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Starting with sparkling

During harvest, the first grapes to come in from the vineyard are those intended for sparkling wines. The reason is the high acidity the winemakers are trying to capture at just the right time. They want to avoid the fruit ripening, which brings up the sugar level. So the perfect balance of acidity has to be found. Like an early harvest, below enjoy some sparkling wines that pair perfectly at the beginning of a meal or as an aperitif. 

Champagne La Villesenière – Harmony 2011 – Brut
France - Champagne - Brut (White)
88 Points
“Slight hint of minerality; brings my mind more towards Chardonnay in terms of style. I like the palate here, bone dry. A bit more depth and maturity on the palate then I got on the nose. Nice creaminess, quite persistent flavours here, good gripe and zest all along.”


Castello Bonomi – Cru Perdu NV
Italy – Lombardy – Franciacorta (White)
86 Points
“There’s a hint of complexity here from aging on the lees like butter, some pastry, citrus and ripe pear. Good bite on the palate, vivid freshness here; I think acidity is really well-integrated because the fruitiness has got a certain ripeness, so it’s combining that nice juicy ripe fruit with that freshness.”


Villa Sandi – 2014 – Proseco Superiore
Italy - Valdobbiadene (White)
85 Points
“With that youthful fruit like crushed apple, some notes of those fresh grapes and a lot of creaminess, but very fine bubbles still. Nice, creamy and rounded with a smooth finish. A wine that is very pleasurable.”


Champagne Faniel & Fils – Appogia NV – Brut Blanc De Blancs
France - Champagne  (White)
84 Points
“Quite austere in terms of texture. So more like lemon, just-about-ripe green apple, some hints of grapefruit, some zesty notes, light with a marked acidity. Medium towards long finish.”


Jean Louis Denois – Blanc De Blancs
France – Languedoc/Roussillon – Cremant de Limoux – Brut Nature (White)
82 Points
“Vibrant fruit, hints of lemon zest, lime, apple and melon. The palate feels dry, rather bone dry, not really any hints of residual sugar. Good freshness, it is crisp, with a rather high acidity.”


Champagne Phal B. De Beaufort – Privilège Extra Brut NV – Grand Cru
France – Champagne (White)
84 Points
“So as the nose started out more quite expressive, round and ripe, the palate is more tight and focused with well-marked acidity adding a lot of freshness, almost mouth-watering, slightly austere. Still quite youthful on the palate, it has length, but more I would say light to mid-weight in terms of body.”


Champagne Jil Accaries – NV – Brut Rosé
France - Champagne (Rosé)

91 Points
“Quite broad on the palate here with a clear phenolic presence, you feel that slightly tannic sensation, with that presence of red wine and those flavours; with a hint of windfall and more on the red fruit side. So quite ripe fruit in combination of still youthful, rather pronounced acidity.”

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