(2020) Champagne house Pommery were early investors in English vineyards, with their own 40-hectare site about to come on stream. For now, they are buying English fruit from Hampshire and making this wine in facilities borrowed from Hattingley Valley estate. It's a traditional method wine, made from the Champagne grapes, and it is beautifully pitched: there is a hint of biscuit and truffle on the nose, but much more about citrus and English orchard fruit. The palate shows lovely fruit sweetness, and the dosage adding an extra element of approachability, but the acid balance on persitence of the mousse if excellent. Not cheap, but a nice way to celebrate English Wine Week, which starts today. Watch the video for more information.
(2020) Clear, clean, elderflower and a touch of grapefruit, a tiny proportion barrel-fermented. A textural uplift, super sweet fruit and the long, extended lemon and lime zestiness.
(2020) More herbaceous punch than the Kono Sauvignon, plenty of orange and zestiness, and a peach juice freshness and juiciness. Price and stockists for a previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) Traditional Marlborough style, made predominantly with Wairau fruit including fruit from the Dillons Point vineyard with heavy soils that give tropical fruit. A touch of gooseberry and more herbaceous character, but majors on the peach and nectarine fruit, a nice balance of sweetness and fresh limey acidity, a successful commercial style for the biggest selling NZ wine in Australia.
(2019) Noval's LBV is a serious interpretation of the style, unfiltered so it will continue to develop in bottle, as indeed it has since my previous tasting around one year ago. Glorious nose, blueberry crumble straight from the oven, lovely floral high notes of violet, and underpinned by cocoa. The spirit is barely discernable. In the mouth it's more of the same: that ripe, creamy blue/black richness of fruit, alluring sweetness and those more ethereal, lifted kirsch notes, yet the chocolate and the dry weight of tannins give it power and structure to match up to that opulence. I suggest you decant before serving as is it will throw a sediment, but watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.

Note: until 2nd January 2020 Ocado has this for £18.25, and the fabulous 2003 Colheita from Noval is £32.99 (£10 off) - that's a great price for a brilliant vintage tawny.
(2019) Taittinger Brut ReserveBrut Réserve is hte cornerstone of Taittinger's extremely impressive portfolio: indeed the selection of Grande Marque Champagnes featured in this report includes many of the best and most reliable 'standard' Brut wines  from the major houses, and that certainly includes Taittinger. It's also widely available in supermakets and indepedent merchants, and for Christmas many have offers on, bringing the price down to around £27/£28 which is an excellent price for the quality. It's an approachable and crowd-pleasing style with its upfront, fragrant aromas of peachy fruitiness, floral notes and biscuit, the 40% Chardonnay and three years on the lees enhancing that (also 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier). The palate is on the sumptuous side, expansive and creamy, a level of sweetness making it feel rather luxurious, thought that's not at the expensive of excellent acidity and clarity in the finish.  On offer in Ocado until the 2nd January 2020, but use the wine-searcher link for many other stockists and plenty of festive discount prices.
(2019) Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and aged on the lees in bottle for 11 months before release, there's an attractive peachy-pink hue here, and good moderately small bubbles. On the nose some hawthorne and blackcurrant and a pastille/confectionery brightness. In the mouth there's a flattering sweetness to this, emphasised by its relatively soft acidity that gives it copious easy-drinking, summery charm. Down to just over £10 at time of review, that's the target price for this excellent party fizz.
(2019) I wrote recently about my tasting of the super-expensive Armand de Brignac Gold Brut Champagne, which comes in striking metallic bottle. Well, for Christmas 2019 those without the necessary £200 might consider this fun alternative, a limited edition sporting its own shiny gold party frock. There's no mistaking it for expensive Champagne, but it is a very nice rendition of Prosecco, a super-clean and fresh example, all cool pear fruit, touches of floral character and it is Brut, so not too much sweetness to finish. It's a bit of a gifting banker for Christmas with its glittery appeal, and it is down to £10.99 in Ocado from 4th December 2019 through until New Year's Day. Watch the video for more information.
(2019) Neither is a grape you think of immediately for sparkling wine, but coming from Bordeaux here we have the entirely local blend of Sémillon and Cabernet Franc from the chalk/clay soils of the Entre Deux Mers, and made by the traditional method with nine months ageing on the lees in bottle. Bubbles are moderately small, and the nose offers a nice biscuity character along with soft lemon and green apple fruit. In the mouth it is fresh and zippy, reminiscent of a Prosecco with its easy approachability, but the ageing does add a creamy layer before a smooth finish, framed by soft-ish acidity. An alternative to Prosecco, rather than to Champagne. A party buy - especially if there are discount deals on this for Christmas. Watch the video for more information.
(2019) Organic and eco-friendly with mostly recycled packaging, this Sicilian white is the epitome of easy-drinking, fruity and fresh with peach and juicy lemon, good balancing acidity and drinking either as an aperitif or with lighter salads and summer fish dishes. Pleasant drinking.