(2024) Chablis producer Simonnet-Febvre produces this Chardonnay-based sparking wine, matured for 24 months on the lees. Fresh and lively on the nose, crisp apple and lemon notes with just a background layer of biscuity autolysis. In the mouth this has quite a fruity appeal, ripe apple and pear, with a gentle nuttiness playing against the dosage and acidity of the finish.
(2024) "Has he gone mad?" I hear you ask. A cheap, sweet, fizzy wine from a little known wine corner of Spain? Well, its all about context here, and during 'Dry January' when many people are attempting to cut down, I'd rather drink this 5% alcohol confection than any number of de-alcoholised 'wines' on the market. Think Moscato d'Asti and you are in the right ballpark, with plenty of icing sugar and bon-bon charm but, crucially, the right level of balancing acidity and just £4.99 on a mixed dozen deal. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2024) De-alcoholised wine, blended with grape must, and carbonated, the recipe does not inspire confidence. The product is pleasant enough in a generic way, a little bit sweet, fizzy and with herby aromas and flavours. I remain to be convinced that any zero alcohol fizz will replace a Sparkling wine on a like for like basis, but it is not unpleasant.
(2024) This is a singe vineyard Cava, 100% Xarel·lo from the 8.5 hectare L’Olivera vineyard of deep and sandy soils, rich in organic matter. It is the highest altitude terroir of Juve & Camps between 170 and 200 metres. It is cellared for at least 36 months on the lees and has less than 1g/l of residual sugar. The mousse is strong as it pours, with wonderfully custardy aromas, baked apple pie, with bready and herbal notes too. In the mouth there is a richness that easily compensates for the lack of sugar; it is full and creamy, with a firm, apple core and a mineral aspect to the acidity. This bottling was disgorged April 2023
(2024) This is 100% Pinot Noir, which undergoes a minimum of 36 months on the lees. It was bottled with 7.5g/l of residual sugar. Aromatically it is much brighter and more sherbetty than the Olivera. Bready notes sit beneath, yeasty and adding some breadth. The palate is fruity and citrussy, pink grapefruit is zesty and the finish has plenty of tangy freshness to slice through the sweeter fruit.
(2024) Like the other vintage wines here, aged 36 months on the lees and from a single, south-facing vineyard. 100% Chardonnay, it has 8g/l of residual sugar. There's a bright, citrus and herbal nose here, though a sheen of almond and oatmeal softens that. Delicate white flower notes flit around the edges. Racy on the palate, again I think of almonds, but juicy yellow apples and a streak of lemon and sherbet cut through the satisfying finish.
(2024) The Cava triumverate of Xarel·lo, Macabeo and Parellada are blended here with Chardonnay, aged for over 50 months on the lees. It is Brut, with around 7g/l of residual sugar, and pours with plentiful miniscule bubbles, with aromas of baked apple pie and warm brioche over lemon zest. The signature herb and flower nuances just discernible. In the mouth there's a richness and luxurious quality, the dosage is modest but there's a sweet fruit ripeness to the mid-palate. The bakery aromas translate into custardy creaminess on the palate, but with plenty of freshness too for a distinctive Cava.
(2023) Philipponnat is a significant grower, with 20 hectares of Premier and Grand Cru Vineyards in Aÿ, Mareuil and Avenay. Pinot Noir represents two-thirds of their plantings and is the backbone of their cuvées. In this case the base vintage is 2019 with 67% Pinot Noir, 31% Chardonnay and 2% Meunier, though 34% of the blend is reserve wine. The dosage is a modest 8g/l and the wine was disgorged in February 2023. There's a pretty and approachable character here, a particularly fragrant floral and herbal lift to the aromas, then a nutty depth of autolysis fills in beneath. The mousse is cushioning and rich, and though the sheer sweetness and richness of the fruit gives lovely generosity through the mid-palate, there's no shortage of shimmering lemony and salty acidity into the finish.
(2023) A traditional method, 100% Pinot Noir English sparkling wine, aged on the lees for at least 12 months. There is a hint of pink/bronze to the colour, and a steady stream of small bubbles as it pours. Aromatically, pastry notes over raspberry and lemon suggest freshness but with a little creamier, even gently baked character. The palate is fresh and crisply driven by lemon and yellow apples, but the dosage adds a balancing sweetness and gives an overall richness and easy-drinking character.
(2023) Sparkling Albarino is still something of a rarity, but this is a fine example that suggests we should see more. Bone dry with its zero dosage, there's an oyster shell character on the nose, apple and a little hint of nuttiness. The palate has searing acidity, again the saline character unmissable. A little ripeness to the mid-palate fruit hints at peach. Most enjoyable. Multibuy price £26.55.