Toasts to the Queen continue...
Last week I suggested English and British Commonwealth sparkling wines to toast a record-breaking 70 years on the throne.
You may feel that it is time for rosé and if it is sparkling then that will be all the better as there is still time to wish our Queen all the best.
France holds the top spot in the world when it comes to overall consumption of champagne, but the United Kingdom comes in second at just a little more than the USA.
I have read that the royal family now uses English bubblies, but it is no secret that they do enjoy champagne and a Royal Warrant of Appointment is granted as a mark of recognition to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services to HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales or their households. The monarch decides who may grant Royal Warrants. These are known as the Grantors and the Queen has issued them with certain champagne brands.
Prince Charles is a particular fan of one historic champagne house and has issued his own unique warrant for Laurent Perrier and so we will lead off with Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rose Champagne, the most recognised rosé champagne in the world. It is truly remarkable for its highly expressive bouquet, stemming from very careful preservation of fresh fruit aromas during the wine making. Made with 100 per cent pinot noir from ten different "crus " (or villages) from the north and south areas of the Montagne de Reims, as well as the famous village of Bouzy. It opens to the sensation of freshly picked red berries: strawberries, Morello cherries, black currants and raspberries and the finish is supple and rounded.
Decanter magazine awards it 95/100 and says: “Ethereal floral and raspberry nose. A vinous palate with a mild mousse, the soft texture all wrapped in spice, nuts, smoke and a superior berry tincture. Very long and easy to enjoy.” $99.90 (Stock #7168).
One of the youngest champagne firms, founded in 1976, is Nicolas Feuillatte, and quite remarkably it is the top selling one in its home country, and number three in the world. Their Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Exclusive Rose is a delicately nuanced champagne literally bursting with red summer fruit flavours. A delicious cavalcade of red currant, blueberry and raspberry notes, combined with a hint of strawberry. It is a blend of 45 per cent pinot noir, 45 per cent pinot meunier and 10 per cent chardonnay.
The Wine Spectator gives it a score of 92/100 and writes: “Ripe cherry and pineapple fruit flavours provide pure and juicy upfront pleasure in this creamy rosé champagne, in a vinous style, while hints of marzipan, spiced orange peel, smoke and grilled herb emerge mid-palate, playing out on the firm, focused finish.” $51.85 (Stock #7007).
In 1994 the European Union ruled that wines made by fermenting individually in each bottle could no longer use the term “methode champenoise”, unless they came from the champagne appellation, and so we have to say that the following wine is “methode traditionelle”.
Gerard Vitteaut is the mayor of Rully, a picturesque village in the Côte Chalonnaise known for making excellent sparkling wines. Together with his wife Danielle and his daughter Agnes, they have developed 17 acres and produce a fine sparkling rosé. Their Vitteaut Alberti Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé is pale pink salmon-like in colour with a touch of rose water. Its powerful nose has a very pure expression of red fruit (including cherry, raspberry, strawberry). Also, pink grapefruit and spices. This is 100 per cent pinot noir. $26.40 (Stock #7849).
You may wonder why Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé cannot be called prosecco, as it is made in the same area and by the same method. The fact is that the law stipulates that prosecco must be a minimum of 85 per cent glera grapes and in this case, Santa Margherita uses 50 per cent chardonnay, 45 per cent glera and 5 per cent malbec.
Elegant perfumes of strawberries and citrus lead to an attractive palate with mixed berry fruits that linger on the finish. This wine is wonderful on its own, and pairs well with savoury appetisers, complex seafood dishes and anything spicy. $23.70 (Stock #8887).
Lamarca Prosecco Rosé can be so labelled as they use a blend of 89 per cent glera and 11 per cent pinot noir. This wine has classic fresh-picked notes of citrus, honeysuckle, peach and pear. Hints of ripe red cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry follow. Well-known critic James Suckling gives it a very credible 90 points. $25.95 (Stock #6710).
Spain produces an enormous amount of good and inexpensive sparkling wine and a very recent arrival is Segura Viudas Brut Rose Cava that is a blend of 90 per cent trepat and 10 per cent garnacha. To use that “no-no” word again this week I will quote Cheap Wine Reviews: “The nose is a well-balanced blend of light strawberry and yeast aromas. The palate is more on the citrus side, with flavours like orange peel and lime juice. It also shows some light strawberry flavours, particularly in the mid-palate and towards the finish. There’s a touch of mineral on the finish as well. The mouthfeel is beautifully bubbly. This one is a steal!” Heavens, even the site Tasting Panel gives it 93 points and says, “Strawberry and pink grapefruit perfume the glass of this gorgeous cava rosado, a blend of 90 per cent trepat and 10 per cent garnacha that aged for 12 months. Defined by decisive flavours of cherry pith, grapefruit zest, and grenadine, it possesses a subtle richness thanks to its refined mousse and textural complexity.” $22 (Stock #9114).
• This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Contact Michael Robinson at email@example.com. Burrows Lightbourn have stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554) and Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355). Visit www.wineonline.bm