Let’s Get Bubbly
Most of us don’t drink enough bubbles during the year, tending to focus more on whites and reds, leaving sparkling wine (and rosé) to fight for their moment of glory.
But this is the time of the year when the stage lights are pointing towards sparkling wines so this last post of the year will dedicate to this special variety.
There are three main ways of making sparking wines, the tradition method (also knows as the champagne method), the tank method (like prosecco) and the carbonation method (frizzante). The first two require secondary fermentation, the traditional in done in the bottle and the tank in a tank.
The four wines for this festive season are all done using the traditional method and all have something special and interesting, something different from the traditional non-vintage champagne and prosecco.
Our first choice comes from the Lombardia region in Italy, the appellation called Franciacorta. Ca’ del Bosco Vintage Collectio Satèn. Satèn, meaning ‘silk’, is unique to the Franciacorta region and allows it to stand out from other Franciacorta and also Champagne as it has less pressure in the bottle: five bars compared with six.
Vintage Collection Satèn 2016 is obtained from a skillful blend of 16 Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco base wines. Less sugar is added than for other Franciacortas, giving the wine a creamy mouthfeel and a particularly soft, elegant sensory profile that is further enhanced by leisurely bottle ageing. Smooth, luxurious, ripe, soft, rounded. Evokes the enchanting sensuality of the woman of one's heart. One of those wines that thrill the senses.
We move on to the most famous of them all, Champagne. Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d'Or 2006. The Palmes d’ Or is the top wines produced by Nicolas Feuillatte or as they like to call it in Champagne the Cuvée de Prestige. This champagne is elegant, harmonious and blooming. Complex and distinguished, Palmes d’Or Brut Vintage 2006 encompasses all of the elegance and finesse of Chardonnay combined with the full body of Pinot Noir. Always a vintage, only exceptional harvests are deemed worthy of being part of its composition. The bottle is also very eye-capturing and always makes an impact whether as a gift or cracking it open at a party.
We stay in France, but move to the region of Burgundy. More famous for the white from Chardonnay and reds from Pinot Noir, in our opinion Burgundy makes the best crémant in France. Crémant is always produced using the traditional method but follows different ageing regulations. This Albert Bichot Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé is a blend of Pinot Noir (80%), Chardonnay and Gamay. The Pinot Noir offers delight and intense fruit aromas whereas the Chardonnay brings the floral notes and its freshness. The Gamay is the perfect additional touch, thanks to its crispness and liveliness. Fine, even bubbles. Berries (blackcurrant, raspberry) on the nose with a touch of citrus, followed by a delectable palate bursting with vivacity and freshness.
For our last wine we go to Spain; Bodegas Muga Cava Conde de Haro Rosé. Bright, pale salmon-pink colour thanks to the garnacha grape. The slow fermentation process gives the cava a delicate string of fine bubbles which are proof of its careful production process. A medium-high, complex aromatic intensity, with aromas of exotic fruit, citrus notes of grapefruit bringing fresh acidity, stone fruit like peaches and even a few reminders of the baker’s shop.
A slightly sweet attack evolves into fresh, sharp acidity. A pleasant mouth feel thanks to the finesse of the bubbles and the work with the lees during the riddling process. In the aftertaste, the aromatic complexity we found on the nose returns with outstanding fruit aromas. This is a long, persistent cava that is easy to drink, the unmistakable signs of its fine quality.
We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year 2022.