Nobody can stop the growth of sparkling wines! They are tasty, they are fresh, they are elegant; they go well before meal, with the meal and even after the meal… And they have already got rid of the “celebration drink” tag and started to be consumed daily. Well done bubblies! So, me focused on sparkling wines (both professionally and personally), in Vinexpo I’ve digged every aisle to taste as much as I can. So, I would like to share the ones that I liked the most and the ones that impressed me a lot. This will be like a memo for me to remember them and I would be glad if that helps you too or just enjoy!
‘Do you know the difference between Prosecco and Prosecco?’ This was the first question that I was asked when I’ve approached to the stand of Bortolin Angelo. I was quite surprised ‘Prosecco and Prosecco?’ Then they’ve explained me their qualitative process from vineyard to the bottle, and it definitely deserves a fully distinction between Proseccos. To discover these differences in Proseccos you can check the Prosecco pyramid. On the top of the pyramid, you have the small area called Cartizze with only 107 hectars and gives exceptional Prosecco’s.
Bortolin Angelo Spumanti, produces 5 Valdobiaddene D.O.C.G. They have Spumante extra dry, Spumante brut, Rive di Guia Brut Sommaval, Spumante dry ‘Desiderio’ and Spumante dry Superiore di Cartizze which was my favorite. There is a nice story behind the design of the labels and the bottle. They are inspired from the vineyard; the shape of the bottle is like the twisting branches of the vine and the color of the labels are the colors of the land of Valdobbiaddene. The elegant shape of the bottle which eases to grab the bottle is patented.
Riesling is one of the grapes which are allowed to process in the appellation of Cremant d’Alsace and only this makes me very excited to taste them. The sparkling wines from Riesling are getting more popular and I completely support this. I think Riesling gives great bubbles thanks to its high acidity and appealing aromas.
My favorite Alsace stand in Vinexpo was the one of Jean Geiler. We’ve tasted 4 of their cremants, Riesling brut which was a complete coup de cœur for me, Rosé brut, Brut prestige and finally Cuvée 1926. If I consider the quality/price ratio, these wines definitely weight more on the side of the quality.
Of course I wouldn’t miss Germany, the country with the highest annual capita consumption of sparkling wine with 5 liters! Since the producers are aware of the consumers who tend to consume high quality varietal sparklings, they really focused on this and they simple make a great job. My favorite sekt in the Germany booth was the Riesling brut from Braunewell winery.
I am glad to know more about Pere Ventura and taste their cavas. I’ve tasted 7 of them: Primer Reserva, Tresor Brut and Rosé, Maria del Mar Gran Reserva 2013, Vintage 2012, Vintage rosé 2013 and Grand Vintage 2012.
I’ve created this section, only because I wanted to share the incredible tasting that I’ve done in Chandon. Normally, if you want to taste all the sparkling wines of Chandon, you actually have to travel all the countries in which they are produced; because they are sold only locally or in very close areas to where it’s produced. So, I was lucky to taste all their sparkling wines from California, Argentina, India, China and Australia. And the best part is that they are all representing their countries since they are produced according to the taste of the local people. For example, Chandon China is actually to be consumed in room temperature! So, we tasted it in room temperature. Chandon India is to be consumed with a piece of cucumber or a leaf of mint. Chandon Australia has actually bitter orange aroma in it, and you add a piece of orange zest in your glass. I really like all these small details to make the consumer happy.
Okay, let’s be honest, although some of the other sparkling wines are really strong competitors of Champagne in quality, Champagne is always Champagne. It’s hard to beat this strong fame and name. I had the chance to taste many amazing Champagne in the expo this year, and there I’ll share my favorites.
The tasting that I’ve made in Joseph Perrier was unforgettable. I’ve tasted 5 of their cuvées; Cuvée Royal Brut, Cuvée Royal Brut rosé, Cuvée Royal Blanc de noirs 2009 Brut nature, Esprit de Victoria Blanc de blancs 2010 Extra brut, and finally Joséphine 2008. When we came to the last one, to Josephine, I was told the story behind it and it was absolutely capturing. The bottle itself is very decorative and it is inspired by an old hand painted magnum, which was found in the cellars by Jean-Claude Fourmon.
Another tasting was in Nicolas Feuillatte. First of all, I have to mention that in every Vinexpo Bordeaux, I find myself in Nicolas Feuillatte booth because its modern and captivating design just drags me there. This year, I’ve tasted 8 of their wines; Brut reserve, Brut Blanc de Blanc 2008, Brut Millésimé 2008, Grand Cru Brut Millésimé 2008 Blanc de Blancs, Cuvée 225 Millésimé 2008 Brut and Brut Rosé, Palmes d’Or 2006 Brut and Brut Rosé. Palmes d’Or 2006 Brut was everything that I expect to get in a Champagne bottle, attractive, elegant, aromas that come together in perfect harmony… just amazing.
I’ve spend a lot of time in Moët Hennessy booth, where you could find all their brands. There I had chance to try the Extra Brut Extra Old of Veuve Clicquot which is made only from their reserve wines. Following to that I’ve tasted Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and Ruinart Rosé. As the winemaker of Ruinart explained us that they give huge importance to Chardonnay to simply reflect itself on their cuvées, it was exactly how it was described: simply a great Champagne.
Finally had a lovely tasting in Drappier and tasted 3 of their champagnes: Brut nature, Quattuor and Charles de Gaulles. Their most interesting Champagne to me was Quattuor, which is produced with the 4 white varieties that can be used in appellation Champagne: Arbanne, Blanc Vrai, Petit Meslier and Chardonnay. The first three varieties are not exactly the ones that we are used to see on the labels although they are grown in Champagne. I am glad to meet these white ‘mysterious’ varieties on this Champagne.
All in all, I had a great time tasting these wines and meeting people who are involved with all these. I really appreciate all of them. Thank you.
All images © 2017 by Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.