50 Stellar Sparkling Wines for 2017

50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World by Wine Pleasures

Top 50 Sparkling Wines of the World. Our experts tasted through premium bubblies from around the Old and New World to bring you the best 50 available for 2017. Anthony Swift, Competition Director looks at the results.

Close on 100 sparkling wines were entered from diverse terroirs and countries such as: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa and Spain.  Diverse too were the grape varieties used to make top quality sparkling wines such as Alvarinho and Touriga Nacional from Portugal, Trebbiano & Sangiovese from Italy, Macabeo, Perellada & Xarel.lo from Spain as well as the classic Champagne varieties based on Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir made in Australia, France and South Africa.

In the case of sparkling wines made using the traditional method these were classified and tasted according to dosage and ageing time on the lees. Sparkling wines made using the Charmat method were classified and tasted according to dosage. This year saw a couple of Frizzantes make the 50 Greats.

Quality was high – all of the Sparkling wines included in the competition have scored at least 90 points. Traditional method production dominated the competition with some nice prices, most ranging from €6 to €35 Euros with several coming in at €40 and anything up to €145. Charmat method production wines range from €6.50 to €15

Sparkling Wines made using the Traditional Method

Champagne Collet wins the Traditional method production category with a Gold triple Esprit Couture (NV), Brut Vintage 2006 Collection Privée, and Millesime 2006 each receive a score of 97 points have been classified as Exceptional

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10 Sparkling Wines also with Gold and classified as Exceptional are Soldati la Scolca D’Antan Blanc de Blancs Brut & Soldati la Scolca Spumante Brut by La Scolca (Piemonte, Italy), The Rosé by Velenosi (Marche, Italy), QM Alvarinho Super Reserva by Quintas de Melgaço (Vinho Verde, Portugal), La Pamelita & Insolitam by Lobban Wines (Penedès, Spain), Mascolino Metodo Classico Vino Bianco Spumante Brut 60 Mesi by Faccioli Enzo (Veneto, Italy), Brut Art Deco by Champagne Collet (Champagne, France), Cremant D’Alsace Brut Rosé by Caves Meyer Thuet (Alsace, France) & Montesquius Gran Reserva 2004 Brut Nature Magnum by Montesquius (Cava, Spain).

Sparkling Wines made using the Charmat Method

Welgemeend Estate Winery  Sparkling Symphony 2016 (Paarl/ Stellenbosch, South Africa) & La Canosa Brut Rosé (Marche, Italy) top the ratings each with 95 points and are awarded Gold.

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Silver medal winners with 94 points include Bettili Cristiana (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy) Prosecco Brut Polzner and Velenosi (Marche, Italy) Passerina Brut.

The 2017 edition of 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World takes the form of a 18 page full colour collectable publication and contains all the Gold and Silver medal winners with photos and tasting notes for each. The magazine also outlines how Sparkling wine is made, clarifies the difference between the Traditional and Charmat method. 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2017 is available to view free and is a useful resource for both the trade and the end wine consumer/wine traveller.

Read more about 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World>>

50-great-sparkling-wines-for-2017Also of interest:

50 Great Cavas 2017 – the best of Cava for 2017>>

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Nastl Riesling Sparkles in Austria’s Langenlois

The Nastl winery is a celebrated winery in the Kamptal area of Austria, in the lovely town of Langenlois.  They are a particularly well-known producer of the Grüner Veltliner in Austria.  Due to the specialization of this grape, they are able to offer five different types of wines made from Grüner Veltliner grown in their own vineyards.

Nastl Riesling Sekt 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldThe tradition of winemaking in the Nastl family dates back to as early as 1656.  For nearly 400 years, the Nastl family has been creating wines of outstanding quality in Austria.  The heads of the family today are Günter and Renate.  They, alongside their children Christian, Alexander and Petra, have taken the winemaking to a whole new level of excellence.  The entire family exudes special passion for food and wine.

