50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016

Page 1

5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

ED. 2016


CONTENTS

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

03 INTRODUCTION

04 TRADITIONAL METHOD

06 TASTING NOTES & SCORES

16 WINERIES

05 CHARMAT METHOD

2


INTRODUCTION

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

Dear Sparkling Wine lover! It is my great pleasure to present you to the third edition of 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World. Close on 100 sparkling wines were entered from diverse terroirs and countries such as: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa and Spain. A team of experienced wine tasters reviewed sparkling wines from around the world in blind tastings. We looked at body, colour, clarity and bubbles. We tasted for acidity, mouth-feel and mousse, finish, balance, sweetness and overall flavour. We searched deep for primary and secondary aromas and bouquet. In the case of sparkling wines made using the traditional method these were classified and tasted according to dosage and ageing time on the lees. Sparkling wines made using the Charmat method were classified and tasted according to dosage. This year saw a couple of Frizzantes make the 50 Greats. Quality was high - all of the Sparkling wines included in this book have scored at least 89 points. Some nice prices too with most ranging from 7 to 50 Euros making them affordable for not only special occasions but also for aperitifs and slow cooking meals with family and friends.

But that’s not all! We have also compiled a one page article on all of the participating wineries covering family history, winery philosophy, grape varieties, location and wine tourism options. We hope you find them interesting and useful and if you are planning a wine tasting tour in the future be sure to include them in your itinerary. We hope that you enjoy this list of exciting values, emerging stars, wineries to visit and time-honored stalwarts and that our 50 Great Sparkling Wines of 2016 leads you to more deeply explore the world of sparkling wine both at home or when holidaying in a wine region!

Anthony Swift Director 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016.

3


TRADITIONAL METHOD

Although it is the most laborious of sparkling winemaking methods, The Traditional Method is continuously used throughout the world, and for many, is the preferred process. In this process, there are two fermentations. After the first, which takes place in a large tank or barrel, the created base still wine is blended, a procedure known as assemblage, according to the producer’s style and quality requirements. The blended wine is then poured into an individual bottle along with the ever important ingredients: yeast and sugar. The bottles are then closed with crown caps and placed on their side in a cellar environment of approximately 10 degrees celcius, thus beginning the second fermentation process.

Stimulated by the yeast and sugar, an additional amount of alcohol is created along with sparkling wine’s most necessary ingredient, CO2. After this fermentation is complete, the wine is left sur lie, resting on the dead yeast cells that have developed in each bottle. During this portion of the process, known technically as autolysis, proteins, amino acids, and other compounds within the dead yeast cells are released and broken down. Lasting anywhere from 9 months to several years, this stage has been said to create a wine’s complexity. In fact, many old world sparkling wines, such as Cava or Franciacorta, have minimum sur lie aging standards.

While the sur lie process yields complexity, it also yields a large amount of sediment, clouding the wine. To remove this sediment, the bottles are slowly and carefully riddled each day. Though it was traditionally performed by hand, today, machines efficiently carry out the process until all of the sediment has collected in the neck of the bottle, at which point it must be disgorged. Some wineries of course still riddle by hand. Disgorgement takes place when the neck of the bottle is frozen in a bath of freezing brine. Once frozen, the crown cap is removed and the frozen lees sediment ejects itself from the bottle, which is quickly topped with a mixture called the liqeur d’expédition or dosage, consisting of wine and sugar. This mixture defines whether a sparkling wine is Brut, Demi-Sec, Sec, etc. Finally, the end product is closed with a cork, wire muzzle, and foil. However, it is then usually left to rest for six or more additional months in order to allow the dosage to become fully incorporated before being sold.

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

4


CHARMAT METHOD

Charmat Method, also known as tank method or “Cuve Close�, is the quickest and most efficient way of creating sparkling wine. While this method also involves two fermentation processes, unlike the Tradional Method, the Charmat Method’s second fermentation process takes place in large, closed, pressurized tanks. Before this tank is sealed, a mixture of yeast and sugar is added in order to induce fermentation. The CO2 produced during this fermentation is trapped in the wine, producing the bubbles. It is said that Charmat Method wines undergo much less lees contact, but paddles or agitators can be placed within the tank to ensure more frequent contact. After this fermentation is complete, the wine must be fined and filteration takes place to remove the lees and other sediment. Finally, a mix of sugar and wine which defines whether a wine is Brut, Demi-Sec, Sec, etc., is added to the tank and the end product is bottled under pressure to preserve the bubbles in the bottle. Though it is obviously a less time consuming process than the Traditional Method, The Charmat Method is noted to be a much less expensive process as well. Furthermore, it is credited with better preserving the freshness and aromatic qualities of the wine.

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

5


6

TASTING NOTES & SCORES


TASTING NOTES & SCORES AWARD

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

TRADITIONAL METHOD AWARD

AWARD

G

G

G

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Champagne Collet Esprit Couture

Royal Millenium Edition

Champagne Collet Colletion Privée Vintage 2006

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Champagne Collet Cogevi France Champagne

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Aera Vinum Wein Austria Southern Styria

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Champagne Collet Cogevi France Champagne

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2006

60

98

145

2000

36

98

19,5

2006

72

98

56

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier Very broad mature aroma with bread, figs and nuts. Artfully blended with a palate of ripe fruit and a full body. Rich and balanced.

Grape Varieties: Welschriesling, Rheinriesling, Chardonnay & Gruener Veltliner Notes of honey, ripe banana, apricot jam and citrus. Palate is rich and fat with baked apple and pear flavours. Nice seam of acidity throughout. Zesty long finish.

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Showing full maturity with lovely brazil nuts, ripe figs, brioche and honey characters on the nose. Ripe stoned fruit palate. Fine mousse and structural texture with great balance and delicate autolysis. Zesty lingering finish.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

G

G

G

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Terre & Mer Brut

Franciacorta Satèn

Lobban Sparkling Shiraz

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Les Caves Richemer France Languedoc-Roussillon

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Corte Aura Italy Franciacorta

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Lobban Wines Spain Penedès

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2013

10

96

6,3

2009

24

96

35

NV

36

96

15

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Terret Blanc Fresh orange and floral notes. Fruity attack with sprightly acidity. Clean lines. Short pleasant finish. Youthful

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay Stewed pear & apricot aroma with a round ripe palate that is creamy and a bit floral. Smooth mousse. Well balanced. Long, very well sustained finish.

Grape Varieties: Shiraz Lovely intensity on the nose of black olive, liquorice and black cherry. Fruity entrance and on the mid palate lots of lovely flavours mingling together. Rounded tannin. Balanced finish.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

7


TASTING NOTES & SCORES AWARD

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

TRADITIONAL METHOD AWARD

AWARD

G

G

G

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Champagne Collet Millésime 2004

Távora-Varosa Sparkling Brut White Reserva

Franciacorta Rosé

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Champagne Collet Cogevi France Champagne

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Casca Wines Portugal Távora - Varosa

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Corte Aura Italy Franciacorta

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2004

84

96

37,5

2010

30

96

12,95

2011

24

95

35

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier A bit of a tight nose but with a well balanced citrusy palate. Keen seam of acidity which maintains freshness. Pleasant nutty lingering finish.

Grape Varieties: Touriga Nacional & Malvasia Fina Fine florality with good natural richness of fruit. Rich but precise palate, with ample ripe apple and brioche, and a great seam of acidity. Impressive persitence and lovely finish.

Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay Busy nose of peach blossom, strawberry, water melon & almond. Loads of red fruit on the palate. Well balanced acidity & sweetness. Elegant.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

G

G

G

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

The Rosé

La Rosita

Brut Rosé - Millesimato

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Velenosi Italy Marche

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Lobban Wines Spain Penedès

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Baracchi Italy Tuscany

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2010

48

95

19

2013

12

95

10

2013

24

94

35

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Pinot Nero Red fruits, bakewell tart and hints of fennel on the nose. Fine mousse and structural texture with great balance and delicate autolysis. Delicious.

Grape Varieties: Garnacha Fresh nose with notes of fuzzy peaches, strawberry, water melon and a delicate fennel tang. Attack of strawberry which moves over the palate. Creamy texture. Balanced. Zesty persistent finish.

Grape Varieties: Sangiovese An elegant subtle style with good fruit weight on the palate and a dynamic tension in the structure. A classy sparkling wine.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

8


TASTING NOTES & SCORES AWARD

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

TRADITIONAL METHOD AWARD

AWARD

G

G

G

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

La Mascota Sparkling

Dominio de la Vega Brut Reserva

Cava Artemayor

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Mascota Vineyards Argentina Mendoza

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Dominio de la Vega Spain Utiel-Requena

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Dominio de la Vega Spain Utiel-Requena

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2013

15

94

14,99

NV

22

94

9

NV

36

94

25

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir A wonderfully lively wine with a real dynamic play between acidity and fresh red summer fruits. Wild strawberry and lemon rind on the nose. A brisk style that is attractive and pleasant.

