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The GILBERT & GAILLARD International Magazine :
Make some room in your lounge for WINE REGIONS from around the world

CAVA

ALTA ALELLA, A CULTURE

OF EXCELLENCE

L 19045 - 46 - F: 7,95 € - RD

Winter 2021

Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets, owner, winegrower and

founder of Alta Alella with his biologist daughter

Mireia Pujol-Busquets poised to take over

PAGES 125-138

OUR TOP WINES FOR

WINTER 2021


Enter your wines now: en-vigneron.gilbertgaillard.com


CONTENTS

– COLUMNS • REPORTS –

8

10 45

111

8 PERFECT HARMONY

Cigars and Cape Brandies

10 STYLES

Champagne, where the variety of styles is endless

15 RARE BOTTLE

Champagne Maurice Vesselle

24 BLENDING

The fascinating success story of red wines from the southern

Rhone

36 INNOVATION

Vins de France: The freedom to craft high quality wines

45 TRAVEL

Escape to Bordeaux, and visit some of its true gems

52 WINE GROWER PORTRAIT

From Entre-deux-Mers to the Médoc: Romain Roux, born to be

an entrepreneur!

56 DISCOVERY

Cider: a whole host of choices waiting to be discovered

64 RENAISSANCE

Tokaj, at the dawn of a new era

74 DESIGNATION

Will changes to D.O. Cava help improve quality and sales?

84 MARKETS

Casa Santos Lima: Portugal’s standard-bearer abroad

90 DISCOVERY

Apulia and its wine revolution

100 NEW APPELLATION

Prosecco in the pink of health

111 NEW VARIETIES

Mother Nature sets the trends

121 STARS & WINE

Courteney Cox: “Just like in other areas, women bring a

fresh perspective to wine”

123 CONTACT DETAILS

125 WINTER SELECTION 2021

GILBERT & GAILLARD NEXT ISSUE SPRING 2022

Cover: Courtesy of the estates

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 3


EDITORIAL

– FRANÇOIS GILBERT –

Editorial Director

CAVA MAKES ITS ENTRY INTO THE 21 ST CENTURY

The history of Cava admittedly began well after that of Champagne, but it

is directly inspired by it. A clutch of wines from France’s Marne region began

emerging in Spain at the turn of the 19 th century, and became a favourite tipple

of the country’s well-heeled imbibers, particularly the royal family. Seeing this,

Josep Raventos, the heir to wine cellars established in the mid-16 th century by

Jaume Codorníu, took an interest in this style of wine and made several trips

to Champagne in a bid to become proficient in the ‘Champagne method’. It

is thought that he produced the first bottle of Cava in the year 1872. His son

ingeniously chose to use, not Champagne varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot noir

and Meunier – but Catalan grapes Parellada, Macabeu and Xarello, which

distinctively shaped the character of the wine. Cava had finally been born and

its development was consolidated by the First World War, which prevented

Champagne from being exported for several years, boosting Cava sales in Spain.

The DO was established in 1991 and the entire country was made eligible for

the appellation. But in 2020, an in-depth reform led to a new classification

comprising zones and sub-zones, along with new categories, Cava de Guarda

and Cava de Guarda Superior. The issue is clearly about promoting the different

vineyard sites of a wine whose industrial image had firmly taken root. But

an image does not necessarily always reflect reality as our report on page 74

followed by our Winter 2021 selection at the end of this magazine show.

4 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


EDITORIAL

– PHILIPPE GAILLARD –

Editorial Director

PROSECCO ROSÉ BECOMES A HUGE HIT

After racking up an incredible track record over the past decade,

Venetian producers decided to capitalise on the global success of Prosecco

by pulling another ace out of their sleeves – Prosecco Rosé. Leveraging the

world’s love of Prosecco combined with that of rosé was nothing short of

a stroke of genius, with pink wines still growing exponentially. Just for the

record, global consumption of rosé wine has been constantly increasing

since 2003, growing by 28% between then and 2018. In actual fact, many

Prosecco producers had already ‘turned pink’, prompting the Consortium

to make the very wise decision to officially endorse the existence of the

rosé version, mainly to safeguard the reputation and awareness of the

original Prosecco. Production specifications are precise, particularly for

the varietal range. The production method is inspired by pink Champagne

– Prosecco rosé is made from the traditional grape variety Glera, along

with 10 to 15% Pinot noir fermented as red wine. Predictably, the new

version has been a resounding success, in spite of the global pandemic.

As soon as its first vintage was released, Prosecco rosé broke records, with

over 54 million bottles produced out of a total 425.5 million bottles of

Prosecco DOC in nine months, equating to 13% of overall production.

And what better proof of the relevance of creating the new category…

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 5


EDITORIAL

– SYLVAIN PATARD –

Editor in Chief

CHAMPAGNE: A MATTER OF STYLE

Above all else, Champagne is wine. The presence of bubbles, however

appealing, sometimes seems to dull our ability to think. So, if you don’t mind,

perhaps we should go back to basics, and investigate. Most of the grapes harvested

in Champagne are Pinot noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, which are then

crushed and settled – as white wines – then placed into tanks or barrels to

ferment, again like white wines! Afterwards, the wines are blended to define their

style. Batches of wines from that year’s harvest and different growths are carefully

combined with reserve wines from previous vintages, shaping the profile of the

wine to reflect the house style. There’s the first real clue! They are then placed

into bottles – well, well – to promote a secondary fermentation which produces

the bubbles. After disgorgement – which prepares them for marketing – the

bottles are adorned with a label, a neck band and a cork stopper topped with a

foil capsule and a wire cage. The secret’s out, all the clues point to one thing –

Champagne is indeed a wine, and an incredible one at that.

By drawing on the appellation area’s extensive 34,300-hectare vineyard, its

identity can take on myriad aspects. But there is one hard and fast rule that

cannot be broken, and that is the consistency of style encapsulated by its brand.

This is the essence of this legendary wine which has long travelled the globe, and

is also the topic of our major feature report in this issue.

