Categories
Timeless Champagnes

Denis Chaput Champagne Mésogée Brut

Bubbly’s take…

This was a refreshing find. The Denis Chaput pours with a soft fizz. It is a remarkably wholesome sparkling, with a reassuringly dry taste. That being said, it’s certainly not a bitter wine and we found a remarkable flavour of fresh apples.

Would go well with…

This is a pleasant ‘go-to’ Champagne so we think it is a fairly flexible wine. However, we remember uncorking this with a takeaway and it held its own alongside a mild curry and vegetable pakora!

Where to buy…

Naked Wines

Categories
Incredible Cavas

Franck Massard Mas Sardana Cava Brut Nature

Bubbly’s take…

There’s a well-rehearsed belief that sparkling wine can ‘go to your head’ or bring on a ‘terrible headache’. We won’t disagree – there’s some cheap stuff out there afterall. However, there are also some great new entrants to the well-celebrated and increasingly popular Cava market.

Franck Massard is an inspiring wine producer, who pivoted to viticulture in 2004 after a career as a sommelier – the first incarnation of the Mas Sardana was bottled in 2011. As you’ll see, his work doesn’t stop with wine, also managing an in-house olive oil franchise.

We thought the Mas Sardana was a little different from first sip. Though a wholesome and dry Cava, we found it to be a softer and lighter than its peers. It’s a great choice to those less initiated to the world of Cava or a trifle worried about feeling fragile the next morning. That said, this is by no means an enfeebled wine. The Mas Sardana still brings a full blossom of fruit to the palate, accented by a delicate aftertaste, which speaks to its Catalonian heritage.

Would go well with…

We tried this Cava solo though that’s not to say it would not make a good mealtime companion. We think this would pair well with a seafood dish – perhaps lemon sole or scallops.

Where to buy…

Naked Wines

Categories
Timeless Champagnes Uncategorized

Ayala Champagne Brut Majeur

Bubbly’s take…

A little more demure, the Ayala house have been making Champagne for over 160 years (- you can read more here). With such experience in viticulture, we sampled the Brut Majeur with gusto. When we come to think of Champagne, we tend to think of it as a quintessentially dry wine. And this Champagne certainly fulfilled our expectations. It has a reassuringly dry, crisp and rich flavour. This is also quite a direct and uncomplicated wine with a refreshing little punch. That being said, the Brut Majeur is a varietal, being produced from a few different grapes, hence we feel it is certainly not a bland Champagne.

Would go well with…

We had this with a delicious Thai takeaway. At first, it seemed an unlikely pairing however we found the Brut Majeur complemented many of the refined flavours (of lemongrass, nut and tamarind) that are manifest in Thai cuisine.

Where to buy…

The Drink Shop

Categories
Sassy White Wines

Dom Maxwell Riesling (New Zealand)

Bubbly’s take…

This Riesling is a real mid-week wonder. We enjoyed this on a Tuesday evening over dinner. This is a deliciously soft white wine. It has a lovely floral flavour, with a subtle hint of water melon. What we really like about this one is the absence of an acidic or acrid aftertaste; it is a clean and refreshing white wine. We look forward to sampling more from this intriguing winemaker.

Would go well with…

Salmon or another light fish or seafood dish.

Where to buy…

Naked Wines

Categories
Timeless Champagnes

Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial

Bubbly’s take…

This Brut is both a wonderful Champagne and a wonderful Rosé! We received this at Christmas in one of those big, elaborate boxes hence we had high expectations, particulary as the esteemed Moët & Chandon house now counts Louis Vutton amongst its corporate siblings. What really surprised us about this wine is it presents a great pairing of a sublime Rosé with a crisp Champagne. We’ve found few wines that can reconcile a wholesome Rosé with a dry sparkling. It’s a characterful and charming Champagne, and one we’re eager to try again soon.

Would go well with…

Canapés, cheese, shortbread, petit fours and other nice nibbles.