Grape Varieties: Macabeo & Chardonnay Buttery, baked bread & apple compote nose. Creamy mouthfeel. Ripe & juicy on the palate with subtle sweetness balanced by extract, oak & intrinsic power. Discreet bitter finish.

Grape Varieties: Macabeo & Chardonnay Golden colour. Jammy fruits, toffee & floral on the nose. Creamy & smooth mouthfeel. Peach, caramelly lemon comfit & wood on the palate.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Col.lecció

Franciacorta Pas Dosè

Titillum Original

G

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Rovellats Spain Penedès

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Corte Aura Italy Franciacorta

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Viña Undurraga Chile Leyda Valley

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2009

72

94

29,64

2008

36

93

38

2013

24

93

28,2

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay, Xarel·lo & Parellada Fine persistent bubble. Citrus & bakery notes. Creamy texture. Complex palate of jammy flavours and citrus. Long finish. Elegant.

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Herbaceous and spicy with notes of treacle & syrup. Rich, plump, juicy wine with a crisp acidity and a long finish.

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Lime cordial nose and citrus and apricot fruit. Melon notes on the palate and intense broad flavours. A fine persistent finish.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

9


TASTING NOTES & SCORES

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

TRADITIONAL METHOD

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Brut Supreme

Riesling Sekt

Cava Fuchs de Vidal Reserva, Cuvée Especial Brut Nature

S

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Viña Undurraga Chile Leyda Valley

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Weingut Günter & Renate Nastl Austria Kamptal

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Capità Vidal Spain Penedès

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2011

30

93

15

2013

15

93

13,3

2013

27

93

12

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Lively, with a very pure and classy bouquet of pink grapefruit, lemon, guava and peach. Quite rich, sleek and concentrated palate with balanced acidity and sweetness. Pleasant lingering finish.

Grape Varieties: Riesling Mango, papaya, candied fruit and melon with hints of flowers. Palate is medium bodied and fruity, boasting a great seam of acidity. Youthful.

Grape Varieties: Macabeo, Xarel.lo, Parellada Ripe citrus and bakery aromas - quite exotic with attractive floral elements. Good attack, with concentrated fruit and great acidity, showing real intensity and pungency. Discreet, fresh, and very persistent. Fine mousse.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Brut Nature Gran Reserva

Luiz Costa

La Pamelita

S

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Rovellats Spain Penedès

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Caves São João Portugal Bairrada

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Lobban Wines Spain Penedès

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2010

48

93

15

2013

15

92

17,5

2006

84

92

12

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Macabeo, Xarel·lo & Parellada Mellow apple and melon nose. Balanced & delicious on the palate with green fruit & good freshness. Quite opulent with lingering finish.

Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay Round, ripe peach & lemon peel with some rich autolytic aromas and suggestions of other exciting ingredients such as jasmine & ginger. Full & luscious on the palate. Discreet bitter almond finish

Grape Varieties: Monastrell Rich exciting characters of blackcurrant, plums, black cherry and clove. Nicely rounded and mellow. This is silky and elegant. Long lingering finish.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

10


TASTING NOTES & SCORES

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

TRADITIONAL METHOD

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Masia S.XV Brut Nature

Cava Tarrida Brut Organic

Cava Reserva Brut Nature “Pure”

S

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Rovellats Spain Penedès

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Pep Wines Spain Penedès

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Mascaró Spain Penedès

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2007

96

92

24,08

2013

14

92

9

2012

24

91

10,5

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Macabeo, Xarel·lo, Parellada & Chardonnay. Lightly toasted almond aroma with bakery notes. Lean, intense, ripe fruit backed by great structure. Sufficient acidity to keep it lively and the finish is discreetly bitter.

Grape Varieties: Macabeo, Xarel.lo, Parellada Fresh nose with notes of apple, pear and candy shop. Fruity palate. Balanced acidity and sweetness. Smooth mouthfeel. Lingering finish.

Grape Varieties: Parellada & Macabeo Buttery apple crumble and hints of fennel. Ripe palate which is creamy with a good vein of acidity. Discreet bitter almond on the finish.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Franciacorta Brut

Titillum Blanc de Blancs

Nº 1 Cuvée Speciale

S

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Corte Aura Italy Franciacorta

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Viña Undurraga Chile Leyda Valley

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2010

24

91

30

2013

24

91

28,2

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

WINERY COUNTRY Region HARVEST

Istenič Slovenia Bizeljsko-Srenič

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

35

91

12,5

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay Complex nose of pear, fig, hazelnut, honey, apple pie with notes of roses. Rich, creamy quite sweet palate which is balanced by tangy acidity.

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay Some florality over yellow summer fruits with hints of fennel mixed in. Pleasant attack with a good vein of acidity. Zesty palate. Pleasant persistent finish.

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay & Rumeni Plavec Apple crumble and melon aromas with a round , ripe palate that is honeyed and a bit floral. Discreet bitter almond finish.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

11


TASTING NOTES & SCORES

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

TRADITIONAL METHOD

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Prestige Brut

QM Alvarinho Super Reserva

Gourmet Rosé 2006 Magnum

S

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Istenič Slovenia Bizeljsko-Srenič

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Quintas de Melgaço Portugal Vinho Verdes

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Istenič Slovenia Bizeljsko-Srenič

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2006

95

90

16

2011

24

90

17,5

2006

72

90

50

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay Sweet, honeyed, floral and soft apple meringue aromas and flavours. Frothy mousse and structural texture with great balance and delicate autolysis.

Grape Varieties: Alvarinho Clean, fresh citrus notes and apricot jam with a lean, grapefruit minerality and a rich and complex body. Crisp acidity. Sharp finish and great length.

Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir Rose petals, wild strawberries and spicy notes. Strawberry attack and intriguing marmalade palate. Fine mousse. Good seam of acidity which maintains freshness. Long lingering finish.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

AWARD

AWARD

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Titillum Blanc de Noirs

Brut Grand Cuvée

S

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Viña Undurraga Chile Leyda Valley

WINERY COUNTRY Region

Velenosi Italy Marche

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

AGEING

SCORE

SRP

2010

30

89

28,2

2010

48

89

19

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

(MTHS)

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir Apple, pear and almond patisserie with a lean, lemony minerality and rich and complex fruity body. Fine mousse. Long finish.

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay & Pinot Nero Quite a powerful bouquet of quince, stewed apples and citrus notes. Notes of grapefruit on the juicy palate. Frothy mousse. Rich finish.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

12


TASTING NOTES & SCORES

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

FRIZZANTE

AWARD

AWARD

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Vigna della Composta

Cresta del Ghiffi

S

S

WINERY COUNTRY Region HARVEST

Fratelli Agnes Italy Lombardy

AGEING (MTHS)

2013

WINERY COUNTRY Region

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

93

7

2017

(EUROS)

Fratelli Agnes Italy Lombardy

AGEING (MTHS)

SCORE

SRP

91

7

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Bonarda & Croatina Lashings of attractive spice notes with floral and fruit aromas. Savoury and weighty palate of plum and Clementine. Fine subtle bubble. Pleasant discreet tannins on the finish.

Grape Varieties: Bonarda & Croatina Plummy, blackberry, notes with a touch of herbaciousness. Lively entrance. Juicy and fruity palate. Tannic attack with a citrusy finish.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

13


TASTING NOTES & SCORES AWARD

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

CHARMAT METHOD AWARD

AWARD

G

G

G

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Eight Carat Sparkling Shiraz NV

Passerina Brut

Nature

WINERY COUNTRY Region HARVEST

Geoff Johnston Wines Australia Mclaren Vale

AGEING (MTHS)

2010 / 2013

WINERY COUNTRY Region

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

95

13

2014

(EUROS)

Velenosi Italy Marche

AGEING (MTHS)

WINERY COUNTRY Region

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

95

9

2014

(EUROS)

Viña Undurraga Chile Leyda Valley

AGEING (MTHS)

SCORE

SRP

94

12

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Shiraz Fruity, spiced aromatic nose followed by a silky mouthfeel, lingering fruity palate that is quite generous and satisfying. Lots of good grip, freshness and subtle tannins make this wine a fantastic drink or great with food.

Grape Varieties: Passerina in purezza Violet and peach blossom aromas with some notes of apples and pears. There is a notable vein of acidity throughout which gives freshness. Fresh green summer fruits on the palate. Fine mousse. Clean zesty medium finish.

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Pineapple plus notes of ripe pear and apple. The palate is fruity with a great seam of acidity. Pleasant citrusy finish.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

G

G

G

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

SPARKLING WINE

Undurraga Brut Royal

Welgemeend Sparkling Symphony

Fiore del Vento

WINERY COUNTRY Region HARVEST

Viña Undurraga Chile Leyda Valley

AGEING (MTHS)

2014

WINERY COUNTRY Region

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

94

9,2

2014

(EUROS)

Welgemeend Estate South Africa Paarl

AGEING (MTHS)

WINERY COUNTRY Region

SCORE

SRP

HARVEST

94

6,5

2014

(EUROS)

Fattoria Eolia Italy Veneto

AGEING (MTHS)

SCORE

SRP

94

7

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay Fresh nose with notes of grapefruit, lemon rind and pear. A pungent style with fine concentration and acidity. There’s fruit on the lingering finish.

