Three Sparkling Wines for Christmas

(2022) Rioja's CVNE make this wine in Penedès near Barcelona, the main region of Cava production. It's made of the three classic Cava varieties. It has a really inviting nose, creamy with custardy brioche, and a ripe, golden delicious apple fruitiness. In the mouth keen, crisp acidity slices through toasty and nutty richness, in a very stylish, easy-drinking and moreish sparkling wine. The price of £9.99 if buying a mixed six bottles (or one in Scotland) is very attractive.
(2022) Eighty-five percent of Taittinger's blend is vinified as a white Champagne, before 15% of Pinot Noir, made as a red wine with skin contact, is blended. That gives a relatively deep colour, and plenty of warm, creamy strawberry fruit character. In the mouth there is a perception of sweetness because of that pretty and ripe fruit, though of course this is Brut, and little toasty notes mingle with red berries before a fresh, appetising finish. A very nice style from the family-owned Taittinger. Quite widely available (also in Tesco, Morrison and independents too) for between around £39 to £45 per bottle.
(2022) A recent survey carried out by Kent's Gusbourne estate suggested 60% of people intended to drink English sparkling wine over the festive season. Presumably some of them will be be sipping this all-Chardonnay cuvée, which comes from one of England's leading producers in my opinion. A selection of the best grapes, it's a wine that Gusbourne say has the qualities for extending ageing. A small percentage was fermented in oak, it spent 33 months on the lees and was bottled with just over 11g/l of residual sugar. The nose is expressively Chardonnay, with cool, but creamy buttery brioche aromas, a hint of nuttiness and plenty of fresh English orchard fruit. The mousse is cushioning and rich, the wine has a mouth-filling creaminess with hints of toasty barrel in the background, but a rush of ripe apples and lemon, a tang of saltiness and very good balance and length.

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