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Sparkling Wines

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Devaux Grande Reserve NV (1x 75cl)

Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition review of Value Champagne.

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 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 this variety a lovely Pinot Noir richness on the nose and a long 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. The high quality of the fruit from these vineyards ensure that the final dosage is low.

The base wine was fermented in stainless steel, followed by malolactic fermentation to give extra suppleness. The blending of wines from different vineyards and from different harvests ensures the consistency of the NV Grande Reserve. The blend comprises 20% reserve wines, half of which are aged in French oak vats. Following bottling, the liqueur de tirage was added and the wine underwent a slow second fermentation in bottle and extended ageing on its lees for 36 months (the legal minimum is 15 months). This resulted in a wine with a finer, more persistent mousse and greater potential for complexity. After disgorgement, the wine received a light Brut dosage of 9g/l.

The wine has a lovely Pinot Noir richness on the nose, with aromas of baked apples and vanilla. On the palate, it is full, rounded and well balanced, with a lively, persistent finish.

£32.15

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.

Grapes for this Crémant de Bourgogne were grown in the Aladame family's Montagny vineyards, in the far south of the Côte Chalonnaise. This is a Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, made only from white grapes, from the classic Burgundy grape, Chardonnay.

The grapes are picked by hand in open boxes and gently pressed immediately after. The first fermentation is carried out in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks. The wine is then bottled and stored on shelves for 9 months. The length of time before release varies depending on the vintage.

100% Chardonnay (it's a Blanc de Blancs!)

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.

£17.55

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

Gobillard Brut Baron De Marck NV (1x 75cl)

Gobillard is located in the heart of Champagne just 5km from Epernay. The village of Hautvillers dominates the vineyard with its abbey, where the infamous Dom Pérignon is reported to have created the first champagne bubbles. Passion, dynamism and competence define this family business, from the work in the vineyard to marketing, each step is carried out with respect for the traditions of Champagne.

The grapes are pressed very gently and varieties are vinified separately off the skins to produce a low alcohol dry white wine which is racked and allowed to mature in tank until the spring. The lots are then blended together, using some reserve wines from earlier fine vintages. The resulting wine is then bottled with special "flocculent" yeasts and sugars and is refermented under a crown cap. There follows a period of ageing, when the yeasts flavour the wine and give it characteristic brioche aromas. Gobillard then opens the bottles ("dégorgement"), removing the yeast in the process, adds a dosage of grape sugars, inserts the characteristic mushroom cork, and ships the wine.

Much of the trick in buying Champagne lies in finding a good one without being taken for a ride pricewise, often by the draw of the big names. This Baron de Marck has a beautiful and pure fruit character as well as a hint of brioche, giving it a soft rounded flavour. This is a Champagne which is perfect as an aperitif or with canapés and nibbles or with lighter dishes. Great Champagne, great price.

£26.10

Gobillard Brut Grande Reserve Premier Cru NV (1x 75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition review of Value Champagne (see blue link below).

Gobillard Brut Grande Reserve Premier Cru NV - December 2018 Decanter review

Gobillard is located in the heart of Champagne just 5km from Epernay. The village of Hautvillers dominates the vineyard with its abbey, where the infamous Dom Pérignon is reported to have created the first champagne bubbles. Passion, dynamism and competence define this family business, from the work in the vineyard to marketing, each step is carried out with respect for the traditions of Champagne.

This Champagne is made up of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier. Around 30% of the wine used in the final blend is reserve wine that has been reincorporated during the assemblage to obtain the best quality and consistency each year. The Grand Reserve is made using grapes from Premiers Cru vineyards, mostly from Hautvillers, but also from Cumières and Dizy.

It has a powerful yet elegant nose, is round in the mouth, ample, silky, fruity and fine. This is a Champagne displaying harmony. It spent 3 years ageing in the cellar. Its aromas are redolent of citrus blossom, followed by a delicate and precise palate showing greengages and honey. The long finish is dominated by toasty brioche notes.