Grape Varieties: Sauvignon Blanc & Shiraz Lively, with a very pure and classy bouquet of wild strawberries and candy. Quite rich, sleek and concentrated palate with good acidity. Discrete bitter almond finish.

Grape Varieties: Moscato Giallo Youthful and concentrated with pronounced notes of peach blossom and wild daisy with intense grapefruit. This has lots of sugared fruit on a creamy palate. Frothy mousse. Very impressive length.

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

WINE PLEASURES

14


TASTING NOTES & SCORES AWARD

S

SPARKLING WINE

Rosé Royal WINERY COUNTRY Region HARVEST

Viña Undurraga Chile Leyda Valley

AGEING (MTHS)

2014

SCORE

SRP

91

9,2

(EUROS)

Grape Varieties: Pinot Noir Violets, full, tropical fruit aromas with hints of lemon grass. Zesty entrance. Citrusy palate. Fine mousse. Good vein of acidity. WINE PLEASURES

CHARMAT METHOD

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

15


WINERIES

16


AERA VINUM Austria

Aera Vinum is Latin for “Goddess of Wine” produces exclusive wine that is focused on providing the utmost quality to the most discerning wine connoisseurs. Mostly marketed towards the hospitality and retail channels, the young winery won numerous accolades and had the privilege of being the official beverage for the Cultural Capital Graz 03. Started in 2002 it is situated in Ehrenhausen, in the Southern Styrian Wine Route of Austria. The winery boasts some of the most modern and well-equipped facilities in the Austrian winery region. The large processing and bottling plant originally built by the Seagram distilling company between 1985-1987 allow for a daily output of 100 000 bottles, and a storage capacity of 2.4 million litres in tanks, yet given these impressive numbers the company has chosen to stay artisanal and focus on quality rather than quantity. Like most German and Austrian Sekt producers, Aera Vinum uses the Charmat method for second fermentation in the tank for three years for smooth, rich, and well-balanced nuances in flavour and finish. The company strives to achieve the perfect merger between craftsmanship and quality control to provide consistency and complexity. This is achieved in addition to a having state-of-the-art facilities at their disposal, with the careful selection and blending of the right wines to create balanced cuvee’s. For this purpose, Aera Vinum sources out for grapes mostly composed of Riesling, Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, and Veltliner. Currently the winery offers three taste profiles -“Baron” (extra dry), “Baroness” (dry), and “Royal” (brut)something to every discerning connoisseur. The packaging matches the grandeur of the liquid inside, thus making Aera Vinum wines not only a pleasure for taste buds but also for the eyes. The bottles are specially created out of dark coloured glass with a raised embellished crest and embossed gold leaf and coloured labels on each bottle. Enjoy feasting the eyes on a stunning bottle while savouring the bubbles and lingering smooth taste of this royal sparkling wine.

www.aeravinum.com

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

17


BARACCHI ITALY

“A good wine is an emotion, a discovery of sensations, a life experience…our life.” (Riccardo Baracchi). Riccardo Baracchi is the owner of Baracchi winery or, as Riccardo prefers to call it, a “relais (hotel) with a vineyard”. Baracchi is a charming estate comprising vineyards, a wine cellar and the former family residence, which has been converted into Relais il Falconiere with a locanda (restaurant and bed-and-breakfast) and spa. The business was born in 1860, on the hilly landscape of Cortona, a medieval town in the Valdichiana valley, Western Tuscany. Today Riccardo and Silvia, together with their son Benedetto, and the oenologist Stefano Choicely, add a dynamic and international flair to the family traditions of winemaking. The key to a great wine is the terroir: that is, the soil, the climate and the choice of grapes. The Baracchis have opted for planting with a density of 5600 vines per hectare. What happens in the cellar is also extremely important: during all cellar operation, the temperature must be continuously checked, the tanks must be used appropriately and extra care taken with refining. The grapes are hand-picked in order to not stress the cluster, ensuring grapes will release the fullest flavours. Once crushed, the Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet grape varieties are fermented in vertical barrels, punched down and pumped by hand. Other varieties are fermented in stainless steel vats. All wines are aged in French oak barrels and re-aged in bottles. Brut Trebbiano (Metodo Classico) and Brut Rosé (Metodo Classico) are the flagship sparkling wines of Baracchi. The former is made with 100% Trebbiano grapes and aged for twelve months. It offers hints of Acacia flowers and zesty notes. The latter is 100% Sangiovese Millesimato grapes. The flavour is light and fresh, with notes of cherry, white chocolate and almond. Riccardo and Silvia are happy to welcome their guests and offer them the finest holiday experience in their unique resort. The package includes a tour of the picturesque vineyards and the Bolliceria the sparkling wine cellar, cosy and reminiscent of the cave du champagne. A small path of pupitres hold the bottles for the ritual of remuage and two unique sparkling wines: Metodo Classico Sangiovese, and Trebbiano, the latter of which is made of grapes fermented with their skins. Guests are then treated to a wine tasting, the wine complimented by the first-class cuisine of the Locanda il Falconiere, bearer of a Michelin star. To wind down after the tasting and food, guests are received by Wine and Wellness, the adjacent spa, where they will get to experience “wine therapy”, luxurious health and beauty treatments incorporating wine and grapes, including a soak in a stunning copper bath. As a finale, Silvia Baracchi has conceived the ultimate gastronomy treat for the guests: a cooking class with Chef Richard Titi, in which he will reveal the secrets of Tuscan cuisine - which include cooking game, homemade pasta, and seafood, and pecorino curdling.

www.baracchiwinery.com

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

18


CAPITÀ VIDAL SPAIN

In an upstairs tasting room of a winery, situated in a traditional Catalan farmhouse in the Penedès, the walls are lined with sailing maps, photos and mementos of a glorious sailing past. Enrique Vidal, a distinguished solo sailor who made several solo voyages around the world and his wife Tati Fuchs, a navigator and champion skate sailor, are the people behind Capità (Captain) Vidal, a small artisanal winery founded in 1985. Capità Vidal’s roots lie both in the sea and the mountains. Tati Fuchs’ grandfather was a Swiss engineer who moved to Spain to work on the Montserrat Rack Railway. The winery is set on an elevated plain 200 meters above sea level and spans over 10 hectares. The soil is deep and sandy clay which retains water well. With the mountains of Montserrat sheltering the vineyards from the cold winds from the north, the climate is warm, with mild winters and warm, dry summers. Low rainfall and warm sunshine create good grape sugar concentration. Capità Vidal’s philosophy is to look after the land. Viticulture is practiced in an environmentally friendly way. There isn’t an irrigation system; the vines are watered by rainfall. Planted in the traditional bush system, the vines are pruned to limit the number of fruit buds and ensure a balance of quality and quantity of grapes which are harvested by hand. As well as growing the traditional Macabeo, Xarel·lo and Parellada grapes, other varieties such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Muscat de Fortignan, Merlot, Garnacha, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo are also grown for Cava and still wine production. Today the winery is owned by Helena Yglesias, Enrique and Tati’s daughter. Brought up living and breathing viticulture, it was a natural progression to study Oenology at university and continue the family business. Under Helena’s helm, the label changed to Fuchs Vidal in a move away from any military connotations which might be associated with Capità Vidal. Helena believes in combining traditional processes with modern technology. Riddling and disgorging of the larger and special bottles are all done by hand. The Fuchs Vidal Reserve, Special Cuvée, Brut Nature is a limited production Cava and aged on average at least 24 months. In addition to the Spanish market, Helena exports to Europe and also to California. Products are tailored to the different tastes of each market, creating bespoke products for her customers. Capità Vidal produces around 120,000 bottles per year. Each year, Helena produces a new series of decorative Cava caps which she designs herself. She has also designed a number of the bottle labels. Capità Vidal is open daily for visits.