Nastl Riesling Sekt 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldAfter nearly two decades of growing grapes and wine making, the family decided that it was time for a new cellar.  The idea was to combine the typical underground cellar, which is carved deeply into the loess beneath the winery, with a new cellar that can meet all the requirements for state-of-the-art winemaking.  It was in 2003 that the new cellar was inaugurated with the first harvest.  The three level cellar is a marriage of four hundred years of wine making tradition and more efficient modern wine making techniques.

Nastl Riesling Sekt 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldLangenlois, hometown of the Nastl family, is the biggest wine town in Austria.  Situated in the romantic Kamptal region of Lower Austria, only 70 km northwest of Vienna.  The landscape is a picturesque expanse of rivers and rolling hills dotted with castles, manors and wineries. The name of this region comes from the river Kamp, which flows through this area and lends special qualities to the terroir here.

Nastl Riesling Sekt 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldThis area is famous for not only the aforementioned Grüner Veltliner, but also Riesling and Muskateller (also known as Muscat Ottonel).  The terroir is perfect for these grape varietals. The sandstone slopes are very steep, so only a thin layer of soil is retained, and exposure to the sun is high.  Riesling thrives on steep slopes such as these.  The micro-climate and soils are perfect for growing grapes to create delicate and refreshing wines.  The atmospheric conditions allow an interplay between hot days and cool nights, and the terroir is mainly rock, silt and loess.  These are some of the factors that impart lively aromas, subtle fruit, complexity and bright acidity to the wine.

The Nastl family not only produce some of the most remarkable wines of the area, they have also run a special restaurant, known as the Heuriger, for over 40 years!  This luminous, cozy space is nestled in a grove of walnut trees near the Nastl winery.  The restaurant is open for a few weeks at a time, only three times per year (April, August and October); to offer carefully selected pairings of traditional Austrian cuisine with their exquisite wine.  They also host tastings and special events.

The Nastl winery offers tours and tastings, and reservations must be made in advance directly through the winery.

Nastl has the following sparkling wine amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

Riesling Sekt (Silver medal with 93 pts) Mango, papaya, candied fruit and melon with hints of flowers. Palate is medium bodied and fruity, boasting a great seam of acidity. Youthful. Front Cover 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016

 

Argentinan “Mascota” Sparkles Gold in 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World

Rodolfo Sadler, affectionately known as “Opi” has had an illustrious career in the Argentinean wine world.  With over 25 years of experience, Opi is known for exceptional deftness and knowledge of vineyards and grapes with a particular mastery of the different Argentinean terroirs.  Having learned and perfected his craft working for the likes of the National Institute of Viticulture, and Bodegas Santa Ana, Opi started Mascota as a place to showcase his skill and passion for winemaking.

La Mascota 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016Located in Finca La Mascota, the vineyards sit at the foot of the Andes in an area labelled “Primera Zona,” and recognised as Argentina’s best wine region.  A place with wide temperamental range with alluvial soil comprised of rock underneath clay-loam surface and near the Mendoza River, make for an ideal microclimate for Mascota’s 97 hectares of vineyards.

mv-lm-entrancela-mascota-sparkling-rose-extra-brut-3Inside the cellars, Opi’s hands-on approach means wines are carefully brought to maturity through small batch fermentation and barrel aging.  Expressive tastes are achieved through a combination of skill with artistic license, but with a strict focus on balance and varietal character that reflects the terroirs of the land.  This isn’t to say that refreshing and bright flavours take a back seat to woody or earthy tones that can often times by imbued from barrel aging, but rather base wines and curvee are crafted to enhance fruit flavours that add complexity and boldness to the final product.

Mascota is the culmination of Opi’s achievements as a prolific and celebrated winemaker.  Winemaking is his art, and Mascota is his canvas, where he has shown his ability to create exceptional wines ranging from basic, still, to high end, and sparkling.  No matter the price range, every bottle of Mascota is created with the same care and love and taste like an expensive treat.

