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 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.
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.
Awarded 98 points and ultra-rare Exceptional status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2017 edition review of Grower Champagne (see blue links below).
This is quite some Champagne and remarkable for the price. The varietal mix is equal thirds of the classic trio of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Grapes are grown only on vineyards of Premier Cru villages (you'd easily clear £30 a bottle for this privilege normally) on the Coteaux de Cumières and Hautvillers in the Marne Valley, yielding great intensity and concentration.
One expects exhilarating acidity and and citrus zing in almost any Champagne - this does these in spades - but what makes it really stand out are both the ripeness of fruit flavours and the delicate florality of the nose. Pierre Bertrand see that fruitiness as “damson and pear” while we at Exel thought more “peach and nectarine”; either way, this is one seriously fruity mouthful. Florally, the makers go with “hawthorn flower” and we are not botanically inclined to disagree. At 7g/l of dosage/residual sugar, this is a drier Brut, but the fruit ripeness adds an exciting extra sensation of sweetness. Finally, Pierre Bertrand are rightly proud of their mousse onctueuse – smooth mousse – and we concur: it makes for a truly delicious Champagne experience.
"Ruggeri - hands down, this is one of the top five Prosecco producers", Decanter, July 2013
The Ruggeri winery was established in 1950 by Giustino Bisol, whose family boasts a deeply rooted, centuries-old tradition in viticulture in the Valdobbiadene area. The winery was established in Santo Stefano di Valdobbiadene to produce and promote the sparkling Prosecco Superiore and Cartizze wines. It was originally housed in small premises in the village of Santo Stefano di Valdobbiadene. After a temporary move to a larger site in the centre of the village, in the early Nineties it was relocated to new, larger and more rational premises which can receive and process almost 3,000 tons of grapes which are brought there every harvest. Today the winery is run by Paolo Bisol, who is assisted by his children Giustino and Isabella.
The Prosecco Superiore DOCG grapes are usually delivered by over a hundred vine-growers. Nearly all of them have their vineyards in the municipality of Valdobbiadene, while 25 also grow Cartizze grapes. It should be noted that many of the superior vineyards lie in the historic districts of San Pietro di Barbozza. Santo Stefano and Saccol, which have always been renowned for producing the best in terms of quality. Ruggeri owns a small vineyard of Cartizze and 20 hectares on the nearby Montello, 12 of them are cultivated with Pinot Grigio and Glera (traditionally called Prosecco). About 1 hectare is dedicated to the growing of Recantina, an ancient and authochtonous red grape variety which was recovered thanks to the hard work of cooperation with the Istituto Sperimentale Per la Viticoltura di Conegliano (School of Viticulture of Conegliano).
See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Ruggeri (English at the bottom).