www.capitavidal.com

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

19


Casca W ines Portugal

Casca Wines is a winery with a difference. It began as the brainchild of two young wine makers, Frederico Gomes and Helder Cunha who established Casca Wines with the intention of creating a world renowned brand of quality Portuguese wines. However instead of investing in land through acquiring vineyards, farms and estates, Casca wines works with producers of grapes from regions all over Portugal, only using the finest grapes to create each wine. Frederico and Helder as the owners and winemakers are complety dedicated to producing high quality wines in attempt to renew Portugal´s unique tradition in winemaking. Their previous experience in winemaking in both California and Portugal is evident in the wines produced which combine both present tradition and modern-day ideas. Over sixty four vineyards across Portugal provide grapes for Casca Wines located across eight main regions; Vinho Verde Minho, Douro, Dao, Bairrada, Tavora - Varosa, Colares, Tejo and Alentejo. Thanks to the climatic diversity between the regions, Casca Wines are able to produce a wide range of wine styles using grapes from across the country. Furthermore, within each region there are also micro-climates and sub-regions which only add more variety amongst the grapes used. Casca Wines work with and learn from the vineyard owners in each region to ensure the best fruit is produced and used. The age of the vines vary greatly between the regions and individual vineyards. The Vinha da Padiha-Branco vineyard in the Tejo region is home to vines which are 106 years old; unsurprising considering the wine production in the region was first developed by the Romans, reaching its peak in the thirteenth century and has been known as an area of significant wine production ever since. At the other end of the scale, there are two vineyards in the Douro region, which are extremely young in comparison, with vines in age of only four years. The picking of the fruit runs from August to October and once it has been completed across the vineyards, each lot is fermented in its own separate tank until the blending process is ready to begin. The use of wild yeast in the fermentation process requires additional attention from the winemakers; however the results are more than worthwhile; with an added complexity evident in each bottle of Casca wine. Three distinct families of wines are produced by Casca Wines; Monte Cascas, Cape Roca and Bote. Between the three, all of the major wine producing regions of Portugal are represented.

www.cascawines.pt

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

20


Caves São J oão PORTUGAL

Caves São João is a well know name in the Portuguese wine industry as it is one of the oldest wine trading companies in the country. The small family owned wine company was originally established by three brothers, José, Manuel and Albano Costa in 1920. Amazingly the company still remains in the family, with two of the grandchildren of the founders now overseeing the operations of the independent company. However, maybe one of the most remarkable features of the company is that it is home to one of the biggest wine cellars with the numerous underground tunnels stacked with over a million bottles of wine with some dating back to 1959. For the first ten years, the company was primarily involved in the trade of Douro fine wines and liquors; however in the 1930´s, the production of Port Wines outside of the O´Porto region were banned by the government. This lead to Caves São João moving into the trading of Barrada Table wines and the production of their own natural sparkling wines with Indigenous grapes. However, it was from this experiment that the company made a significant impact on the Portuguese wine industry, as in the 1950´s, the company created two of the most iconic Portuguese brands; Porta Dos Cavaleiros from the Dão region and Frei João from the Bairrada region. Later in 1972, the company bought a 35 hectare rural estate known as Quinta do Poco do Lobo located at Pocariça, in the Cantanhede region. The estate was then completely replanted with selected grape varieties; the indigenous Arinto (white) and Baga (red) grapes. It was from these grapes that the company now produces their red and sparkling wines under the label Quinta do Poco do Lobo. Caves São João now dedicates itself to the production and commercialisation of sparkling and still wines, using their extensive experience as one of the oldest wine trading companies in the Anadia County. However despite their grand history, the company has made a number of significant investments, resulting in the company now being equipped with the most modern winemaking technology. For example the stainless steel vats now allow for a more delicate handling of the grapes as the automatic crushing system replicates a movement which is very similar to the human foot. These changes combined with additional improvements in the both the winery and vineyards, have allowed Caves Sao Joao to continue to produce even greater quality wines.

www.cavessaojoao.com

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

21


C hampagne Collet FRANCE

Raoul Collet, the father of Champagne COLLET, was born into a family of wine makers in the year 1896, and was a witness to the Champagne wars of 1911. The origins of Champagne COLLET go back all the way to the Champagne Revolution of the same year. He was born in the municipality of Ay, in the Grande Vallee de la Marne region famous for Champagne. These regions were rife with fraudulent champagnes and unregulated practices for profit. Producers were mixing grapes coming in from other growing regions and marking these wines as Champagne, which would be absolutely unthinkable today. A small group of wine growers banded together in a firm to protect their terroir and the quality of Champagnes being produced, as well as keeping age old traditional practices alive. The revolting wine growers pushed until they had successfully enacted a law that defined geographical limits and production methods of the Champagne winegrowing area. After the Champagne Revolution, Raoul Collet became a wine merchant in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. Then in 1921, the movement of this small group of wine growers and makers gave rise to the brand Champagne COLLET, naming Raoul Collet it’s founder. Their history goes back over 100 years, and in this time only five presidents have been at the head of the firm. In this way, they have maintained a commitment to their values with an uncompromised dedication. Champagne COLLET is the oldest established wine making cooperative in Champagne. Currently 607 faithful wine growers contribute to COLLET’s Champagnes, sharing with one another common roots and pride in this brand. Their collective efforts go towards cultivating and processing grapes from over 650 hectares of extremely high quality vineyards. Together they produce superior and luxurious Champagnes. The terroir in these vineyards imparts beautiful and subtle characteristics to the vines that have been carefully tended to for years. House experts blend the wines and are able to continue the legacy of Champagne COLLET by maintaining special aromatic characteristics over the years, which are a signature of their champagnes. Afterwards, the bottles are passed to the extremely skilled hand riddlers, and set to rest in the underground cellars that spread out for kilometers underneath the village! There they allow bottles to mature so that the Champagnes may develop the unique tones that come with aging, deepening the character of the Champagne. Their range is extensive, including classic Brut Champagnes as well as rosé, demi-sec, rare vintages and their most premium Champagne, the Esprit couture. The Esprit couture is produced in very limited quantities, and acts as a celebration of Raoul Collet as well as the traditions that are the backbone of this brand. This elegant Champagne is made entirely by hand and perfectly captures the style and philosophy behind Champagne COLLET. The wine producers of Champagne COLLET are accomplished craftsmen, whose sole aim is to create the most authentic Champagne. www.champagne-collet.com

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

22


Corte Aura Italy

The Corte Aura winery creates outstanding sparkling wines of the Franciacorta region. Franciacorta is a small wineproducing area in Lombardy, northern Italy. It is famous for its high-quality sparkling wines, which are made very much in the image of Champagne. The Franciacorta wine region is located in the Brescia province, in the hills immediately south east of the foot of Lake Iseo. Corte Aura is located in the area of Adro in the province of Brescia. The commune of Adro lies at the feet of Monte Alto, about 6km from Lake Iseo in the south western area of Brescia. Monte Aldo protects the vines from wind and fog and enables the creation of a perfectly temperate climate for the cultivation of grapes. The small village of Adro has been considered an ideal place for the cultivation of for thousands of years. This is also confirmed by the emblem of the town on which is depicted 3 bunches of grapes. Federico Fossati, the “Soul of Corte Aura”, was born in 1978. He came from the Veneto to the region of Lombardia with the determination to produce a Franciacorta of exceptional quality and to reap the benefits from the land, bringing together the particular characteristics and the typicality of the soil to achieve a high standard of wine. Motivated by this desire, Federico Fossati left behind a career in accounting to dedicate himself completely to the fulfillment of his winemaking dream and saw his future in Adro, Franciacorta. Federico believes that producing wines of fantastic quality is the key to success in creating a product able to withstand the test of time. Even without coming from a wine making background himself, he is inspired by the passion of doing and took a risk with the Corte Aura project, investing all of his resources in the leadership and marketing of his wines. The grapes used in these delicate sparkling wines are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, in varying amounts depending on the type. Although relatively unknown in global terms, Franciacorta is widely regarded as Italy’s finest sparkling wine. Like Cava and Champagne, Franciacorta is made in the traditional method where the second fermentation takes place in the same bottle as the wine is sold to consumers. There are different types of Franciacorta based on the length of time the sparkling wine ages. The Franciacorta nonvintage is aged for 18 months whereas the Franciacorta Satèn sees 24 months of aging. The Franciacorta Rosé is aged for 30 months and the longest aging goes to the Franciacorta Riserva that has to age for 60 months. These are just minimum aging times.

