(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.