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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tasting Notes

Tastings: December 2016

02 December 2016

Domaine Carneros Brut Carneros Sparklingtext
90PTS

Domaine Carneros Brut Carneros Sparkling 2010

Carneros, Napa Valley, California, United StatesThe Brut Cuvée is the signature label of Domaine Carneros blending the best Carneros chardonnay and pinot noir and using less than 15 grams of residual sugar per liter. It spends three years sur lie (on its yeast) in the bottle. In 2010, a cool year, the chardonnay was impeccable and makes up 58 percent of the blend. The Taittinger style is in evidence here, elegance, with some California power. Look for a fruity mix of citrus and tropical fruit flavours with bits of butter, toasted hazelnut and pear flavours. A ready to drink, rich, full-style, sparkler for dinner with elegance.Prices: BC 34.99 Producer: Domaine Carneros
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Varias La Bona Vidatext
88PTS

Varias La Bona Vida NV

Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Penedès, Catalunya, SpainCava Varias has been bottling sparkling wine since 1918 in the Alt Penedès region of Spain, the historic birthplace of D.O. Cava. The nose is Cava bright with a strong, citrus, melon nose flecked with savoury, dried herbs. The blend is 30/40/20 macabeo, xarel.lo and parellada. The plate is similar in taste but creamy with a delicious lees, brioche note in the finish. Estate grown and bottled this offers solid value. A perfect party sparkler for sushi, tacos, or a charcuterie plate.Prices: BC 19.99 Producer: Cava Varias
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Cava Torello 225 Brut Nature Gran Reservatext
91PTS

Cava Torello 225 Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2012

SpainAt Torelló they spell tradition with a capital T. The “225” is a wine of finesse and style beginning with a classic mix of estate and cava fruit: macabeo, xarel·lo and parellada all grown at Can Martí. It’s all hand harvested and pressed directly into 225-litre barrel giving the wine its name. It spends a minimum of 30 months there before bottling. The nose is a mix of subtle spice and smoky fruit that previews a richly texture bubble with bright acidity and complex earthy, citrus apple flavours. It is described by the Spanish as a gastronomic Cava due to it lengthy ageing, in this case, 40 months. It’s big enough to serve with beef, lamb chops or even duck.Prices: BC 49.99 Producer: Cava Torello
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Kim Crawford Small Parcels Fizz Méthode Traditionelletext
89PTS

Kim Crawford Small Parcels Fizz Méthode Traditionelle 2011

Marlborough, South Island, New ZealandFelicity Nelson who hosts all of the winery visitors at KC goes by the nickname ‘Fizz’ to match her bubbly personality and quirky sophistication. A 57/43 blend of chardonnay (Awatere Valley and pinot noir (Southern Valleys) you can expect a racy, sparkler with taut lemon lime citrus notes and with notes of pear and cherries. Tight, lean, mineral and dry this is a very food-friendly style made for connoisseurs. Smoke salmon would be a fine match.Prices: BC 29.99 QC 29.55 ON 30.00 Producer: Kim Crawford Wines
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Henkell Trocken Dry Sekttext
83PTS

Henkell Trocken Dry Sekt NV

GermanyFragrant orange blossoms opens this cheap and cheerful Sekt from one of the largest producers worldwide. This Dry Sekt is off-dry, frothy on the palate, and coloured with a sweet salami note before a very short finish. Chill well, and think about making a punch.Prices: BC 14.49 NB 14.00 AB 13.00 ON 14.00 QC 14.00 NF 15.00 SK 15.00 NS 16.00 YK 17.00 MB 14.00 Producer: Henkell & Co Sektkellerei
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Mionetto Prosecco Treviso Bruttext
87PTS

Mionetto Prosecco Treviso Brut NV

Veneto, ItalyRed apple, white peach and crisp pear throughout this easy and brisk Prosecco. Fresh and bright acidity counters the sugars, leaving a pithy apricot fuzz and almonds on the snappy finish. Chill well and enjoy this simple, fun fizz.Prices: BC 17.49 Producer: Mionetto S.p.A.
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Hungaria Grande Cuvee Bruttext
81PTS

Hungaria Grande Cuvee Brut NV

HungaryRustic and coarse, this is a simple, short and searing off-dry sparkler from Hungary. Crab apple and smoked stone with frothy, bitter, citrus mousse and a short, sharp finish. Adequate for very fruity punches or cocktails.Prices: Producer: Torley Sparkling Wine Cellars
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Henkell Rosé Dry Sectext
86PTS

Henkell Rosé Dry Sec NV

GermanyBright pink in hue, this Rosé Sekt is off dry and coloured with tangy rhubarb, pear and cranberry sauce. Look for baked red apple and strawberry jam on its bright, frothy palate that finishes brisk and with a kirsch note. Ideal for the holidays, especially for cocktails or punch. Friendly.Prices: BC 14.99 NF 15.00 ON 14.00 SK 15.00 QC 16.00 Producer: Henkell & Co Sektkellerei
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Beato Bartolomeo Breganze Prosecco Extra Dry Vino Spumantetext
86PTS

Beato Bartolomeo Breganze Prosecco Extra Dry Vino Spumante NV

Veneto, ItalyVery floral, with ripe peach, pear and apple blossoms scenting this off-dry fizz. Brisk and foamy mousse keeps things lively in the mouth while this is well-chilled, though when it warms this quickly loses bubbles and briskness. Simple and friendly.Prices: BC 19.49 AB 25.00 NB 20.00 YK 21.30 Producer: Cantina B. Bartolomeo da Breganze Scarl
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01 December 2016

Hoffmann & Rathbone Rosé Réserve Bruttext
88PTS

Hoffmann & Rathbone Rosé Réserve Brut 2011

EnglandFrom West and East Sussex this rosé fizz is 85/15 pinot noir/chardonnay that has spent forty months on the lees. Barrique fermented chardonnay and still pinot noir has upped the generosity here, with a broad baked red apple, cherry and ripe red current palate with a pithy grapefruit rasp on the finish. Rosewater biscuits add a very gentle, delicate sweetness.Prices: England 38.00 Producer: Hoffmann & Rathbone
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Hambledon Vineyard Classic Cuvée Rosétext
91PTS

Hambledon Vineyard Classic Cuvée Rosé NV

EnglandBright and juicy fine strawberry, wild raspberry and light toast fill this linear rosé fizz from Hambledon's estate vineyards, finishing with a chalky, salty riff and lingering white cherry notes. South East facing chalk slopes in Windmill Down provide a pithy and grippy texture to this crisp, bright fizz from one of England's oldest commercial vineyard (1952) and certainly one of the most exciting quality sparkling producers. 95 percent from the 2014 harvest is splashed with 5 percent barrel-aged reserve wines. The Chardonnay was fermented in French oak and after six months, was blended with the pinot noir in stainless steel for fourteen months on the lees. Precise and structured, with a gentle cushion of cherries to counter the striking acidity, this is drinking beautifully now, but will continue to deepen over the next few years.Prices: England 30.00 Producer: Hambledon Vineyard
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Exton Park Rosétext
88PTS

Exton Park Rosé NV

EnglandSour choke cherries, crab apples and a shearing acidity mark this lean rosé fizz from Hampshire. 70/30 pinot noir/pinot meunier was pressed off brief skin contact to create the ample fruitiness, but gentle rose hue. Assertive and ripping grapefruit pith acidity is a sharp offset to a pillow of red berry fruit, leaving it angular now.Prices: England 30.00 Producer: Exton Park
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