www.corteaura.it

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

23


DOMINIO DE LA VEGA SPAIN

Cava boasts a long history dating back to the medieval ages. An excursion through the Penedès would easily lead to the door of a centuries old family run winery that has carried on producing Cava according to tradition. Dominio de la Vega is not one of these wineries, but that hasn’t stopped them from producing Cavas that can rival the centuries old producers. Located in the DO Utiel-Requena inland from Valencia, the only thing historical here is the renovated 18th century house of the Count of Villamar, that is the headquarters of this progressive winery. Considered part of the “new wave artisanal” Cava producers, the joint-owners Álvaro Faubel, Fermín Pardo & Emilio Expósito founded Dominio de la Vega in 2001 with the aim of producing quality crafted wines and Cavas that adhere less to tradition and more to the intricacies of terroir and taste. Head winemaker, Daniel Expósito personifies this concept in his attention to detail and utilization of tools and techniques in the service of aromatics and flavour rather than tradition or ease of production. Situated between 700-900 metres above sea level, the 140 estates of vineyards sit in stony clay soil, leading to low yields of intense and flavourful grapes. The grapes are harvested by hand at night when the temperatures are cooler and as the bodega sits at the centre of the vineyards, transportation is quick and contact with grapes is kept to a minimum. Inside the facilities, everything is stateof-the-art and most tasks are taken care of mechanically. The terra cotta coloured Casa-Bodega del Conde de Villamer sits amidst a ring of pines that set it apart from the vineyards that make up the rest of the scenery. Inside, the processing facilities have been completely renovated and upgraded with modern machinery. However, a museum located in the main Casa-Bodega showcases some vintage winemaking equipment that stands in stark contrast to the machines used in the processing plant of Dominio de la Vega. There are some unusual artifacts, such as a tin container with punctures in the top used for measuring out two litre quantities. Outside, lie 100 hectares of vines in three distinctly different locations. The area near the winery is close to the River Madro, where the land is very fertile. Vineyard plantings here include Macabeo, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Xarel-lo and Bobal. The second vineyard, La Muelia, is 10 kilometers from the winery and planted with a local variety grape named Bobal. Several grape varieties are planted in the third vineyard named Pinarejo, including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. All vineyards are more than 40 years old; and all varieties, excluding Bobal, are used in Cava production. Harvested grapes are vinified separately by variety and vineyard. For the coupage, the winemaker blends the different base wines until a blend is achieved that is to the high standards of Expósito. Fanatics about achieving the perfect aromatics and flavour combinations, Dominio de la Vega’s small-quantity batch production, nature driven taste, and attention to detail from the vine to the fermentation process are worth experiencing firsthand, and what make this a winery worth visiting. www.dominiodelavega.com

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

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Fattoria Eolia Italy

In the Euganei Hills in the province of Padua, the Fattoria Eolia vineyard lies, overlooking the town of Rovolon. Wine production first began at Fattoria Eolia in 1984, however in 2009 Giovanni Zini took over the farm, and decided to start from scratch – recreating the property into what it is day. The thirteen hectares of vines span over two estates; Terrebianche in Luvigliano di Torreglia and Località Spinazzola in Rovolon, which is also home to the winery. The winery has been recreated by Giovanni Zini with a focus on investment in structures and production technology resulting in the most modern technologies for wine-making. Further developments include a partly underground barrel cellar along with a wine tasting room with beautiful panoramic views over the surrounding vineyards. A holiday cottage is also available within the vineyard, with a guided wine tasting at Fattori Eoelia included for those who stay. Terrebianche Estate is where the four hectares of Fior d´Arancio grape variety is grown to produce the Fiore del Vento Moscato. The vineyard is also home to twenty bee hives which are nestled among the vines and provide exceptionally high quality honey. For each wine that is produced at Fattoria Eolia, a character of rural tradition has been chosen to appear on each label: The labels have been expertly hand drawn by illustrator Marta Farina from Belluno, a small village in the north-eastern Italian Alps. The decision for Marta and Giovanni to collaborate was the result of a chance meeting; however the results provide a fairy tale uniqueness to each bottle of Fattoria Eolia wine. The illustration that has been chosen to appear on the Fiore del Vento label is the nymph Climene. According to Classical mythology, Climene and Apollo had a son, known as Fetonte. As a young boy, Fetonte was given the Sun waggon by his father, however after drifting through the sky ended up falling upon the Colli Euganei. The grapes for the Fior del Vento are grown in this area which is highly celebrated for growing this vine variety.

www.fattoriaeolia.com

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

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AGNES FRATELLI ITALY

The family operating the Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes, an Italian winery with beautiful vineyards located in Rovescala, Lombardia, creates truly exceptional Frizzante sparkling wines. This is most certainly due in part to profoundly deep roots in traditional wine making. Grapes have been cultivated and wine produced in Rovescala for over 800 years! A notarized historical document exists, dated all the way back to March 22, 1192, stating that three Lombardi feudal lords, noble creditors, required repayment from Anselmo, the Count of Rovescala. Rather than demanding the money back, they requested 2,000 litres of fine wine and an escort of armed men to protect the load on the journey back to Milan. They requested, “de puro vino suarum vinearum de Rovescalla, de meliori quod habuerit super locum” (pure wine of the vineyards of Rovescala, a place that has the best). The document is currently held in safekeeping at the State Archives of Milan. Archaeological finds also attest to the age old winemaking tradition of the region, some dating back to Roman times, including fragments of beautiful relics used for serving wine. The municipality of Rovescala is nestled amongst thriving vineyards in the region of Oltrepò Pavese. This area lies in the province of Pavia, in Lombardia. Located in the northwest region of Italy, Lombardia is frequently referred to as the “Tuscany of the North”, due to the abundance of remarkable and authentic Italian wines. The Oltrepò Pavese in particular has a wealth of vineyards, medieval villages and castles, panoramic views and authentic Italian cuisine and wine. This region is the largest producer of wines in Lombardia, and one of the largest in all of Italy, especially of wines made with Pinot Nero grapes. It is in this rich, historic region that the Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes may be found. The family also has very deep roots in the tradition of winemaking, and began cultivating grapes and producing fine wines in 1912. The prestigious winery of Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes produces 120,000 bottles of wine each year. They craft their wines using grapes grown exclusively in their own 20 hectares of vineyard. The harvest is done manually. They cultivate Bonardo Pignolo di Rovescala and Croatina, red grape varietals that are local to the Oltrepò Pavese region as well as, to a lesser extent, some other areas of Lombardia. Vines are planted in plots, and grapes are collected and crushed separately according to type in order to maintain as much of their unique characteristics as possible. The wines of Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes continue to win awards in Italy and around the globe, which further inspires the family to create even finer wines. To this end, they have recovered and reintroduced old vines of grape varietals that, over time, have been abandoned or forgotten. One such example is the Bonarda Pignolo, with which they create wines that possess certain flavours unique to this grape. Today, the brothers Christian and Sergio Agnes operate the Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes. With the wealth of knowledge that has been passed down to them from generation to generation, and by respecting time-honoured traditions, they perpetuate the production of superb wines, which capture the spirit of their land.

www.fratelliagnes.it

2014 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

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GEOFF JOHNSTON WINES AUSTRALIA

The Pirramimma Winery was founded by Alexander Campbell Johnston in 1892 with the purchase of 97 hectares of farmland near the small Mediterranean-like village of McLaren Vale, nestled in the heart of the Adelaide hills in South Australia. The name Pirraminna which was chosen by the Johnston family to christen the newly purchased property over 100 years ago is an ancient Aborigine phrase which translates to ‘the moon and the stars’. Since its establishment, Pirramimma Winery has been owned and operated by the Johnston family and is now in the capable hands of Geoff Johnston, grandson of the founder Alexander. Geoff now personally overseas all of the operations and winemaking, using his experience gained studying in both Australia and France. He is widely recognized for producing the first single varietal Petit Verdot in Australia. This began as a small trial area planted in 1983 and was researched for eleven years until 1994 when the first vintage was released. The Petit Verdot vineyard is now the largest in Australia with the well known and awarded variety covering over ten hectares of mature vines. For over 100 years the Johnston family has remained true to the Pirramimma philosophy; to produce wines from grapes grown on their own land to ensure the highest quality and standard are met and that the wines produced reflect the individual and unique regional characteristics of McLaren Vale. The production of premium red varieties account for over sixty percent of the vineyards, with Chardonnay being the primary single white grape planted. However, an important aspect of the Pirramimma winery is that all processing and maturing of the grapes is completed on-site under the watchful eye of Geoff Johnston. This has been assisted in recent times by the recent construction of a 3100-square-metre naturally-cooled rammed earth facility for barrel storage. Here, Pirramimma’s wines may age under the best natural conditions, ensuring that the production of premium quality and affordable wines continues. The Johnsons’ small family business has now bloomed into an internationally-recognised winery, boasting 250 hectares, of which 180 are covered with vineyards. With a production that not only includes eleven varieties of estate grown fruit, but also ancient and exotic fortified wines, Pirramimma has indeed continued to ascend to new heights as the years have passed. The Pirramimma Winery is open seven days a week and encourages cellar door sales and visits year-round to enjoy the wine tasting on offer and the picturesque estate.