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Cavavin N°46_Mise en page 1 27/11/2021 10:25 Page 1

CHAMPAGNE BOLLINGER

Spécial cuvée

Champagne

€ 42.90*

DOMAINE EDMOND

CORNU et FILS

Corton-Bressandes 2017

Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru

€ 100*

FOUR

WINEMAKERS

FOR

WINTER

2021

Stéphane RINGENBACH

CAVAVIN FONTAINEBLEAU

103, rue Grande

77300 FONTAINEBELAU

( +33 1 64 31 27 96

* fontainebleau@cavavin.fr

CHÂTEAU MONTROSE 2012

2 e Grand Cru Classé du Médoc 1855

Saint-Estèphe

€ 134*

Sylvie PINOUT

CAVAVIN NANTEUIL-LES-MEAUX

ZAC des Prés Saints-Pères

77100 NANTEUIL-LES-MEAUX

( +33 1 60 44 04 52

* nanteuillesmeaux@cavavin.fr

Xavier ASNAR

CAVAVIN AUBAGNE

50, avenur Roger Salengro

13400 AUBAGNE

( +33 4 86 33 50 86

* aubagne@cavavin.fr

CHAMPAGNE

VEUVE CLICQUOT

Brut Rosé

Champagne

€ 52*

Patrick Malval

CAVAVIN AUBIÈRE

34-36, avenue de Cournon

63170 AUBIÈRE

( +33 4 73 24 55 95

* aubiere@cavavin.fr

* Retail price including sales tax

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 7


PERFECT HARMONY

– CIGARS AND CAPE BRANDIES –

Don Rodrigo Cigars:

tearing up the rulebook

Patricia is Portuguese and now lives in Geneva, but her Don Rodrigo brand is named after her Spanish

great-great-grandfather. We met an artist and entrepreneur with a love for life and people.

By Sylvain Patard - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

Her career path has been anything but linear. She

started off as a flight attendant then ventured into

the medical industry, speaks five languages and

ended up in events and cigars by accident. Her

motivation is simple: “Passion and empathy are

what drove me to launch my own brand of cigars, after

years of experience with Davidoff as an events hostess”. As

a cigar enthusiast herself, Patricia would not only go on to

establish her own brand, but successfully create extra special

occasions for her clients by designing unique events at golf

courses, luxury hotels and the most prestigious gatherings

in Switzerland. “My audience is men and women who want

to fully enjoy the finest things that life can offer and savour

those exclusive, unforgettable moments with a cigar”.

And increasingly, her target is younger people, the thirtysomethings,

including many women drawn to a carefree

range of very accessible formats. And it isn’t hard to

understand why!

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PERFECT HARMONY

– CIGARS AND CAPE BRANDIES –

The range comprises four, very diffe rent formats that are

hand-rolled: a Short Corona; a Robusto Extra; a Torpedo;

and a highly unusual Figurado Short Salomon Bicolore.

These are well-made cigars that are easy to light and burn

THE DON RODRIGO RANGE

consistently, making them the perfect choice for beginners

as well as regular enthusiasts. The purpose here is not so

much to seek out a powerful or complex cigar, but to

enjoy a genuine smoke.

– OUR RANKING –

1. Torpedo - 2. Robusto Extra - 3. Figurado Short Salomon Bicolore - 4. Short Corona

– OUR PAIRINGS –

We decided to organise the improbable encounter between northern Hemisphere cigars and South African Cape

brandies. These exotic brandies, created in 1672 by the Dutch, just like Cognac, show the same transgressive spirit as

Don Rodrigo. The two are a match made in heaven!

Torpedo

Despite its impressive size, it in fact proved

to be a very docile cigar – easy to light, with

gentle smoke and initial notes of hazelnut

flowing into roasted peanuts. Very delicate

with beautifully consistent aromas and

the last third more powerful yet balanced.

A post-prandial style. €17

Cape Brandies (Distell)

96/100 – Richelieu Vintage Brandy

Notes of hazelnut, smoke, fresh fruit and

curry. Soft and elegant on the palate with a

finish of roasted coffee. Gentle and refined.

An excellent classic. €18 approx.

The pairing

A real fusion of aromas

Robusto Extra

Also a very regular draw as soon as it is lit,

the smoke is powerful with no pungency.

Soft, mellow characters rapidly establish

themselves with quite elegant, heady,

toasted, earthy aromas. In the heart of the

cigar, savoury peppery notes emerge. This

is a harmonious cigar for the start of the

evening. €17

Joseph Barry distillers

92/100 – Muscat Cape Brandy

Nose of grape, peach and apricot. The

palate is fruit-forward, soft and elegant,

with a more powerful finish offering up

lifted Muscat-like aromas. €30 approx.

The pairing

A harmonious interaction

showing composure

Figurado Short Salomon Bicolore

An unusual shape and two-tone wrapper,

Ecuador and Connecticut. On lighting, notes

of herbs and eucalyptus. Fairly slow start,

gradually becoming slightly more powerful

after the first third with notes of coffee,

roasted coffee and cacao. Balanced, but

quite linear. Leaves you wanting more! €18

Tokara

91/100 – XO Potstill

Compelling nose of dried fruits and apricot

with tropical notes of lychee and pineapple.

Elegant and refined with a gentle finish.

€80 approx.

The pairing

Exotic aromas in unison

Short Corona

Proves to be very co-operative with a

regular and quite fast temperature build-up.

The smoke is pleasant and regular and the

ash is very consistent. The earthy, toast

aromas are augmented by spicy notes on

the finish. This is an afternoon cigar offering

some great relaxation. €14

Backsberg

88/100 – Sydney Back 15-Year Brandy

Nose of nutmeg and sweet spices. Elegant

and gentle on the palate with a persistent

after-taste of dried fruits on the finish.

€48 approx.