La Mascota has the following sparkling wine amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

La Mascota Sparkling (Gold medal with 94 pts) A wonderfully lively wine with a real dynamic play between acidity and fresh red summer fruits. Wild strawberry and lemon rind on the nose. A brisk style that is attractive and pleasant.Front Cover 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016

 

Great Sparkling Wine by the Sea from Les Caves Richemer

The story of Les Caves Richemer begins in France in the year 1998.  This is the year that the cooperative wineries of D’Adge and Marsaillen were married, bringing 450 winemakers together and giving birth to what would soon become numerous wine ranges of outstanding quality.  The name Les Caves Richemer comes from Henri Richet, a legendary local winemaker who became very wealthy from sea borne wine trader, especially vermouth.  The cooperative adopted the name Henri de Richemer, and working together they began to thrive and create exceptional wines.

Les Caves Richemer 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldEach year, at the end of the summer, hoppers loaded with grapes sit side by side the numerous boats docked at Marsaillen.  This is because the wine cellar of Henri de Richemer is in the very heart of the city, on the port!  The wines are sold very close to where they are produced, in the three wine shops of Les Caves Richemer, those in Marsaillen-Ville, Marsaillen-Plage (the beach of Marsaillen) and D’Adge.

Les Caves Richemer wines are separated into five special ranges and produce a total of 300,000 bottles of wine per year, all made from grapes grown in the regions of Hérault, Côtes de Thau and from the Pays d’Oc

The 450 winegrowers of this cooperative have a combined 1,500 hectares of vineyards.  In their unique location between land and sea, the vineyards of Les Caves Richemer create exceptionally bright white, rose and sparkling wines.  This is partly because of the soil in the Mediterranean waterfront, which is mainly composed of tertiary sediments (clay and sand) and quaternary (gravel) which are particularly conducive to growing grapes with delicate and complex flavours.

Les Caves Richemer 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldThe climate of this area is heavily influenced by the vineyards’ proximity to the second largest lake in France, the Etang de Thau.  This is the largest in a string of lagoons in France that stretches from the Rhône River to the foothills of the Pyrenees, and lends a specific moisture and freshness imperative for creating beautifully subtle and delicate wines.

Their ranges include wines made from traditional single grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Their iconic range of cuvées, the Terre & Mer, focuses on vins de pays made with local varieties of grapes.  These are Terret for whites, Marselan and Syrah for rosés and reds, and both noir and blanc Piquepol.  Only the oldest wines are used for this range, which is the special of Les Caves Richemer. These are very special grapes and the wines that the cooperative of Les Caves  Richemer have created with them are truly outstanding.

Les Caves Richemer 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldLes Caves Richemer 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldThe doors of the cellar of Henri de Richemer face the beautiful port, and surely have had a hand in perpetuating the traditions of the first port on the Thau, as well as promoting the rich architectural and urban heritage of the waterfront.

Les Caves Richemer has the following sparkling wine amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

Terre &t Mer Brut (Gold medal with 96 pts) Fresh orange and floral notes. Fruity attack with sprightly acidity. Clean lines. Short pleasant finish. Youthful.Front Cover 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016

 

 

Istenič Stara Vas na Bizeljsko Slovenia Great Sparkling Wines

The Istenič brand was born in Stara Vas, a small settlement in eastern Slovenia near the Croatian border, and over the years has garnered attention for the wine region Stara Vas na Bizeljsko, not only from wine lovers in Slovenia but around the world as well.

Istenič 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016In the year 1968 the Istenič family bought 0.1 hectares of vineyard, and created their very first sparkling wine in the traditional method.  The sparkling wine was named “Barbara”, for their daughter, who was born in that same year.  This was the first privately produced sparkling wine in all of Slovenia.  Janez Istenič, the head of the family, began producing wines as the very first private producer of sparkling wines in Slovenia.  This was a groundbreaking event for wine making in Slovenia, as before this time all wine producers were large and socially owned.

