Raising a Glass to Mums
A sparkle to all mum’s out there. With Mother’s Day approaching in a month’s time, many of us are looking for gift ideas, and you can’t go too wrong with some bubbles. Here’s a short style guide and some top picks, tasted by our experts.
Quick sparkling wine style guide:
- Champagne – Made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and only in the French region of Champagne, it’s produced using the ‘traditional method’, with secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle. The benchmark for sparkling wine.
- Traditional-method – The key examples are:
- Cava – Spanish sparkling wine made using native grapes, although Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are also allowed. Reserva and Gran Reserva Cavas undergo more ageing in bottle and can offer additional complexity.
- Crémant – Regional styles in France mostly use local grape varieties and are generally bottled sooner than Champagne. Examples include Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Loire and Crémant de Jura.
- Other very good traditional-method sparkling wines can be found in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
- Prosecco – Made in the Veneto region of northeast Italy from the Glera grape, using the tank or ‘charmat’ method. Fresh, zesty and easy to drink.
- Moscato – Sweet Italian sparkling wine known for its fruity notes. Made from the Muscat grape, this white wine is typically thought of as a dessert wine with a hint of fizz.
- Pétillant-Naturel – This style has been around for centuries in méthode ancestrale guise. There’s no secondary fermentation, so these easy-drinking wines have a delicate fizz and a slightly sweet character. Many also have sediment. It may be a little out there for mum, but is worth a try if you’re into natural or low-intervention wines.
Region: France, Champagne, Oger
Retail Price: S$ 83.00
About the Wine: This delicate blend of the best white wines from the “Cote des Blancs” offers high intensity of flavours thanks to the Chardonnay, featured by its floral, citrus, fine and light notes. Sleek, with racy acidity framing flavors of poached pear, pastry dough, candied lemon zest, white peach and spice. This offers fine, creamy texture and a lingering note of minerality on the finish.
About the Winery: Champagne CHAPUY is a Family Estate of 8 ha of vineyards . The majority of them are planted in the “Côte des Blancs” with Chardonnay grape variety, which allows to produce a fine and light Blanc de Blancs Champagne, very typical of this region. Among them, 3 ha belong to the famous “Grand Cru” village of Oger. Other family plots, located in the “Coteaux Sud d’Epernay” and planted with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varieties (3ha), are used to produce the blended Champagnes, more fruity and mellow. The Family Estate’s Motto : A Premium quality Champagne at an “owner” price.
Region: France, Champagne, Epernay
Retail Price: S$ 107.00
About the Wine: This very delicate Rosé is dominated by Pinots Noirs – selected for their finesse and their personality-, linked to Chardonnay’s refined elegance and topped by Pinot Meunier’s splendid fruitiness. This Rosé have very fine and aerial bubbles that brighten its pale pink robe with some copper bronze hints. Its fine and subtle bouquet reveals fruity and delicate notes of rasberries and wild strawberries. On the palate, it is velvety and deliciously fresh, as well as generous and well-structured. The refined fruity aromas are intense and blend harmoniously with citrus notes, smooth spices and an elegant subtle minerality. The final is fresh and smooth.
About the Winery:Founded in 1834, Champagne Boizel has cultivated excellence since its origins by respecting the values of authenticity and commitment to the best quality. In 180 years of existence, this family house has forged its reputation on the subtlety of its blends and the finesse of its different Champagnes. Then as now, each generation pursues the adventure by combining respect of tradition with a capacity for innovation to continue to produce Champagnes that are constantly more refined and more appealing. The involvement of the family in all stages of production, from the vine to the glass, and the family’s deep roots in Epernay, in the heart of Champagne, are two major strengths for the House. This love for Champagne and the passionate pursuit of finesse, character and elegance in the wines are authentic family values.
Region: Italy, Veneto, Valdobbiadene
Retail Price: S$52.00
About the Wine: Pale bright straw-coloured with intense and persistent flavor – aromatic, fruity and balanced. Taste smooth and creamy with a nice core of ripe grape and apple flavours that gain complexity on the finish. Can be paired as an aperitif and pairs very well with liver and fish snacks. Traditionally matched with little dry cakes or fruit tarts.
About the Winery: Antonio Franco founded the “Cantine Franco” winery in Valdobbiadene in 1919. Valdobbiadene is located at the foot of the Prealps, in the Venetian region, and is famous for the Prosecco vine and wine production. This winery is proud to be one of the oldest in Valdobbiadene, located in the town centre, not far away from the countryside and the vineyards. Since then, Primo Franco took over in 1982 and was one of the first pioneers to export the Prosecco and to introduce a different sparkling wine than Champagne into the international market. He has been successful, thanks to his open mind personality, his spontaneity, reliability and competence as well as his charm and ability to communicate his love for his job, and last but not least thanks to his high quality and delicious wines
Region: Spain, Penedes, Sant Sadurni d’Anoia
Retail Price: S$ 92.00
About the Wine: Straw hue with golden highlights. The nose is intense with clear notes of maturity under a constant veil of freshness. Hints of baked apple, sweet pears, ripe citrus & grapefruit peel. Faded flowers and a herbal backdrop reminiscent of fennel and rosemary. The ageing notes run through a gamut of aromas which includes hazelnuts, pastries, toast, brioche and toffee. The cava becomes more and more expressive as it opens up in the glass. On the palate, it is powerful on entry with great structure. The carbon dioxide is fine and creamy. The wine is loaded with candied fruit balanced by the notes from aging. The balsamic aromas come through again. Lively, refreshing finish on the palate. The aftertaste is never-ending.