The pairing

Very soothing, shared simplicity

Don Rodrigo Cigars are distributed in Switzerland

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 9


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

The variety of styles can be partly explained by the 34,300 bearing hectares across 5 departments

Champagne, where the

variety of styles is endless

We often wrongly refer to ‘Champagne’. With a history spanning over 300 years,

the wines currently come from 34,300 hectares of vines, spread over 5 French

departments. It follows that, although they share common character traits, styles

should differ significantly. Before we meet an exciting line-up of winegrowers,

merchants and co-operative producers who will share their viewpoints with us,

let’s quickly go back over some of the basic tenets of Champagne.

By Alain Echalier - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

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CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

Reserve wines stored in magnums on the lees at Bollinger

Due to climate change, Champagne can no longer

claim to be home to the only vineyards in the

North of Europe. Vines are now grown in the

South of England, Belgium and Luxembourg,

at even more extreme latitudes. But these wine

regions are limited in size, whereas Champagne produces

an average of 230 million bottles a year – at a latitude of

49.5 North! So the first characteristic to remember, and

which stems from a harsh climate, is the freshness in

the wines. This is a direct consequence of very moderate

sunshine – Reims has 1,629 hours a year, compared with

2,069 for Bordeaux.

DISTINCTIVE SOILS

The second trait shared by Champagne wines comes from

the geology of the sub-soils, which are mostly formed

of chalk. Not only do vines thrive on chalk, which acts

as a storage receptacle for water due to its permeability,

it is also essential for those who drink Champagne

because it imparts distinctive minerality. Obviously the

sedimentary outcrops can vary, from chalk to marl and

actual limestone. Admittedly, in the Côte des Blancs

region near Epernay, the chalk forms outcrops, whereas it

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 11


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

Denis Bunner, deputy cellar master at Bollinger

is deeper on the Montagne de Reims and in the Marne

Valley the soils are more marly or siliceous. Generally

speaking though, Champagne contains and displays a

hallmark ‘chalk taste’.

SPECIFIC TECHNIQUES

To transform such lively juice and cope with the

vagaries of the weather some years, Champagne

producers use a specific method. The first fermentation

turns the juice into still wine. Then time plays its part.

By maturing these still wines, followed by a secondary

fermentation in the bottle, the bubbles are formed but

the wine also improves. Its sharp acidity makes way for

appetising freshness. Also, the secondary fermentation

produces more complex, idiosyncratic aromas which

add extra palatability.

Blending wines from different vineyard blocks, as well

as batches of reserve wines from previous vintages, also

opens up a complex array of aromas. Lastly, dosage –

the final addition of sugar to balance the wine – offers

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CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

an opportunity for winegrowers to put the finishing

touches to their work. Some use concentrated grape

must, whilst others add mature wines, Cognac or honey

from their own estate.

This ‘recipe’, which has been copied countless times

around the world, is called the ‘traditional method’. But

Champagne is constantly mindful to ensure that it alone

can call the technique the ‘Champagne method’.

BOLLINGER: COMPLEX BLENDS AND SINGLE-

VINEYARD AMBITIONS

Bollinger, which is located in Aÿ, was founded in

1829. It owns 178 hectares of vines and buys grapes

in roughly the same proportions. Deputy cellar master

Denis Bunner answers our questions. Formerly with the

Champagne wine marketing board, as a winemaker, his

first question after he joined Bollinger was, What is the

Bollinger style? How can it be defined?

Joint research work provided the answer – “fruit in all

its phases”, in other words, fresh, ripe and dry. Fresh

fruit aromas come from the year’s wines. To preserve

them, the wines are made in stainless steel tanks. The

ripe fruit aromas come from reserve and oak-fermented

wines – the house uses a staggering 4,000 casks! Finally,

the dried fruit aromas and toast can be credited to the

reserve wines stored in magnums. This technique is

novel because reserve wines are usually stored in large

inert tanks. Here, though, they are stored on their lees in

small containers of 1.5 litres with a cork stopper stapled

in place. They then represent between 5 and 10% of the

Spéciale label. The wine – the house’s non-vintage Brut

– contains at least 60% Pinot noir and accounts for 80%

of the range. It is stored for three years for the secondary

fermentation and then around 6g per litre of sugar is

added for dosage.

Bunner explains how the ideal dosage is defined by

tasting a flight blind where dosage ranges from 0 to 10g.

Until fairly recently, dosage of 7 or 8g was the preferred

choice, so why is it now only 6g? Quite simply because

the base wines are naturally riper and require less dosage.

This is just a tiny glimpse of the incredible work carried

out in the winery, then blending by Bollinger.

The house is also innovating. The vast majority of

Barrels at Maison Bollinger which has its own cooperage

The 4,000 barrels at Maison Bollinger

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 13


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

Besserat de Bellefon in the centre of Epernay, beyond

the Avenue de Champagne

its wines are blends of juice from different villages in

Champagne. A very small number of labels, like the

Vieilles Vignes Françaises or the Côte aux Enfants,

a non-sparkling Pinot noir produced in the Coteaux

Champenois area, are single-vineyard selections. But

there is now an intermediary version – a single varietal

Pinot noir blended from several vintages, but where the

main growth is a village selected every year. The village

is stated on the label, for those who can decipher it!

‘PNVZ15’ means that the majority 2015 wine came from

the village of Verzenay. This was also true of PNVZ16,

with wine from the following year. But for the 2017s, the

label still states PNXX17, because the choice of village

has yet to be announced. Are these the first stages in a

move towards a 100% single-vineyard wine? “Maybe”,

smiles Bunner.

Nathalie Doucet, chair of Champagne Besserat de Bellefon

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BESSERAT DE BELLEFON: QUALITY BUBBLES

This old house, established in 1843, has belonged to

the Lanson group since the 1990s and is now based in

Epernay. Fifteen to twenty percent of the wines come

from their own vineyards, with a balance stemming from

supply contracts.