In the 1990s, the Istenič family began to expand their winemaking endeavors.  They built a winery in beautiful Piršenbreg in 1995, which was nestled among 3 hectares of young vineyard.  In these vineyards Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are planted.

Istenič 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016Then in late 2006 the family bought 3 more hectares of vineyard in Drenovec, an area considered to be the best site for cultivating grape vines in Bizeljsko.  In this vineyard the white varieties Laški Rizling (Also known as Welschriesling) and Šipon (Also known as Furmint, a grape that originates in Hungary) thrive in wonderful conditions for grape growing.  This property in Drenovec there was an old winery in the very center of the vineyards, and in the year that followed the Istenič family completely renovated this winery.

The landscape in Stara Vas na Bizeljsko is tranquil and idyllic, rolling hills on all sides with vineyards soaking up the sun for many hours each day.  The terroir here is special, containing high levels of silicates that are rarely found elsewhere, and are an important source of nutrients for the vines.  The hills on which the vineyards lie sit at an altitude of between 170 and 350 metres above sea level.  The climate here gives excellent potential to the cultivation of grapes for white wines.  The days are sunny, especially during ripening season, and the nights are cool.  This allows the sugars grapes to reach ideal levels of acidity and sugars.

Istenič 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016Istenič produces 200,000 bottles per year of sparkling wine, and is one of the leading houses in Slovenia.  Istenič is a multi award winning winery that combines traditional winemaking with modern cellaring technology and a powerful commitment to producing top quality sparkling wines.

Istenič 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016For wine tourists traveling through Slovenia, the Villa Istenič is a breathtakingly beautiful manor, painted with pristine white and lemon yellow, with foundations laid in 1740.  Rooms and suites may be rented for wine tourism.  It is situated the entrance to the Bizeljsko wine region, on top of a hill with wineries on all sides.  Guests will of course receive a bottle of chilled sparkling wine, and may relax and enjoy all that this exceptional wine region of Slovenia has to offer.

Istenič have the following sparkling wines amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

Nº 1 Cuvée Speciale (Silver medal 91 pts)
Prestige Brut (Silver medal 90 pts)
Gourmet Rosé 2006 Magnum (Silver medal 90 pts)

Front Cover 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016

Fratelli Agnes, Rovescola since 1912. Exceptional Frizzantes


The family operating the Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes, an Italian winery with beautiful vineyards located in Rovescala, Lombardia, creates truly exceptional Frizzante sparkling wines.  This is most certainly due in part to profoundly deep roots in traditional wine making.  Grapes have been cultivated and wine produced in Rovescala for over 800 years!

Fratelli Agnes 50 Great Sparkling wines of the world

A notarized historical document exists, dated all the way back to March 22, 1192, stating that three Lombardi feudal lords, noble creditors, required repayment from Anselmo, the Count of Rovescala.  Rather than demanding the money back, they requested 2,000 litres of fine wine and an escort of armed men to protect the load on the journey back to Milan.  They requested, “de puro vino suarum vinearum de Rovescalla, de meliori quod habuerit super locum” (pure wine of the vineyards of Rovescala, a place that has the best).  The document is currently held in safekeeping at the State Archives of Milan.  Archaeological finds also attest to the age old winemaking tradition of the region, some dating back to Roman times, including fragments of beautiful relics used for serving wine.

The municipality of Rovescala is nestled amongst thriving vineyards in the region of Oltrepò Pavese.  This area lies in the province of Pavia, in Lombardia.  Located in the northwest region of Italy, Lombardia is frequently referred to as the “Tuscany of the North”, due to the abundance of remarkable and authentic Italian wines.  The Oltrepò Pavese in particular has a wealth of vineyards, medieval villages and castles, panoramic views and authentic Italian cuisine and wine.  This region is the largest producer of wines in Lombardia, and one of the largest in all of Italy, especially of wines made with Pinot Nero grapes.

