermentation in bottle and extended ageing on its lees for 36 months (the legal minimum is 15 months). This gives a finer, more persistent mousse and greater potential for complexity. After disgorgement, the wine receives a Brut dosage of 9g/l. 15% of reserve wines are used in the blend.

Devaux Cuvée Rosée is complex, with very fine bubbles, a creamy mouth-feel, flavours of raspberry, strawberries, some hazelnut notes and a long finish.

£35.95

Devaux D De Devaux Le Rose NV (1x 75cl)

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 Cuvee 'D' wines are Devaux's best wines; the grapes are the very best quality of Champagne, and so the growers are paid accordingly. Devaux are Rosé specialists. The majority of their vineyards are located in the Aube where Pinot Noir is the dominant variety. This location, on the slopes of the Côte des Bars, is important; it gives a lovely richness on the nose and a long finish. Uniquely, almost half of this blend is Chardonnay, giving a delicacy not usually found in most Rosés. The high quality of the fruit from these vineyards ensure that the final dosage is lower than many Rosés.

The fermentation and malolactic fermentation are in stainless steel. This Rosé is made traditionally, by the addition of Pinot Noir still wine (which forms 11% of the total). The liqueur de tirage is added and the wine undergoes a slow second fermentation in bottle and extended ageing on its lees for five years (the legal minimum is 15 months). This results in a wine with a finer, more persistent mousse and greater potential for complexity. After disgorgement, the wine receives a light Brut dosage of 8g/l.

This is the most delicate of the Devaux Rosé Champagnes with the greater percentage of Chardonnay contributing a firm, elegant freshness to the palate. Fresh red fruit aromas from the Pinot Noir combine with a hint of hazelnut complexity which was encouraged by extended ageing on the lees when in bottle.

£49.85
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