Cédric Thiébault, the cellar master, has been with the

house since 1999. First of all, he explains that the

‘Besserat de Bellefon feel’ has now been extended to all of

their labels. So what does it entail? Having a Champagne

that looks creamy when you pour it into a flute glass,

instilling greater lightness and silky mousse. How is it

created? By deliberately reducing effervescence to around

4.5 to 4.8 bar, when most Champagnes are around 5.5

to 6 bar. The Champagne appellation does, indeed, allow

producers to reduce pressure to as low as 3 or 3.5 bar.

For lower pressure, less bottling liquor or ‘liqueur de tirage’

must be used during the secondary fermentation. The

idea arose in 1930 as part of a process to producer lighter

Champagne that could pair with an entire meal. Less gas

does indeed lead to finer bubbles, as demonstrated by the

scientist Gérard Liger-Belair. At Besserat de Bellefon, this

technique was first reserved for the Cuvée des Moines,

but has now been applied generally across the range.

Similarly, the special shape of the bottle for this label has

now been rolled out for the entire portfolio.

Continue on page 16


TASTING

TASTING

— RARE BOTTLE —

– RARE BOTTLE –

CHAMPAGNE MAURICE VESSELLE

EXTRA BRUT GRAND CRU LES HAUTS CHEMINS 2011

95/100

Certified High Environmental Value since 2013, the vineyards belonging

to this Champagne house are managed by two passionate winegrowers.

The house is renowned for its mature vintages and vinous, food-friendly

Champagnes. Grown along the southern slopes of the Montagne de

Reims, the Pinot noir vines hived off for this 2011 Grand Cru fully

encapsulate the complexity of their 100% classified site.

The house was created in 1955 by

Maurice Vesselle. His two sons,

Didier and Thierry, now pamper

their nine hectares of vines in Bouzy and

Tours-sur-Marne all year round, as

generations of winegrowers have done

before them. They use techniques such

as tillage, hilling up, ploughing back and

soil amendments that were long

considered fanciful. However, their quest

for depth in the soils is now the envy of

many wine regions. By taking such a

conscientious approach to loosening

their soils, the Vesselle brothers not only

encourage the Pinot noir and Chardonnay

vines to put down long-lasting roots,

thereby revealing the full complexity of

their Bouzy vineyard sites, they also limit

the effects of drought and avoid the use

of herbicides.

When work in the vineyard is complete,

the two growers transition to winemakers

to produce their range of Champagnes.

This Extra-Brut Grand Cru 2011 Les

Hauts Chemins label is a single varietal

Pinot Noir. It is fermented without

malolactic fermentation like all the

winery’s bottlings. This is a deliberate

choice as it allows the wine to fully retain

its freshness and minerality. It is then

matured on lees in the estate's chalk

cellars, alongside its collection of vintage

Champagnes, before Extra-brut dosage

(3.5 grams) is added. This Grand Cru

displays a clear yellow-gold colour. The

nose is mature and conjures up berry

stone fruits. The palate is very full at

point of entry with pleasant softness and

tension carrying aroma over substantial

length. This is a very fulfilling

Champagne that should be set aside for

only the finest delicacies.

The site expressiveness of Bouzy is

enhanced in this 2011 vintage, where

bud-burst occurred early and the

growing season was relatively short with

a hot summer bringing harvesting

forward to the end of August. Once

again, Didier and Thierry have drawn on

these conditions to produce a vintage

Champagne which connoisseurs will

enjoy for many years to come...

Selected by

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 15

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 15


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

Cédric Thiébault, cellar master for Champagne Besserat de Bellefon

The house’s signature style also involves not deliberately

aiming for malolactic fermentation. It may occasionally

occur in the bottle, but nothing is added to the wine to

promote it, allowing it to stay fresher. This is a tack taken

by increasing numbers of winegrowers, as pointed out by

the cellar master.

Here too, dosage is decreasing. Whereas 15-20 years

ago, 11 to 12g of sugar were added before the bottle

was permanently closed, that amount is now nearer

to 8g. Customers are increasingly knowledgeable and

Besserat de Bellefon targets a specific audience of

educated connoisseurs which it reaches out to via topend

restaurants and wine merchants.

The non-vintage Brut, named ‘Bleu Brut’, is matured for

three years and contains 50% reserve wine and the three

classic grape varieties. But unlike many companies, at

Besserat de Bellefon it only represents 50% of sales. The

Elegance line, which comprises a Blanc de Blancs made

from Grand Cru village wine, accounts for a quarter

of sales. The house has kept an entire range, including

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CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

some oddities. Although it does not have a Demi-Sec,

the Brigitte Bardot label – mainly shipped overseas – has

20g/litre dosage! “But it uses Pinot noir planted due

North”, points out Thiébault. Which means, there is no

excessive sweetness on the palate.

MANDOIS – ORGANIC AND INVENTIVE

Champagne Mandois is an old, no, a very old familyrun

company whose roots date back to 1735. Its current

incumbent is 60-year-old Claude Mandois who runs the

business. He represents the ninth generation and returned

to work with his father in 1982. The company is located

in Pierry and boasts 37 hectares, 33 of them farmed

organically. However, it takes three years to guarantee

the soils are residue-free and Champagne is a timeconsuming

wine to produce, so the first certified bottles

will not be released for sale until 2024. The summer

of 2021 was very wet, even if the Côte des Blancs and

the Côte de Sézanne, where Mandois’ vines are located,

were not the worst affected in Champagne. Mandois

refused to succumb to the temptation of spraying his

vines to combat mildew, however. Never mind the lower

volumes, the family has stocks to fall back on. This is a

winegrower with strong principles.

Here, the non-vintage Brut represents 50% of sales.

Due to its location, the house’s Blanc de Blancs – a

2016 vintage Premier Cru – also sells well. The style is

delicate, not massive, with good length – which is exactly

what Mandois likes. Tillage of the soils also guarantees

enhanced freshness in the wine. Dosage is 6g/litre,

compared with 12g just twenty-five years ago. Lower

levels of sugar are now the new norm. For Mandois, there

are several explanations for this. Firstly, the wines are

riper due to climate change and harvesting of riper fruit,

so there is no longer the need to offset overpowering

acidity. Similarly, the share of reserve wines in the blends

has been increased here too, from 20 to 40%, and reserve

wines always have slightly lower acidity than the latest

vintage. Finally, consumer tastes have changed. Elitists

do not want sweetness. Although Mandois still produces

a Demi-Sec, it is mostly designed for loyal and older

customers.

