Our Sparkling Wine
The Brice family have owned vines since the 17th century where Remi and Jean-René Brice now tend 8 hectares in the Bouzy. Brut Tradition is a wine that comes from a blend of fifteen crus aged in chalk-enclosed cellars. This aged reserve wine is blended with wine of the youngest vintage to produce a non-vintage Champagne. In the case of Tradition, the reserve wine is about 35% of the blend before it undergoes second fermentation in bottle to become the final product. It is made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. The dosage or final amount of sugar added is about 8g/l resulting in a Brut or dry wine. With a pale yellow colour and aromas compared with flowers, it is round and balanced on the palate. It can be a perfect aperitif, consumed alone or paired with poultry, white meats and grilled fish.
In 2004, Remi and Jean-René Brice joined the Champagne House and purchased cellars in the heart of Bouzy that had been dug in the 19th century with a capacity of over 500,000 bottles – a very useful storage space for their reserve wine which constitutes 15% of Brice Rosé. Most unusually, this rosé is made by blending white wine and Bouzy Rouge. Champagne is one of the few places where such blending of red and white wines is permitted to produce a rosé. Made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay and with a final dosage or addition of 8g/l sugar concentrate the result is a Brut wine which should be served chilled. It has an intense pink colour with aromas of grapes and fruit. With refreshing acidity and lively bubbles there are hints of red fruit and a wonderful finish. The makers suggested pairing with desserts but this wine is versatile: magnificent as an aperitif, to be drunk on its own or with canapés or cold cuts.
This wine comes from grapes from the best parcels of the Brice vineyards in Bouzy. The village of Bouzy is one of the Grand Cru Vineyards of Champagne, a designation based originally on the price paid for the grapes. There are some 17 Grand Cru villages in all and about 40 Premier cru vineyards whose grapes would traditionally have fetched a lower price. This vintage Champagne is made of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay with addition of a small amount of sugar at 6g/l before final bottling. There are red fruit aromas and the wine is refined and superbly balance on the palate with a beautiful finish. For those who like vintage Champagne the year 2012 was judged to be stellar by many. Great as an aperitif or to be drunk alone but some pairings might include: smoked salmon, hard cheeses, poultry, prawns or grilled lobster.
A Crémant is a sparkling wine which may be produced in some 8 areas of France by the same technique as is used in Champagne. Harvested by hand, grape yields are restricted and the wines must be aged for a minimum of one year. The grapes are typical for the area in question. In Burgundy, Crémant de Bourgogne would be made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris. Thus, a good producer of Crémant de Bourgogne will use the same grapes and wine-making techniques as a maker in Champagne and the result may be very similar to a good quality Champagne but at a very much lower cost. This Crémant de Bourgogne is a Blanc de Blancs meaning it has been produced from only white grapes and there is no Pinot Noir. Aromatic on the nose, it has a fresh crisp acidity with notes of apple and pear and a lovely light finish. Very nice with salads, salmon and cheese.
Écrin de Bulles is a Crémant de Bordeaux made by the same technique as Champagne, Spanish Cava and Italian Franciacorta. While sparkling wine has been present in France for hundreds of years, Crémant de Bordeaux is very much a newcomer, as the appellation was only created in 1990. There is a wide range of Crémant de Bordeaux wines from dry to sweet as well as whites and rosés. Whites, such as ours, are made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle so grassy aromas might be expected along with fruity and floral notes. The final stage in production, as in Champagne, is the dosage, or addition of a small amount of sugared wine which, the maker tells us, gives this wine a toasty note also. Crémant de Bordeaux is great as an aperitif but it is also a versatile pairing wine. Its acidity can well accompany savory foods including oysters, fish, shrimp and sushi but it will also do well with desserts and biscuits.
This marvellous Italian wine comes from the vineyards around Agrigento near the southwestern shores of Sicily. It is made from a most unusual combination of the Nerello Capuccio, Inzolia and Chardonnay grapes. Unlike Champagne and the Crémants, of France the wine is made by the Charmat method. Here, the secondary fermentation which produces the bubbles, takes place in a pressurized tank. This is an excellent method for making sparkling wines and preserves freshness and aromas of the grapes without the complexity which may follow long exposure to yeasts in bottles as occurs in Champagne. Straw-coloured with greenish hints, elegant and fragrant on the nose, full on the palate with a well-balanced acidicity and a crisp finish. Drink alone, as an aperitif, with smoked salmon, or fish dishes or desserts.