It is in this rich, historic region that the Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes may be found.  The family also has very deep roots in the tradition of winemaking, and began cultivating grapes and producing fine wines in 1912.

Agnes Fratelli 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World

The prestigious winery of Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes produces 120,000 bottles of wine each year.  They craft their wines using grapes grown exclusively in their own 20 hectares of vineyard.  The harvest is done manually.  They cultivate Bonardo Pignolo di Rovescala and Croatina, red grape varietals that are local to the Oltrepò Pavese region as well as, to a lesser extent, some other areas of Lombardia.  Vines are planted in plots, and grapes are collected and crushed separately according to type in order to maintain as much of their unique characteristics as possible.

The wines of Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes continue to win awards in Italy and around the globe, which further inspires the family to create even finer wines.  To this end, they have recovered and reintroduced old vines of grape varietals that, over time, have been abandoned or forgotten.  One such example is the Bonarda Pignolo, with which they create wines that possess certain flavours unique to this grape.

Agnes Fratelli 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2

Today, the brothers Christian and Sergio Agnes operate the Azienda Agricola Fratelli cresta del ghiffi bottiglia mdAgnes.  With the wealth of knowledge that has been passed down to them from generation to generation, and by respecting time-honoured traditions, they perpetuate the production of superb wines, which capture the spirit of their land.

Fratelli Agnes have the following sparkling wines amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

Vigna della Composta 2013 (Silver medal with 93 pts)
Cresta del Ghiffi 2017 (Silver medal with 91 pts)

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Gold for Fiore del Vento by Fattoria Eolia

In the Euganei Hills in the province of Padua, the Fattoria Eolia vineyard lies, overlooking the town of Rovolon. Wine production first began at Fattoria Eolia in 1984, however in 2009 Giovanni Zini took over the farm, and decided to start from scratch – recreating the property into what it is day.

Fattoria Eolia 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World

The thirteen hectares of vines span over two estates; Terrebianche in Luvigliano di Torreglia and Località Spinazzola in Rovolon, which is also home to the winery. The winery has been recreated by Giovanni Zini with a focus on investment in structures and production technology resulting in the most modern technologies for wine-making.  Further developments include a partly underground barrel cellar along with a wine tasting room with beautiful panoramic views over the surrounding vineyards. A holiday cottage is also available within the vineyard, with a guided wine tasting at Fattori Eoelia included for those who stay.

Fattoria Eolia 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World

Terrebianche Estate is where the four hectares of Fior d´Arancio grape variety is grown to produce the Fiore del Vento Moscato. The vineyard is also home to twenty bee hives which are nestled among the vines and provide exceptionally high quality honey.

For each wine that is produced at Fattoria Eolia, a character of rural tradition has been chosen to appear on each label: The labels have been expertly hand drawn by illustrator Marta Farina from Belluno, a small village in the north-eastern Italian Alps. The decision for Marta and Giovanni to collaborate was the result of a chance meeting; however the results provide a fairy tale uniqueness to each bottle of Fattoria Eolia wine.

Fiore del vento amongst the 50 Great Sparkling wines of the world 2016The illustration that has been chosen to appear on the Fiore del Vento label is the nymph Climene. According to Classical mythology, Climene and Apollo had a son, known as Fetonte. As a young boy, Fetonte was given the Sun waggon by his father, however after drifting through the sky ended up falling upon the Colli Euganei. The grapes for the Fior del Vento are grown in this area which is highly celebrated for growing this vine variety.