The house also produces Clos Mandois, a small-batch

Claude Mandois, the 9 th -generation representative of the family of winegrowers

The entrance to Clos Mandois and its Pinot Meunier

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 17


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

Pruning Mandois vines in 2021

Dom Caudron keeps some old presses and equipment to show its visitors

label totalling 3 to 4,000 bottles made from a block of

Pinot Meunier vines. Surrounded by a wall, hence the

name, the vineyard is located in Pierry on the southern

hillsides of Epernay, the traditional home of Meunier.

Classified as a Premier Cru, the wine is naturally rich

in sugar and acidity, which is great for producing topend

wines. Matured for at least ten years, it is stoppered

with a cork closure, spends some time in large casks, is

stirred, non-filtered and does not undergo malolactic

fermentation. Mandois describes it as an ‘after dinner’

Champagne. Why? Because the complexity of the wine

reveals itself with time, once it has been served in a large

glass and warms up a little gradually. So it requires time

to be savoured, which means there is no better time to

enjoy it than in the evening.

Lastly, a pair of wines – Cuvee Nord, from Chouilly, and

Cuvée Sud, from Vertus – are sold in a unique gift box.

The idea is a novel, educational way of demonstrating

the difference between the two sites.

DOM CAUDRON AND ITS PINOT MEUNIER

This is a story well worth telling. At the turn of the 20 th

century, Aimé Caudron, the abbot of the village of Passy-

Grigny and a lover of fine fare, suggested to the village’s

grape producers in whose homes he loved to make merry,

that they join forces and make their own Champagne.

In 1929, the Dom Caudron co-operative was founded,

combining the resources of the 23 winegrowers. Others

would later join the company. Mathilda Tedeschi, a new

recruit tasked with the co-op’s PR, explains that there are

now 90 growers, all of them based in the original village

or nearby.

This is the Marne Valley, with its marly, clayey or

sandy soils. Pinot Meunier, which is better equipped to

withstand the challenging weather, is the most widely

grown variety. It produces supple, fruity wines which

mature slightly quicker over time.

The co-operative predictably describes itself as a “Meunier

conjugator”. The Prédiction label is a non-vintage, single

varietal Meunier Brut, with a small share of reserve wines

but mostly the 2018 vintage in its current version. Its

dosage is 9g. There is another single varietal rendition of

Meunier made from vines over fifty years old, which is

18 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

Mathilda Tedeschi from Dom Caudron

not that commonplace in Champagne. The more developed

root system produces more complex juice and therefore wine

for the prestige blend.

The co-operative also produces another Blanc de Noirs,

entirely made from Meunier but half of which spends time in

oak casks. This is quite unusual because use of oak is still a rare

occurrence in the region and requires a very delicate touch.

This is why the barrels are first saturated with water and the

wines are regularly stirred. The resultant label, Cornalyne, is

matured for 7 years and also has Brut dosage. It is designed as

a food-friendly Champagne pairing with rich gourmet foods.

The co-operative’s last offering is a blended Meunier rosé

– fermented as a white and a red wine, with a touch of

Chardonnay – which rounds off the range. Dosage is once

again 9g/litre.

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 19


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

Gobillard’s cellar door facilities

A sandstone tank for the new Gobillard Champagne

J.M. GOBILLARD & FILS,

AS BROAD-RANGING AS EVER

Thierry Gobillard, who is just over 60, is now at the

helm of this family-run company which produces over

1.5 million bottles of Champagne a year. Although they

do own 33 hectares of vines, the Gobillards buy contract

fruit from the equivalent of 160 hectares of vines spread

across the entire Champagne region and managed by a

trading company. A significant share, however, comes

from Hautvillers and the surrounding area. The house

also runs a nursery. The family’s ancestors, Jean-Marie

and Françoise Gobillard, began producing Champagne

vines and this has been pivotal to their success.

The business itself is based in Hautvillers, the village

of the famous Dom Pérignon. In fact, the illustrious

neighbour is buried in the village church and the abbey,

along with his tomb, attract tourists from across the

globe. This has prompted the Gobillards to open cellar

door facilities for their Champagne, very nearby, where a

broad range of Champagnes can be tasted. The decision

has paid off because nearly 7% of the company’s revenue

comes from direct-to-consumer sales.

Thierry Gobillard explains that the company has always

marketed an extensive range of Champagnes, so that

they can be shown from every aspect. The non-vintage

Brut therefore only accounts for a third of sales and has

to compete with no fewer than ten other labels, not to

mention the classic Ratafia made from pomace brandy

and fresh grape juice. Producing such a large range

requires a similarly large winery and countless tanks. It

also makes the winemaking process complicated. The

portfolio includes a Blanc de Blancs and a Blanc de

Noirs, a vintage Champagne, the Cuvée des Moines – a

Champagne matured in oak – and a rosé. It also produces

a demi-sec Champagne recommended for drinking with

desserts.

But there are also the more off-beat labels. “People

love something new”, explains Gobillard. The house

obliges with Cuvée 5, an unusual blend where the three

usual Champagne suspects that are Chardonnay, Pinot

noir and Pinot Meunier rub shoulders with the much

less familiar Arbane and Petit Meslier. These historic

grape varieties, too, are permitted as per Champagne

20 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 21

The Gobillard family clan


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

Odilon de Varine and his deputy Gabrielle Malagu

Odilon de Varine blending the wines

regulations. A Cuvée 6 is also in the making, and will

feature some Pinot blanc.