www.pirramimma.com.au

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

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I steni č Slovenia

The Istenič brand was born in Stara Vas, a small settlement in eastern Slovenia near the Croatian border, and over the years has garnered attention for the wine region Stara Vas na Bizeljsko, not only from wine lovers in Slovenia but around the world as well. In the year 1968 the Istenič family bought 0.1 hectares of vineyard, and created their very first sparkling wine in the traditional method. The sparkling wine was named “Barbara”, for their daughter, who was born in that same year. This was the first privately produced sparkling wine in all of Slovenia. Janez Istenič, the head of the family, began producing wines as the very first private producer of sparkling wines in Slovenia. This was a groundbreaking event for wine making in Slovenia, as before this time all wine producers were large and socially owned. In the 1990s, the Istenič family began to expand their winemaking endeavors. They built a winery in beautiful Piršenbreg in 1995, which was nestled among 3 hectares of young vineyard. In these vineyards Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are planted. Then in late 2006 the family bought 3 more hectares of vineyard in Drenovec, an area considered to be the best site for cultivating grape vines in Bizeljsko. In this vineyard the white varieties Laški Rizling (Also known as Welschriesling) and Šipon (Also known as Furmint, a grape that originates in Hungary) thrive in wonderful conditions for grape growing. This property in Drenovec there was an old winery in the very center of the vineyards, and in the year that followed the Istenič family completely renovated this winery. The landscape in Stara Vas na Bizeljsko is tranquil and idyllic, rolling hills on all sides with vineyards soaking up the sun for many hours each day. The terroir here is special, containing high levels of silicates that are rarely found elsewhere, and are an important source of nutrients for the vines. The hills on which the vineyards lie sit at an altitude of between 170 and 350 metres above sea level. The climate here gives excellent potential to the cultivation of grapes for white wines. The days are sunny, especially during ripening season, and the nights are cool. This allows the sugars grapes to reach ideal levels of acidity and sugars. Istenič produces 200,000 bottles per year of sparkling wine, and is one of the leading houses in Slovenia. Istenič is a multi award winning winery that combines traditional winemaking with modern cellaring technology and a powerful commitment to producing top quality sparkling wines. For wine tourists traveling through Slovenia, the Villa Istenič is a breathtakingly beautiful manor, painted with pristine white and lemon yellow, with foundations laid in 1740. Rooms and suites may be rented for wine tourism. It is situated near the entrance to the Bizeljsko wine region, on top of a hill with wineries on all sides. Guests will of course receive a bottle of chilled sparkling wine, and may relax and enjoy all that this exceptional wine region of Slovenia has to offer.

www.istenic.si

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

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L es Caves R ichemer France

The story of Les Caves Richemer begins in France in the year 1998. This is the year that the cooperative wineries of D’Adge and Marsaillen were married, bringing 450 winemakers together and giving birth to what would soon become numerous wine ranges of outstanding quality. The name Les Caves Richemer comes from Henri Richet, a legendary local winemaker who became very wealthy from sea borne wine trader, especially vermouth. The cooperative adopted the name Henri de Richemer, and working together they began to thrive and create exceptional wines. Each year, at the end of the summer, hoppers loaded with grapes sit side by side the numerous boats docked at Marsaillen. This is because the wine cellar of Henri de Richemer is in the very heart of the city, on the port! The wines are sold very close to where they are produced, in the three wine shops of Les Caves Richemer, those in Marsaillen-Ville, Marsaillen-Plage (the beach of Marsaillen) and D’Adge. Les Caves Richemer wines are separated into five special ranges and produce a total of 300,000 bottles of wine per year, all made from grapes grown in the regions of Hérault, Côtes de Thau and from the Pays d’Oc The 450 winegrowers of this cooperative have a combined 1,500 hectares of vineyards. In their unique location between land and sea, the vineyards of Les Caves Richemer create exceptionally bright white, rose and sparkling wines. This is partly because of the soil in the Mediterranean waterfront, which is mainly composed of tertiary sediments (clay and sand) and quaternary (gravel) which are particularly conducive to growing grapes with delicate and complex flavours. The climate of this area is heavily influenced by the vineyards’ proximity to the second largest lake in France, the Etang de Thau. This is the largest in a string of lagoons in France that stretches from the Rhône River to the foothills of the Pyrenees, and lends a specific moisture and freshness imperative for creating beautifully subtle and delicate wines. Their ranges include wines made from traditional single grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their iconic range of cuvées, the Terre & Mer, focuses on vins de pays made with local varieties of grapes. These are Terret for whites, Marselan and Syrah for rosés and reds, and both noir and blanc Piquepol. Only the oldest wines are used for this range, which is the special of Les Caves Richemer. These are very special grapes and the wines that the cooperative of Les Caves Richemer have created with them are truly outstanding. The doors of the cellar of Henri de Richemer face the beautiful port, and surely have had a hand in perpetuating the traditions of the first port on the Thau, as well as promoting the rich architectural and urban heritage of the waterfront.

www.richemer.fr

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Lobban W ines Spain

The Lobban Winery (or Bodega La Pamelita) was born in 2003. Measuring in at only 100 squares metres, which is the legally minimum for a sparkling facility in Spain, Lobban winery is one of the smallest wineries in Spain. Located near the Anoia, a river that weaves its way through the region of Penedès, the facility is just outside of the cava capital Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, in the charming village of Sant Jaume Sesoliveres. The story of this unique winery is actually the story of Scottish winemaker Pamela Geddes. This is because Pamela Gebbes is the life-blood of Lobban wines. Each bottle is cleaned, labeled, hand riddled and disgorged and finally corked by winemaker Pamela Geddes! It truly is a one-woman show, which is absolutely remarkable when one experiences the outstanding quality of these unique sparkling red wines. On her own, she is able to disgorge, clean and label up to 400 bottles per day. Born and educated in microbiology in Scotland, Pamela first worked in the whisky industry and moved into wine production to become a Sparkling Red Wine specialist! Pamela has worked for 15 years as a microbiologist for some of the world’s best-known wineries, from Southcorp and Penfolds in Australia to Chile’s Viña Millaman where she also spent several vintages. After visiting Barcelona and falling in love with the city, Pamela decided to settle here and became a contract winemaker, working on different projects and doing consultant work before setting up her own winemaking project, La Pamelita. Pamela forged her reputation with Spain’s only sparkling red wine, La Pamelita, inspired by her formative years in Australia learning about sparkling wines during her years at Penfolds. This unusual wine is truly an experience to taste, with jammy fruit notes of cherry and spice lifted by the gentle effervescence. The name of the wine stems from her days in Chile, where people would often call her “Señora Pamela”, a name she felt didn’t quite suit her. She prefers la Pamelita! La Rosita, a sparkling rosé named for her niece, and Lobban, another sparkling red whose moniker is a family name on her father’s side, complete her current catalogue of sparkling wines. Her wines are made with the traditional Champagne method and complexity is developed with up to 36 months on yeast lees. Pamela Geddes is a trailblazer and borderline workaholic. Her current “under construction” projects include still wines, vermouth Rosso with a focus on unique botanical infusions, and sparkling wines in Chile made with Pinot Noir grapes. She spends part of each year in Chile to sort out blends for a project there with sparkling reds made from Malbec grapes, goes to Scotland each year, and has several projects on the go in Spain with other winemakers. Somehow amongst all of this jet setting and contributing to these fantastic projects, she always finds her way back to her lovely little winery in the Penedès region of Spain. It is in this small facility that Pamela creates some of the most unique sparkling wines in the world. These works are award winning, truly artisanal, and impossible to forget. The entire sparkling process is performed here manually using traditional artisanal techniques and therefore each bottle is an individual and unique hand crafted product. Pamela Geddes is an uncompromising stickler for quality and crafts truly fine wines. She has worked with an artist to create the labels and the artwork on the tops of her wines. Each cap, cage and - in the case of the Lobban sparkling red - tartan stripe sticker, is placed by Pamela herself. Pamela produces up to 8,000 bottles per year of sparkling wines of superb quality. www.lapamelita.com

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

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M ascar ó Spain

Mascaró is located at Casal #9, a narrow stretch of ornamental facaded warehouse fronts running up from the railway station of Vilafranca del Penedès. There is a sense of significance, pride, and tradition that is imbued by the address of this winery that sets it apart from other nearby producers. In times past, a “casal” was a sand box used for riddling Cava and standing bottles upright to gather the lees in the neck. Casal Street was the area where this process was performed by many local Cava producers, though nowadays, Mascaró stands alone as a Cava maker on this historic street. Mascaró’s story began in 1940, when founder Narcis Mascaró Marcé acquired a distillery and vineyard. Born into a family of wine traders, Narcis took his knowledge about wine and his interest for alchemy and started his own production. By 1946 he was trading brandy and Cava under the Mascaró brand. Still continuing the tradition, it is one of only two wineries that produce Cava and distilled spirits in the Penedès region today. Today, the bodega is used mostly for storage, offices, tasting, and aging of Cava. A more recent acquisition of warehouse space behind the original bodega gives the impression of an industrial bunker, but continuing on through to the courtyard leads to buttery yellow walls set with patches of Catalonian tile work, large glazed blue and red flower pots perched on roof edges, and painted oak barrels under bricked archways. Following along from the quaint courtyard, the tour of the facility begins with a trip down to the cellars. Built in the 1940s, the two level cellar is made up of long narrow passageways and rooms with low ceilings covered with cobwebs and lit by bare bulbs. The facilities here are now dedicated solely to Cava, as a 1960s decree saw the family move the distillery to the outskirts of the town. For the Cava and still wines, Mascaró uses only grapes sourced from their own family estate. “Mas Miquel,” as the estate is known today, was at one time owned by Cistercian monks and the majority of the grapevines were planted by them about 70 years ago. Harvesting is done exclusively by hand, and pressed champagne style to obtain 50% of juice for the base wine. Annual output for Mascaró is 100,000 bottles of Cava and 200,000 bottles of spirits, and 5,000 bottles of still wine. The last gallery is a shrine to days past in Cava making, showcasing a casal, a hand cranked corking machine, a filling station, and a curious tiled and splattered cubic inset in the wall. This recessed space that looks like a training ground for Jackson Pollock imitators is where disgorgement would take place. Dangerous work, but also considered to be an art form, disgorgement required skill and speed that only a few possessed. Thus, once bottles were ready for disgorging, wineries would call in the local village disgorger, who would come sit - complete with full steel mesh face masks- at these cubic booths and deftly flush out the sediments from aged Cava bottles. Walk up from the cellar and across the short laneway is the tasting room with a selection of products. A tasteful room in the style of a gentlemen’s club smoke room complete with a wet bar, paraphernalia and prized bottles on display in cabinets, and a long dark mahogany table. The room is a testament of Mascaró’s identity and roots. It is a rarity to encounter a small-time producer that is distinguished for two distinct types of products - and both of which in their own accord- are championed by aficionados and critics alike. Mascaró is one of these few. www.mascaro.es