Fattoria Eolia has the following sparkling wines amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

Fiore del Vento 2014 (Gold medal with 94 pts)

50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016 – Get your copy here:

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Franciacorta’s Corte Aura Fizz in 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World

Corte Aura Franciacorta 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World The Corte Aura winery creates outstanding sparkling wines of the Franciacorta region. Franciacorta is a small wine-producing area in Lombardy, northern Italy. It is famous for its high-quality sparkling wines, which are made very much in the image of Champagne. The Franciacorta wine region is located in the Brescia province, in the hills immediately south east of the foot of Lake Iseo.  Corte Aura is located in the area of Adro in the province of Brescia. The commune of Adro lies at the feet of Monte Alto, about 6km from Lake Iseo in the south western area of Brescia. Monte Aldo protects the vines from wind and fog and enables the creation of a perfectly temperate climate for the cultivation of grapes. The small village of Adro has been considered an ideal place for the cultivation of for thousands of years. This is also confirmed by the emblem of the town on which is depicted 3 bunches of grapes.

Federico Fossati, the “Soul of Corte Aura”, was born in 1978.  He came from the Veneto to the region of Lombardia with the determination to produce a Franciacorta of exceptional quality and to reap the benefits from the land, bringing together the particular characteristics and the typicality of the soil to achieve a high standard of wine. Motivated by this desire, Federico Fossati left behind a career in accounting to dedicate himself completely to the fulfillment of his winemaking dream and saw his future in Adro, Franciacorta.

Corte Aura Franciacorta 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldFederico believes that producing wines of fantastic quality is the key to success in creating a product able to withstand the test of time. Even without coming from a wine making background himself, he is inspired by the passion of doing and took a risk with the Corte Aura project, investing all of his resources in the leadership and marketing of his wines.

The grapes used in these delicate sparkling wines are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, in varying amounts depending on the type.

Although relatively unknown in global terms, Franciacorta is widely regarded as Italy’s finest sparkling wine.  Like Cava and Champagne, Franciacorta is made in the traditional method where the second fermentation takes place in the same bottle as the wine is sold to consumers.

There are different types of Franciacorta based on the length of time the sparkling wine ages. The Franciacorta nonvintage is aged for 18 months whereas the Corte Aura Franciacorta 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World SatènFranciacorta Satèn sees 24 months of aging. The Franciacorta Rosé is aged for 30 months and the longest aging goes to the Franciacorta Riserva that has to age for 60 months. These are just minimum aging times.

Corte Aura has the following sparkling wines amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

  • Franciacorta Satèn 2009 (Gold medal with 96 points)
  • Franciacorta Rosé 2011 (Gold medal with 95 points)
  • Franciacorta Pas Dosè2008 (Silver medal with 93 points)
  • Franciacorta Brut 2010 (Silver medal with 91 points)

50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016 – Get your copy here:

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Champagne Collet: Sparkling ever since Champagne Wars

Raoul Collet, the father of Champagne COLLET, was born into a family of wine makers in the year 1896, and was a witness to the Champagne wars of 1911.  The origins of Champagne COLLET go back all the way to the Champagne Revolution of the same year.  He was born in the municipality of Ay, in the Grande Vallee de la Marne region famous for Champagne.  These regions were rife with fraudulent champagnes and unregulated practices for profit.  Producers were mixing grapes coming in from other growing regions and marking these wines as Champagne, which would be absolutely unthinkable today.

A small group of wine growers banded together in a firm to protect their terroir and the quality of Champagnes being produced, as well as keeping age old traditional practices alive.  The revolting wine growers pushed until they had successfully enacted a law that defined geographical limits and production methods of the Champagne winegrowing area.  After the Champagne Revolution, Raoul Collet became a wine merchant in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ.  Then in 1921, the movement of this small group of wine growers and makers gave rise to the brand Champagne COLLET, naming Raoul Collet it’s founder.

Their history goes back over 100 years, and in this time only five presidents have been at the head of the firm.  In this way, they have maintained a commitment to their values with an uncompromised dedication.