With forty years of his life devoted to wine, Gobillard

reviews the major trends. “You have to follow fashions”,

says the frank company director. “Yes, obviously sugar

content has dropped and dosage is tending to head

towards Extra Brut levels”. Another aspect is singlevineyard

selections. Eloge du Chardonnay was already a

Blanc de Blancs label and the company’s first foray in this

direction. But in 2022, the house will release a Premier

Cru label sourced from an old vine vineyard site. The

wines are matured in sandstone tanks to add complexity

to the aromas.

GOSSET, WHERE THE WINE MATTERS,

NOT THE BUBBLES

This long-standing trading company – Aÿ 1584 – is now

owned by the Cointreau family. The fruit is all bought

under contract, points out cellar master Odilon de

Varine. As the house’s winemaker, he also specifies that

every tasting is always conducted blind. And contrary to

what people commonly believe, the share of Chardonnay

now prevails over that of Pinot noir.

Malolactic fermentation is carefully avoided for all the

wines. Tartaric acid and malic acid naturally occur in the

grapes so there is a duty to preserve them. “Ageing on

the lees is what gives the wine palate weight”, he stresses.

“Similarly, Champagne is first and foremost wine, the

bubbles are just one of its components. The vineyard site

and time spent on the lees are what matters”, he claims.

“The wine is what matters, not the bubbles! Let’s not talk

about the bubbles”.

The Grande Réserve is Gosset’s non-vintage Brut. Its

bottle is an exact replica of the one used by the family in

the 18th century. It accounts for approximately 45% of

sales. “It is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot noir with a

touch of Pinot Meunier. Reserve wines only account for

15%”, explains de Varine. That’s because the Champagne

method involves ageing on the lees. The reserve wines are

usually stored in tanks and used in small amounts, like

spices for cooking. Dosage is around 8g/litre.

The Extra Brut label is new to the range. “Yes, a lot of

people want lower dosage, for a number of reasons”,

22 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

Odilon de Varine, the cellar master at Gosset

adds de Varine. “In fact, for the Brut, dosage is in the range of 5

to 8g, whereas it used to be 11 to 12g. In reality, however, not

everyone necessarily enjoys very low dosages. Fashions come

and go”. At Gosset, unlike some of the large houses, dosage has

never been adjusted for different export markets. The Extra Brut

is made from a different blend – mostly Pinot noir and Pinot

Meunier from the Epernay area, grown on soils with chalky

outcrops. In this case, malolactic fermentation, which reduces

the perception of acidity, is possible. It produces balance on

the palate whilst displaying very light dosage. The bottle used

is therefore different.

Celebris is the company’s high-end line, matured for at least

twelve years. So why not state the disgorgement date on the

back label? “Most Champagne is not stored by consumers,

but in our case, it is”, says de Varine. “This wine really is only

produced in outstanding years, vintages when the freshness

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 23


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

The charming Gosset facilities in Epernay

was special. Admittedly, after disgorgement the gas will

gradually be released. But after a while, the bubbles have

served their purpose. The important part remains the time

spent on the lees!”

BARFONTARC,

THE FRUITINESS OF PINOT NOIR

This curious name stems from that of three villages – BARoville,

FONTaine and ARConville in the Côte des Bars region, in the

very South of Champagne. It is here, in 1962, that winegrowers

partnered to create a co-operative near Bar sur Aube. Nicolas

Vallée, the new sales manager since April, explains that the

co-op is a crush facility for others and markets the equivalent

of thirty or so hectares under the Barfontarc brand. The

company has remained relatively independent, and that’s what

its members like. “Some of our co-operative growers are now

third-generation. Their number stays the same and the spirit is

still local, and humble”.

The region has its own distinctive climate. Vallée, who lives

in Reims and makes the daily journey to Bar sur Aube, never

knows what to expect when he reaches his destination. The

region’s Pinot noir has structure, but less than in the Montagne

24 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

Nicollas Vallée, sales manager with the

Barfontarc winery

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 25


CHAMPAGNE

– STYLES –

The Barfontarc co-operative winery

de Reims. Its predominant trait is its fruitiness, and its

sun-ripened characters. The Champagnes are therefore

more easy-drinking, he points out. Pinot noir is the

dominant grape here, accounting for 95% of the varietal

range. The Brut Tradition thus inevitably contains 80%

Pinot noir, with a balance of Chardonnay, and accounts

for approximately 80% of sales. The bottles currently

being marketed have a backbone of 2016 vintage wines,

with 24% reserve wines. “Four years’ maturation for

a non-vintage Brut has become rare”, stresses Vallée.

Particularly when it has a price tag of €22. The reason

for this is that most of the cooperative’s members are

winegrowers, and don’t have another job. They are

therefore mindful to keep their Champagnes affordable,

so their pricing policy is deliberately restrained.

The Blanc de Noirs label, made entirely from Pinot

noir, could almost be a non-vintage Brut because of the

level of fruitiness in the Pinot noir. Despite this, it is

powerful and works particularly well with Parma ham

or parmesan.

Just before Covid, building work was carried out on the

co-operative so that it could welcome visitors and serve

its Champagnes with local produce. The house’s priority

is about spending time welcoming visitors, remaining

accessible, reaching out to all audiences, providing

consensual wines and making people want to hold their

flute out for a second glass, all of which contribute to its

style and image.

The Barfontarc winery welcomes visitors with open arms

THE MYRIAD ASPECTS OF CHAMPAGNE

Evidently, there are countless ways of hitting the

right notes and as many instruments to do it with.

Consequently, it is difficult to refer to ‘Champagne’ and

more relevant to speak of ‘Champagnes’. Do you prefer

the laser-sharp freshness of a Blanc de Blancs? Or the

delicate balance and complexity of a Champagne by a

prominent house that has matured for several years? Do

the full body and vinous aromas of a Blanc de Noirs take

your fancy? Or rather the gratifying flavours of an Extra

Dry or a Demi-Sec? The magic of this extensive wine

region is its ability to provide an extensive array of wines,

where everyone can effortlessly find what they’re looking

for, both in terms of style and price points.