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M ascota V ine yards Argentina

Rodolfo Sadler, affectionately known as “Opi” has had an illustrious career in the Argentinean wine world. With over 25 years of experience, Opi is known for exceptional deftness and knowledge of vineyards and grapes with a particular mastery of the different Argentinean terroirs. Having learned and perfected his craft working for the likes of the National Institute of Viticulture, and Bodegas Santa Ana, Opi started Mascota as a place to showcase his skill and passion for winemaking. Located in Finca La Mascota, the vineyards sit at the foot of the Andes in an area labelled “Primera Zona,” and recognised as Argentina’s best wine region. A place with wide temperamental range with alluvial soil comprised of rock underneath clay-loam surface and near the Mendoza River, make for an ideal microclimate for Mascota’s 97 hectares of vineyards. Inside the cellars, Opi’s hands-on approach means wines are carefully brought to maturity through small batch fermentation and barrel aging. Expressive tastes are achieved through a combination of skill with artistic license, but with a strict focus on balance and varietal character that reflects the terroirs of the land. This isn’t to say that refreshing and bright flavours take a back seat to woody or earthy tones that can often times by imbued from barrel aging, but rather base wines and curvee are crafted to enhance fruit flavours that add complexity and boldness to the final product. Mascota is the culmination of Opi’s achievements as a prolific and celebrated winemaker. Winemaking is his art, and Mascota is his canvas, where he has shown his ability to create exceptional wines ranging from basic, still, to high end, and sparkling. No matter the price range, every bottle of Mascota is created with the same care and love and taste like an expensive treat.

www.mascotavineyards.com.ar

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N astl Austria

The Nastl winery is a celebrated winery in the Kamptal area of Austria, in the lovely town of Langenlois. They are a particularly well-known producer of the Gr端ner Veltliner in Austria. Due to the specialization of this grape, they are able to offer five different types of wines made from Gr端ner Veltliner grown in their own vineyards. The tradition of winemaking in the Nastl family dates back to as early as 1656. For nearly 400 years, the Nastl family has been creating wines of outstanding quality in Austria. The heads of the family today are G端nter and Renate. They, alongside their children Christian, Alexander and Petra, have taken the winemaking to a whole new level of excellence. The entire family exudes special passion for food and wine. After nearly two decades of growing grapes and wine making, the family decided that it was time for a new cellar. The idea was to combine the typical underground cellar, which is carved deeply into the loess beneath the winery, with a new cellar that can meet all the requirements for state-of-the-art winemaking. It was in 2003 that the new cellar was inaugurated with the first harvest. The three level cellar is a marriage of four hundred years of wine making tradition and more efficient modern wine making techniques. Langenlois, hometown of the Nastl family, is the biggest wine town in Austria. Situated in the romantic Kamptal region of Lower Austria, only 70 km northwest of Vienna. The landscape is a picturesque expanse of rivers and rolling hills dotted with castles, manors and wineries. The name of this region comes from the river Kamp, which flows through this area and lends special qualities to the terroir here. This area is famous for not only the aforementioned Gr端ner Veltliner, but also Riesling and Muskateller (also known as Muscat Ottonel). The terroir is perfect for these grape varietals. The sandstone slopes are very steep, so only a thin layer of soil is retained, and exposure to the sun is high. Riesling thrives on steep slopes such as these. The micro-climate and soils are perfect for growing grapes to create delicate and refreshing wines. The atmospheric conditions allow an interplay between hot days and cool nights, and the terroir is mainly rock, silt and loess. These are some of the factors that impart lively aromas, subtle fruit, complexity and bright acidity to the wine. The Nastl family not only produce some of the most remarkable wines of the area, they have also run a special restaurant, known as the Heuriger, for over 40 years! This luminous, cozy space is nestled in a grove of walnut trees near the Nastl winery. The restaurant is open for a few weeks at a time, only three times per year (April, August and October); to offer carefully selected pairings of traditional Austrian cuisine with their exquisite wine. They also host tastings and special events. The Nastl winery offers tours and tastings, and reservations must be made in advance directly through the winery.

www.nastl.at

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Papet del M as Spain

Penedès based Cava producer Papet del Mas is a small family run business with a difference. Each year owner Josep Mª Suriol together with his wine maker select and buy both grapes and base wines for the Cava making process. Blending, bottling, ageing and packaging are all done in a large winery in the nearby village of Guardiola de Font Rubí and both supervise the whole process. Josep believes that Cava should be made only with the three local grape varieties namely, Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada. He believes these varieties; give a true reflection of the Penedès terroir. Cavas are blended according to client taste buds which in the most prefer a Brut or Brut Rosé Cava. Papet del Mas currently exports to 25 countries including the United States, Finland, Japan and other European countries and this is where most of his 50 Great Cava rated bubbles head for. If you happen to be in the area and you want to make a visit don’t expect to see a winery when you turn up in your car or bicycle. What you will see is a building comprising of an office, shop and a small warehouse overlooking vineyards and pine forests. Mention you have found him in the 50 Great Cava publication and he will be delighted to give you a taste of his great Cavas.

www.pepwines.com

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Q uintas de M elgaço Portugal

Quintas de Melgaço can be found in the northwestern corner of Portugal, in the region famous for Vinho Verde. Quintas de Melgaço was founded in 1990, by Abilio Amadeu Lopes, who with his vision and wealth was able to rally hundreds of local share holders to join in this effort to create the best wines in the region, specifically using the precious Alvarinho grape. Today, the shareholders share this vision, working together to uphold winemaking traditions that have been passed on in this region for generations. More than 500 wine producers, who are the shareholders of the group of Melgaço, have played a vital role in developing and promoting this region in terms of wine and wine tourism. They hold a wealth of knowledge that they have received through the generations, and they maintain the tradition and superb quality of the wine produced here. Quintas de Melgaço is the second biggest producer of the Alvarinho grape in the Vinho Verde Wine Region. The winery is located in Ferreiros de Cima, Alvaredo, Melgaço. The best regional varieties of grapes are planted and cultivated here, especially of the Alvarinho lineage. In the most northern part of the Vinho Verde region of Portugal, near the River Minho Basin, Alvarinho wine was born. Considered in Portugal to be one of the most precious nectars of all time, this white grape varietal yields small bunches and grapes and possesses a unique flavour and elegance. In the sub regions of the demarcated region of Vinho Verde, Monção and Melgaço, conditions are perfect for this unique grape to thrive. The source of the River Minho is actually in the Galicia region of Spain, and crosses into Portugal for about 80km towards the west. This region is green, lush and incredibly fertile, and all along the river in this valley vines are growing which yield the grapes used for Vinho Verde and Ribeiro wine (on the Spanish side). The best of all of these vines are those that grow Alvarinho. Alvarinho is a grape which produces small, compact bunches, and is considered quite unproductive. Therefore the rareness of this grape is yet another reason why it is thought to be the most valuable grape in Portugal, and one of the best in the world. The cultivation of this grape has deep roots in the winemaking culture of this region, and the production of Alvarinho is extremely important to the area. The terroir and microclimate of Melgaço allow the Alvarinho grapes to reach their full potential. Mountains protect the vines from harsh winds of the nearby Atlantic Ocean. A balance of necessary sunshine and rainfall help the vines to reach ideal levels of maturation. The conditions here are just right for the vines to prosper. These grapes possess unique flavours, and are easily recognizable due to a vibrant and cheerful freshness and delightful levels of acidity. This superstar grape isn’t the only unique and exceptional grape cultivated by Quintas de Melgaço. They also grow other local varieties that are blended with Alvarinho for some of their wines. These varieties are Loureiro, Arinto and Trajadura, each one with their own delicate flavours. They can add acidity, body and citrus notes when blended with Alvarinho for Vinho Verdes. In addition, they produce Vinhão and Alvarelhão for luscious reds and rosés. www.quintasdemelgaco.pt