Champagne COLLET is the oldest established wine making cooperative in Champagne.  Currently 607 faithful wine growers contribute to COLLET’s Champagnes, sharing with one another common roots and pride in this brand. Their collective efforts go towards cultivating and processing grapes from over 650 hectares of extremely high quality vineyards.  Together they produce superior and luxurious Champagnes.

Caves Champagne ColletThe terroir in these vineyards imparts beautiful and subtle characteristics to the vines that have been carefully tended to for years.  House experts blend the wines and are able to continue the legacy of Champagne COLLET by maintaining special aromatic characteristics over the years, which are a signature of their champagnes.  Afterwards, the bottles are passed to the extremely skilled hand riddlers, and set to rest in the underground cellars that spread out for kilometers underneath the village!  There they allow bottles to mature so that the Champagnes may develop the unique tones that come with aging, deepening the character of the Champagne.

Champagne Collet Esprit Couture 50 Great Sparkling Wine of the WoldTheir range is extensive, including classic Brut Champagnes as well as rosé, demi-sec, rare vintages and their most premium Champagne, the Esprit couture.  The Esprit couture is produced in very limited quantities, and acts as a celebration of Raoul Collet as well as the traditions that are the backbone of this brand.  This elegant Champagne is made entirely by hand and perfectly captures the style and philosophy behind Champagne COLLET.  The wine producers of Champagne COLLET are accomplished craftsmen, whose sole aim is to create the most authentic Champagne.

Champagne Collet has the following Champagnes amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

  • Champagne Collet Esprit Couture (Gold medal with 98 points)
  • Champagne Collet Colletion Privée Vintage 2006 (Gold medal with 98 points)
  • Champagne Collet Millésime 2004 (Gold medal with 96 points)

50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016 – Get your copy here:

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Caves São João Fundadas em 1920

Caves São João 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016 by Wine PleasuresCaves São João is a well know name in the Portuguese wine industry as it is one of the oldest wine trading companies in the country. The small family owned wine company was originally established by three brothers, José, Manuel and Albano Costa in 1920. Amazingly the company still remains in the family, with two of the grandchildren of the founders now overseeing the operations of the independent company.

Caves São João 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016 by Wine PleasuresHowever, maybe one of the most remarkable features of the company is that it is home to one of the biggest wine cellars with the numerous underground tunnels stacked with over a million bottles of wine with some dating back to 1959.

For the first ten years, the company was primarily involved in the trade of Douro fine wines and liquors; however in the 1930´s, the production of Port Wines outside of the O´Porto region were banned by the government. This lead to Caves São João moving into the trading of Bairrada Table wines and the production of their own natural sparkling wines with Indigenous grapes. However, it was from this experiment that the company made a significant impact on the Portuguese wine industry, as in the 1950´s, the company created two of the most iconic Portuguese brands; Porta Dos Cavaleiros from the Dão region and Frei João from the Bairrada region.

Caves São João 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016 by Wine PleasuresLater in 1972, the company bought a 35 hectare rural estate known as Quinta do Poco do Lobo located at Pocariça, in the Cantanhede region. The estate was then completely replanted with selected grape varieties; the indigenous Arinto (white) and Baga (red) grapes. It was from these grapes that the company now produces their red and sparkling wines under the label Quinta do Poco do Lobo.

Caves São João 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016 by Wine PleasuresCaves São João now dedicates itself to the production and commercialisation of sparkling and still wines, using their extensive experience as one of the oldest wine trading companies in the Anadia County. However despite their grand history, the company has made a number of significant investments, resulting in the company now being equipped Caves São João 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016 by Wine Pleasureswith the most modern winemaking technology. For example the stainless steel vats now allow for a more delicate handling of the grapes as the automatic crushing system replicates a movement which is very similar to the human foot. These changes combined with additional improvements in the both the winery and vineyards, have allowed Caves Sao Joao to continue to produce even greater quality wines.

Caves São João has the following Sparkling Wine amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

  • Luiz Costa 2013 (Silver medal with 92 points)

50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016 – Get your copy here:

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