26 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


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WINE REGIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

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RHONE VALLEY

– BLENDING –

At Domaine Martin harvesting is a crucial time for the wines

The fascinating success story

of red wines from

the southern Rhone

For several decades, red wines from Drôme and Vaucluse have been well-received

by the public. Restructuring work began in the vineyards and is already reaping

rewards with fresher, less oaky, palatable reds that consumers are embracing.

By Christelle Zamora - Photographs: courtesy of the estates - © DR - © Christelle Zamora - © Alain Reynaud

28 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


RHONE VALLEY

– BLENDING –

Château Isolette is a 45-hectare vineyard located in the Luberon national park, between the Rhone Valley to the North

and the Côtes de Provence region

Bought in 2018 by well-heeled Polish investors Mariusz

and Marta Gawron, Château Isolette in the Luberon

is undergoing major restructuring. With forty-five

hectares under vine, thirty of them entitled to Luberon

appellation status, this very old estate located between

Bonnieux and Apt sells the balance of its wines under the Ventoux

appellation and as varietal wine labelled IGP Méditerranée.

Over the last twenty years, explains estate director Olivier

Rouquet, the profile of the wines has changed: “The Luberon

used to grow a lot of Carignan, which we have grubbed up and

replaced with Syrah and Grenache. Consumers want rounded,

tannic wines, so maturation in large and small barrels is reserved

for age-worthy wines”.

Most of the estate’s red wines are tank-fermented. Its high-end

offerings can be matured for 18 to 24 months, but the estate’s

signature style is to steer clear of overt oak influence: “For our

reds, our priority is to preserve the fruit and roundness, so barrels

are only used to micro-oxygenate the wine. We use French wood

from the Tronçais forest (in the Allier region) with a very tight,

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 29


RHONE VALLEY

– BLENDING –

Views out over Château Isolette’s vineyards, between Bonnieux and Apt

in the Luberon appellation area

fine grain and delicate toast”, adds the property’s technical

director. At Isolette, oaky wines are set aside for a small

clientele of enthusiasts.

Current restructuring of Isolette’s vineyards implies

replanting Mourvèdre. Rouquet believes that adverse

weather is making Mourvèdre a great ally for red wines

because it is a late-ripener. The variety counterbalances

alcohol levels in the earlier-ripening Grenache, and

although Syrah seems to be adapted to drought conditions,

its alcohol content can be high, whereas Mourvèdre makes

a great blender.

The varietal trio Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre will

produce the red Rhone wines of the future, although leaf

removal and irrigation will be required to rein in alcohol.

At Château Isolette, everyone is busy replanting five

hectares of vines.

Château Isolette, recently bought by Polish investors,

is the oldest estate in the Luberon

THREE PRIORITIES FOR CÔTES DU RHÔNE

Denis Guthmuller is the chairman of the Côtes du Rhône

and Côtes du Rhône Villages producers’ organisation

and since 2014, he has also co-chaired the economic

committee at Inter Rhône, the regional wine marketing

board. Originally from Alsace, he has been farming forty

hectares in Sainte Cécile les Vignes, Vaucluse, with his wife

Florence since the late 1990s. His sense of public duty

quickly led him to a number of collective tenures. He was

chairman of the Cave Cécilia co-operative winery for many

years before it merged with the co-operative in Cairanne,

which he now co-chairs. He converted his family farm to

organic in 2009, and took a proactive role in establishing

the South-East France organic wine marketing board in

2019, which he also chairs.

Although his work at the head of the producers’ organisation

is a seamless transition from his previous tenures, Denis

Guthmuller has set himself several priorities. The first is

to boost winegrowers’ income through yields, a key factor

in profitability, while maintaining a high level of quality.

His second priority is to ramp up activities that favour

protection of the environment and biodiversity. His goal

is anything if not ambitious, and that is to make the

Côtes du Rhône appellation a national benchmark for

sustainability. He feels the Rhone climate is relatively

conducive to ethically-focused environmental practices

30 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


Olivier Rouquet at Isolette

RHONE VALLEY

– BLENDING –

and that this is a genuine opportunity to enhance the image of

Rhone winegrowers. His third priority is to review the profile

of the wines, across the colour spectrum, to adapt to global

warming but also to meet the expectations of tomorrow’s

consumers.

THE SOUTHERN GRENACHE-SYRAH DUO

In the Rhone Valley, many appellations and growths have

overhauled the aromatic profile of their wines, both blends

and single varietals. Vinsobres is one such example. The wines,

which were very full-bodied in the 1990s, are now fruitier

and fresher. Great efforts have been made in Cairanne, where

the grapes must be harvested by hand, old vines are seen as a

legacy that needs to be protected, grape sorting is mandatory

and very few sulphites are added.

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 31


RHONE VALLEY

– BLENDING –

A Grenache vineyard at Domaine Martin in the

southern Rhone Valley

In Rasteau, the dry red wines are very structured and

aromatic, with Grenache, the main grape variety,

imparting abundant roundness. Old-vine Grenache

produces wines with a silky tannic backbone and aromas

of ripe fruit and spices, whereas Syrah lends the dry reds

an intense colour and appealing notes of black fruit,

violet and pepper. Although Grenache is the most widely

planted grape variety in the southern Rhone, Syrah is the

dominant variety in the northern Rhone Valley. Here,

it is fermented as a single red grape variety, although it

can be grown alongside the white Viognier in Côte-Rôtie

and with Roussanne and Marsannne in Saint-Joseph and

Hermitage. In Cornas, Syrah is grown as a single varietal

across the 136-hectare appellation. The very pronounced,

long-standing dichotomy between Syrah in the North and

Grenache in the South of the Rhone valley is still true

today. Syrah has gained currency in the cooler southern

and Languedoc vineyard sites in the Pic Saint-Loup and

Terrasses du Larzac appellations, where it is preferred to

Grenache, unlike in the southern Rhone.