£32.45

Gobillard Brut Rosé NV (1x 75cl)

Gobillard is located in the heart of Champagne just 5km from Epernay. The village of Hautvillers dominates the vineyard with its abbey, where the infamous Dom Pérignon is reported to have created the first champagne bubbles. Passion, dynamism and competence define this family business, from the work in the vineyard to marketing, each step is carried out with respect for the traditions of Champagne.

Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay make up this champagne in equal parts.  It spends two years ageing in the cellar before being released to the market.

This Champagne has a subtle nose of red fruits with good body and structure in the mouth which are followed by a long elegant finish. Its salmon colour is enhanced by a transparent bottle.

£31.90

Gobillard Brut Tradition NV (1x 75cl)

Gobillard is located in the heart of Champagne just 5km from Epernay. The village of Hautvillers dominates the vineyard with its abbey, where the infamous Dom Pérignon is reported to have created the first champagne bubbles. Passion, dynamism and competence define this family business, from the work in the vineyard to marketing, each step is carried out with respect for the traditions of Champagne.

This Champagne is a traditional blend of the three Champagne grape varieties. Around 30% of the wine used in the final blend is reserve wine that has been reincorporated during the assemblage to obtain the best quality and consistency each year. It spends a minimum of two years ageing in cellar. 

The Brut Tradition Champagne has a fine and elegant nose, but is always supple, fruity and balanced in the mouth.

£31.85

Gonzalez Byass Vilarnau Rosado NV (1x 75cl)

Vilarnau Cava is made in a state of the art winery, with sleek minimalist design. The estate lies 250 metres above sea level, enjoying a Mediterranean climate. It is shielded by the Montserrat Mountains to the north and the Littoral range to the south. The winery is located close to the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona. Specialising in small-scale, artisan production of exclusive, high quality cavas, the winery shares its innovative, creative and dynamic nature with Spain’s most avant-garde city.

The red Trepat and Pinot Noir grapes macerate at 8°C for 18 hours in contact with the skins so as to extract the maximum colour and aromas. In these varieties the precursors of the aroma are found primarily in the skin. By tchilling the grapes they manage to protect these precursors which will later turn into the primary aromas that are characteristic of this wine, namely floral and ripe red fruit. After maceration, the must which is already pink is crushed. This is then fermented in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 14°C. The wine is then blended and bottled with the second fermentation taking place in bottle over a period of around 6 weeks at a constant temperature of 15°C.  This cava remains in contact with the yeast for at least 15 months. 

This cava is an intense pink colour with great aromatic complexity and it reflects the Mediterranean character of the area where it is made. With plenty of sunlight the grapes here ripen more fully, thus developing greater colour and aromartic complexity than is perhaps expected.

Trepat and Pinot Noir grapes give this delicious pink fizz a bright redcurrant colour, and vibrant ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit characters. Aged for 18 months prior to disgorgement, it is soft and juicy in character with refreshing balanced acidity – the perfect aperitif.

£12.90

Graham Beck Brut Rose NV (1x75cl)

The foundations for the success of the Graham Beck brand were laid in 1983 when the late Graham Beck purchased Madeba, a farm located outside the Western Cape town of Robertson. It was his ardent ambition to establish a world-class winery in this area that saw the erection of a state-of-the-art cellar. The cornerstones of the Beck family ethos were entrenched from the very start – contributing to the passion and dedication that continues to drive the entire team today. From grape to glass the entire process of producing a Graham Beck Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) relies on meticulous attention to detail, dedication to authenticity, precision timing and plenty of patience. At Graham Beck the team is passionate about the pursuit of the perfect bubble – a golden thread of excellence runs throughout the entire process and portfolio. 

To see the winemaker's excellent notes on this wine, please click on the blue link below.
 

 Graham Beck Brut Rose NV - fiche technique

£15.70
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