Where to buy…

The Drink Shop

Categories
Brassy Red Wines

Dominic Hentall Primitivo (Italy)

Bubbly’s take…

This one comes out of the bottle with a fiery shade of burgundy. It has a bold and fierce flavour, making it perfectly enticing for heartier dishes. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t one of those pungent or “tannin-rich” red wines that leave a bitter after-taste. Instead, its fruity and deliciously reminiscent of Italian holidays.

Would go well with…

Cheese and lots of it!

Where to buy…

Naked Wines

Categories
Incredible Cavas

Vilarnau Rosé Brut Cava

Bubbly’s take…

What a lovely sparkling rosé! Made by the esteemed Vilarnau house, this is a very floral Cava. If you are looking for a rosé Cava that has a fruity bouquet then this is the one for you. It comes out of the bottle with a pleasant shade of rose gold and brings a cocktail of flavours – reminiscent of summer berries – to the palate. We found the Vilarnau Rosé a pleasure to enjoy at a very reasonable price!

Would go well with…

Mild cheeses or dessert. That being said, we loved the flavour of this Cava so we think it works perfectly well by itself. We also think this is a great wine to share with friends, family or even just a beatiful (rosé) sunset.

Where to buy

Tesco

The Drink Shop (‘delicate’ version – not reviewed)

Categories
Timeless Champagnes Uncategorized

Palmer & Co. Brut Resérve Champagne

Bubbly’s take…

This one is a real “no-nonsense” wine. Made in Reims, we think this Champagne would suit anyone who prefers a clear and more pointed brut, without layered or complicated flavours. This is quite a potent wine hence it would make quite a firecracker for the right occasion! We enjoyed this as part of our New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Would go well with…

We enjoyed the Palmer & Co. with nibbles but we would’ve loved to have had this with dinner. As above, this is a fairly robust Champagne so we think it could pair well with richer meals.

Where to buy…

Vivino

Categories
Timeless Champagnes Uncategorized

Bollinger Special Cuvée

Bubbly’s take…

Rest assured, there are innumerable reasons why Bollinger can be described as one of the finer Champagne houses, many of which have already been eloquently recounted. With that said, we decided to try out one of Bolly’s premium Champagnes, the Special Cuvée, to see what the hype is all about.

We were extremely pleased with this brut. The Special Cuvée was one of our Christmas Champagnes (… very much needed after 2020) and it didn’t disappoint. This is a bold Champagne with a ‘straight-to-point’ signature flavour. It comes out of the bottle in a beautiful shade with a playful mousse. Bolly’s Special Cuvée is reassuringly dry, deliciously tart and carries an aromatic fragrance.

Would go well with…

Given our festive tasting, we’d have to say Christmas dinner. However, we loved pairing the Special Cuvée with some particularly flavoursome blue cheese. Otherwise this Champagne is a fitting heavyweight for all manner of special occasions.

Where to buy…

The Drink Shop

Categories
Incredible Cavas

Castillo Perelada Stars Brut Nature Reserva

Bubbly’s take…

We stumbled upon this one mainly because we were quite taken with its starry label and a timeless quote by Dom Pérignon. Yet there’s a lot more to the Perelada house than glitzy labels; this winery has been producing in Catalonia, Spain since medieval times – think of a turreted castle, complete with a moat and swans. Perelada make a variety of wines though, in this auspicious Cava, we found plenty of character and depth. The Stars Brut is a refreshing yet smoky sparkling. This Cava is assuredly crisp and charming but also possesses an evocative flavour that speaks to Perelada’s esteemed wine-making tradition.

Would go well with…

A heart paella. Great Cava like this can, of course, be enjoyed solo or as an apéritif. However, to make the most of this enchanting wine, we think the Stars Brut deserves a fitting Spanish feast complete with candlelight and the Gipsy Kings.

Where to buy…

The Drink Shop