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Saturday, 14 November 2015

A Fizz Tasting With Friends

A tasting of various fizzes with friends from First Intuition, Cambridge Champagne Company and a trainee MW - including two wines from Italy's Cuvage

Years ago, I felt I could take or leave Champagne - these days, I find entry level fizz remains no more than wine with bubbles, but good Champagnes (and, by extension, traditional method Champagne-alikes) have a complexity and sophistication that makes them world class.

The aim of this tasting was to compare and contrast fizzes of different origins, grapes, climates and production methods.
Quartet, Anderson Valley Brut, Roederer Estate (California, USA) - traditional method approach and grapes, but lacking in elegance. Not so much a muscle car as a clumsy and wonky Ford Edsel.

Vilarnau Brut Nature Vintage (Cava, Spain) citrussy and fresh with cava's textbook "waxed jacket" finish

Cuvage Rosé Brut NV Metodo Classico (Acqui Terme, Italy) not visibly a rosé, but actually a classic Champagne mushroom colour; ripe, rounded and very adept. Very Good.

Cuvage Blanc de Blancs NV Metodo Classico (Acqui Terme, Italy) toasty-leesy with ripe orchard fruit, white flowers and some aged honey-nutty character. Very Good.

Dominique Boulard Reserve NV (Champagne) - ripe orchard fruit and citrus; textbook NV Champagne. Good.

Dominique Boulard rosé NV (Champagne) red berry fruit and linear acidity. A little closed up and not as complex as the NV

Dominique Boulard Brut Grand Cru Mailly NV (Champagne) opulent and complex with toasty leesiness and ripe orchard fruits. Very Good.

Volpi Moscato Frizzante NV (Piemonte, Italy) a reliable semi-sweet frizzante, with sherberty citrus, elderflower and gentle fizz. Context is all, however, and on this occasion it was utterly outclassed by its peers.

After all those high-acidity wines, we finished off with ... another high-acidity wine, albeit rounded out with vast amounts of residual sweetness; a D'Oliveiras Madeira
Bual 10 years dark brown with complex roasted nuts, raisins and figs and a refreshing acidity. Very balanced. Very Good.

Other related articles
An Italian Wine Evening with Friends

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