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R ovellats Spain

The name Rovellats dates back to the 10th century, to an adjective in Latin, robiculu (“rust”), probably as a result of the estate being surrounded by the meandering River Foix and with a consequent high degree of humidity. The estate is made up of an enclosed, landscaped area comprising a collection of buildings, which include medieval architectural remains (10th to 15th century). The place was first mentioned in 1303 when it was a small hamlet with its own laws. Rovellats origins date back to the Ibero-Roman civilization, when there were various settlements around the important Via Augusta. Of special note are the Ibero-Roman finds by the archaeologist Pere Giró i Romeu, explained in his work in 1951 entitled Identificación de Algunas Cias Romanas en el Penedès (The Identification of Some Roman Bones in the Penedès). Backed by five hundred years of Rovellats heritage, the prestige and importance of this family business are further assured by its three generations dedicated to the production of high quality Cava. Josep Cardona i Vallès is the grandson of the original Cava producers. Today his sister Mª Rosa and he share ownership of the winery. A visit to Rovellats goes something like this. Chapel: Built on what was an old wine round pressing place with ashlars and voussoirs, it is crowned by a buttressed bell tower which in turn, is topped by a wrought iron cross. Inside you can enjoy the image of the four apostles, part of the Modernist frescos by Francesc Tey, which decorates the walls with elegance and warmth. Crowning the chapel is the Virgin of Montserrat, an identical reproduction of the original at the Monastery of Montserrat, both in shape and size. Masia from 10th – 14th century: A typical Catalan entrance majestically welcomes visitors, conserving part of a Romanic arch in half point stone from the 10th century and a gothic vault from the 14th century. On one of the walls are the remains of an old press used as a support for the wall of the kitchen, in which we find a typical fireplace of the period and a coal hearth. Old Cellar: This is our first encounter with the history of Cava as we pass through the cellar where the first Rovellats Cava was made, still with some of its old vats and oak barrels, as well as traces of the old rails for the wagons. Visitors are welcomed by a bust of the founder of Caves Rovellats, Josep Vallès Rovira, together with old maps of the house dating from the 10th century, aerial views of the estate and photographs of some of the illustrious personalities that have visited the house. Museum: Here are conserved all kinds of devices and objects from all periods related to the production and elaboration of Cava, including a collection of bottles and glasses, part of which has been given to the Wine and Vine Museum at Vilafranca del Penedès (VINSEUM). Of note is the state of conservation of the Cava Rovellats advertising posters, created by leading Modernist artists from the 20’s to the 60’s and clearly showing how the art evolved over the years. Star-shaped Cave: Unique in the world for its original six-point star structure and central circle and located at a depth of 12 meters, with a natural temperature of 13º C and a humidity of 98º, this is where the Rovellats Grans Reserves are patiently matured.

www.rovellats.com

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V elenosi Italy

The award winning Velenosi winery was born in 1984 in the Marche region of Italy, a gorgeous region that lies nestled between Umbria, Emilia-Romagna and Abruzzo. Velenosi produces fantastic ranges of red, white and sparkling wines as well as very high quality olive oils. Established by Angela and Ercole Velenosi, this winery has been creatively reinterpreting traditional wine-making processes and today spreads worldwide the flavours and scents of the Piceno region of Italy through its unique wines. They accomplish this with traditional artisan wine making methods, as well as adapting to the times and utilizing state of the art equipment and modern methods. They see the ancient teachings that were their start with a special dynamism and creativity. This prestigious winery is located just outside the historic town of Ascoli Piceno with the Monti Sibillini mountains spreading along the horizon beyond. The vineyards are located on a vast hilly area of the Marche, which stretches towards the Adriatic Sea. The vines here grow in a very fertile soil heavy with clay and nutrients, creating intense and complex flavours in the grapes grown here. The potential of this terroir, combined with the special microclimate of this area, have contributed to the subtle, authentic flavours that the wines of Velenosi have become known for. Grapes used for these extraordinary wines are all grown on Velenosi’s owns vines. For sparkling wines, Velenosi uses Passerina, Chardonnay and Pinot Nero (off-the-skins vinification), that are grown at an average altitude of 200 metres above sea level. The 105 hectares of Velenosi’s vineyards that are distributed in and around lovely Ascoli Piceno have been planted with many varieties such as, Trebbiano, Pecorino, Passerina, Pinot Nero, Chardonnay, Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Schiraz. In addition, there are 42 hectares in the Marcelli area that have been planted with Verdicchio, Lacrima and Vino e Visciole. With the aforementioned grapes, Velenosi expertly produces 2,500,000 bottles combined of still and sparkling wines annually. Their products capture the sunshine and natural beauty of the Marche, and spread that around the world in the form of outstanding still and sparkling wines. In the words of Angela Velenosi, “Wine is our only passion. And our passion makes wine unique.”

www.velenosivini.com

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

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V i ñ a U ndurraga Chile

Established in 1885, Viña Undurraga has been producing distinguished sparkling wines since the 1970s and have dedicated themselves to growing high-quality grapes with as little intervention in the Terroir. This means the wines experience a minimum of chemical and artificial intervention. Additionally, modern Bodega and bottling facilities combined with Bosnian-oak barrel casks stored in cool underground cellars produce fine aged and full-bodied wines. Undurraga’s Titillum range are the premier high-end line of sparkling wines offered by the company. Headed by winemaker Carlos Concha, the line boasts a recent addition of the well-renowned French winemaker and agronomist Philippe Coulon. Coulon worked for over 30 years for Moet & Chandon as Director of Winemaking, where he led the company to new global success. The Titillum Undurraga pinot noir is harvested from grapes grown in the Leyda Valley of the San Antonio region, which is nestled between the coastal mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. A relatively new region for viticulture, the granite rock soil and the gentle rolling hills exposed to cool sea breezes is ideal for growing pinot noir and chardonnay varieties. Using traditional in-bottle fermentation method to maximise the amount of gas captured, results in fine, pearly bubbles that add complexity and lasting tingle on the palette. The last step is to allow a resting period on the lees of 18 months, which creates even greater complexity. A visit to Viña Undurraga will start down a Date Palm lined driveway to a starch-white villa dating back 130 years. Inside the building, visitors can find a wine and gift shop with preferential pricing and bin offs. The grounds, Fundo Santa Ana, were named in honour of the first lady of the house, and designed by the French landscaper George Henri Dubois. Displaying a splendor of exotic trees such as Lebanese Cedar, Redwoods, and Japanese Maple, the park allow visitors to enjoy open, airy green spaces perfect for enjoying a quiet moment or a glass of Titillum.

www.undurraga.cl

2016 . 5O GREAT SPARKLING WINES

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W elgemeend Estate South Africa

Welgemeend Estate is known for making a significant contribution to the South African wine industry as it was the first cellar in the country to produce a Bordeaux blend in 1979. The 17 hectare boutique wine cellar is situated in Klapmenuts, Paarl in the Western Cape of South Africa and has been producing classic French styled red blends since its establishment by Billy and Ursula Hofmeyr in 1974. The name Welgemeend translates to “well intended” and this is the basis of the estates’ philosophy; a small farm with a strong focus on quality not quantity as it was one of the first boutique wineries in South Africa and has been committed to producing outstanding quality wines since its establishment. The vineyard was originally arranged by Billy Hofmeyr according to traditional plantings in areas of France, with some vines planted as early as 1974 and still in production today. The focus on small quantity production of superior wines is clear as currently only 11.6 hectares is planted to low– yielding vines, producing on average only a few tons per hectare and 3200 cases of high quality wine per year. Welgemeend specialise in the production of red wine as the soil and climate in Klapmenuts are perfectly suited to growing dry land red grapes. The low – yielding vines allow a fine balance between the fruit and wine to be achieved as the grapes are able to ripen at lower sugar levels resulting in lower alcohols of between 12.5- 14% vol. Welgemeend maintain a “minimal intervention philosophy”, with a focus on the promotion of green practices in the vineyard and cellar which requires a very hands-on approach to winemaking. All the wines at Welgemeend are made using the original basket press and are aged in both old and new oak, with most of the wines made for ageing. The winemaking at Welgemeend was overseen by the Hefmeyr family for 33 years, with Louise, the daughter of Billy and Ursula Hofmeyr taking over winemaking from her parents in 1991. In 2007 the Estate was bought by a small group of businessmen with the production of quality wines overseen by the new winemaker Lizette Steyn – James. However the new owners along with Lizette are committed to maintaining the focus on quality and ensuring the Hofmeyr and Welgemeend legacy continues.

www.welgemeend.co.za

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W W W. W I N E P LE A S U R E S . CO M Š 2016 Wine Pleasures

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