About the Winery: Gramona are acknowledged, in Spain and beyond, to be the finest of all Cava Houses (voted 26th in the World’s Most Admired Wine Brands by Drinks International 2016). Located in the Alt Penedes region, 30km south of Barcelona, it is the perfect location to produce Cavas. The fifth generation of Gramona has also started making still wines and sweet wines which aim to express the character of their local terroir and delight lovers of good wine. True to their belief in respecting the environment, they manage their vineyards according to organic and biodynamic principles.
Region: France, Burgundy, Beaujolais
Retail Price: S$52.00
About the Wine: The Chermette Crémant de Bourgogne is a dry sparkling wine made using 100% Chardonnay from a single parcel of vines just north of the Vissoux cellars. The wine is aged for 18 months, with very little dosage liqueur added (5 g/L). Minimum sulphur is used and the wine is not fined or filtered. Pale straw with a golden hue in color, followed by fine and delicate bubbles. Citrus, floral and mineral aromas are noted on the nose, and are later partnered by a fresh and elegant palate. A perfectly balance and enjoyable sparkling cremant.
About the Winery: Domaine du Vissoux is a family-run wine estate, located in the southern Beaujolais region of Burgundy. Maurice Chermette, first took ownership of the vineyard in the early 1950’s and at the time sold his wine predominately in bulk to some of Burgundy top brokers. Through great care and dedication Maurice was able to work his way up and be noted as one of the top wine producers in the area. To date the estate of Domain Vissoux is scene as a forerunner in the region and is a firm believer that “integrated agriculture” is the way to obtain optimum success levels in the vineyard and at the winery. All grapes are manually harvested and sorted once they reach there peak ripeness. Vinification is left to occur as naturally as possible, which is why no chemical produced yeast or chaptalisation are added or occur and minimum amounts of sulphur dioxide are used.
Region: Italy, Piemonte, Strevi
Retail Price: S$34.00
About the Wine: Straw yellow with intense aromas of citrus, apricot, fig and orange blossom; taste is pleasantly sweet and aromatic like the Moscato grapes it comes from. The alcohol content makes it a delicious and natural thirst-quencher anytime as well as a dessert wine par excellence; it also lends itself to unusual combinations with appetizers, raw fish and sushi.
About the Winery: The winery Marenco, born in 1896, has a story full of passion with vineyards that has connection to the land and the land that has few equals on the hills of Monferrato. Michele’s started his dream of planting a vineyard in the heart of the Bagnario Valley, Strevi, an area especially suitable to viticulture. His son Giuseppe then began the Company’s evolution, gradually acquiring the best land of the Monferrato and choosing the most typical grape varieties to plant. After the war, he built his winery in the center of the village of Strevi, to be near the train station so that he could send his wines directly to his customers. A man with deep roots, he was able to convey his passion to the entire family, and today his daughters , Michaela, with her husband Dr. Giovanni Costa, Patrizia, and Doretta carry on “the family dream ” with his same enthusiasm and dedication. They personally supervise and control every step of the production process, all the way from grape to glass.
Special Feature – Sommelier’s pick
Region: France, Languedoc
Retail Price: S$50.00
About the Wine: Magnificent pale robe, complex nose, and hints of citrus, white-fleshed and tropical fruits. Superbly refreshing and pleasant nose, with fabulous fruity sensations (white-fleshed fruits, lychee). With a generous mouth sensation riding on zesty notes, it is both gourmet and refreshing. This is an enjoyable wine that is perfect for those moments with friends.
About the Winery: Today there are about 115 hectares of grapevines in the vineyard. The estate enjoys a very favorable Mediterranean climate along with soils of clay and limestone and topped with round pebbles, just like you find in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The grapes are chosen for how well they grow on the land (Syrah and grenache are the most common), and they are cultivated according to sensible methods, without chemical herbicides. The harvest is done by hand when the grapes are at the height of their maturity. The wine-making process, using vats and wooden barrels depending on the color, keeps the varieties separate to preserve all of their specific attributes. Then, the aging takes place in barrels that meet the criteria that imprint an astonishing uniqueness on the wines of the estate. This is an estate with many special qualities, and the character of the land comes out in the wine, which is a sure sign of the treasure of the truly unique wines of Languedoc.