In the southern Rhone Valley and at Châteauneuf du Pape, limestone shards

lend the wines at Maison Ogier elegance and pronounced minerality

JUDICIOUS USE OF WOOD

Founded in 1859, Maison Ogier - which belongs to the

Advini group - is based in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the

heart of the most prestigious of the southern French

appellations. In order to interpret the subtle variations

in the vineyard sites in the Côtes du Rhône, Ogier has

honed its knowledge of the appellation’s soils - pebbles,

fawn-sands, red sandstone, limestone fragments – and

then adapted its fermentation and maturation techniques

accordingly. Its century-old cellars house more than 8,000

hl of wooden tanks, tuns, demi-muids, barrels and conical

wooden vats. But this in no way implies that the wines are

over-oaky. Quite the contrary. “Although each label has

its own identity, our fruit is co-fermented (several grape

varieties in the same vat) to produce unique balance and

complexity through this intimate fusion of grape varieties.

Although some of our wines are matured in concrete

tanks to preserve fruit, most of our red wines benefit from

being matured in oak barrels to preserve their typicity

whilst at the same time gaining in finesse and freshness.

The northern growths, which are mainly Syrah-based,

spend some time in new oak, as do some of our southern

32 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


RHONE VALLEY

– BLENDING –

Edouard Guérin, the winemaker at Maison Ogier

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 33


RHONE VALLEY

– BLENDING –

David and Eric run Domaine Martin together

appellations (Gigondas, Châteauneuf-du-Pape) for up to 6 to

8 months depending on the quality of the vintage”, comments

Edouard Guérin, the winemaker at Maison Ogier.

For the other growths, the choice of demi-muids is preferable

so that vineyard site selection can continue to be built upon.

As larger containers, they allow very low oxidation-reduction,

whilst small interactions with the wood beautifully enhance

structure and promote the wine’s finesse and velvety feel. The

length of maturation varies from 12 to 24 months, depending

on the potential of the wine.

“So our red Côtes du Rhône starts an initial phase in concrete

tanks, before moving on to large wooden containers such as

tuns or conical vats to refine the tannins”, adds Guérin. At Ogier,

the cellars are as much part of the company’s heritage as its

vineyards, enhancing each wine, according to the vintage, and

lending it that much sought-after drinkability.

Between Vaison la Romaine and Orange in Vaucluse, David and

Eric Martin took over the namesake family estate twenty years

ago. Their ambition was to grow bottled wine sales and exports.

The two first cousins are the great-grandsons of founder Julien

Martin who established the estate in 1905.

They currently farm 78 hectares of vines in Côtes du Rhône,

Côtes du Rhône Villages (Plan de Dieu, Sainte Cécile les Vignes)

and in the Rasteau and Cairanne growths. Specifications for the

34 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


RHONE VALLEY

– BLENDING –

appellations stipulate that Grenache must account for

40 to 50% of the varietal range, with Syrah and Mourvèdre

complementing the blends. The estate currently sells

250,000 bottles, including 80,000 bottles of generic Côtes

du Rhône, half in France, half for export to England and

the United States. The Plan de Dieu village-designated

appellation is a roaring success across all markets. The

wine is matured in old tuns bought by the cousins’

grandfather over 60 years ago, where the majority of their

wines are matured. “We only use second-use wine barrels

to mature Cairanne for 3 to 4 months to differentiate it

from the other wines. This produces light oaky notes that

preserve the fruit”, they explain.

CONSUMER TASTES HAVE CHANGED

At Domaine Martin, David and Eric Martin have noticed a

change in consumer habits. “Twenty years ago, consumers

were looking for tannic wines and would let them age.

Nowadays, they prefer wines that are not very mature

and fruit-driven. Because of urban storage facilities, not

everyone can let the wines improve with age”, comments

Éric Martin. In export markets, he is pleased to sell his Côtes

du Rhône Plan de Dieu in Kenya via an airline company.

He also claims that since the appellation was officially

recognised in 2004, its sales have grown incrementally.

Domaine des Arches near Nyons is a family farm that

has been growing a range of crops for six generations.

Ideally situated on the road to the Alps, between Vaisonla-Romaine

and Nyons, it farms 14 hectares of vines in

AOP Côtes du Rhône and sells 15,000 bottles locally.

The estate’s patriarch, Daniel Ravoux, explains that in

very hot years, which are increasingly frequent, the wines

have very generous alcohol levels and need to be matured

before being released for drinking. He remains convinced

that the wines are much better and much more enjoyable

when they are drunk at their peak. But consumers and

wine merchants alike are pressing him to produce earlydrinking

wines. As the family waits for its vines to be

classified as Côtes du Rhône Villages Nyons, there is one

major reason for it to rejoice, and that is the progress in

the quality of Rhone wines. And when you spare some

thought for the age-old style of the region’s wines, you

realise what a quantum leap has been achieved.

Eric Martin in his vineyards

The vineyards at Domaine des Arches on the land around

Mirabel-aux-Baronnies in the Provencal part of Drôme

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 35


Tasting wines at Domaines Auriol

VINS DE FRANCE

– INNOVATION –

Vins de France:

The freedom to craft high

quality wines

Vins de France have torn up much of the rule book that dictates the way

appellation wines are made. However, the category should not be viewed as a

downgraded version of AOCs. Among its key features are some high quality,

differentiated wines, as shown by our survey of winegrowers and merchants...

By Jean-Paul Burias - Photographs: courtesy of the estates - © Antoine Martel

36 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


VINS DE FRANCE

– INNOVATION –

Harvesting in September 2021 at Bougrier family estates

From the amphorae of Antiquity to the major

appellations of today, the wine market has evolved

over time to satisfy consumer demand. In what is now

a global sea of wine ruled by fierce competition, where

the Grands Crus reign supreme, for many winegrowers

success lies in the ability to produce distinctive, easy-drinking,

quality wines at competitive price points. That’s where the

Vins de France category comes in. Although it does comply

with production rules, the conditions are not strictly laid out

by law to include demarcated production areas, minimum

alcoholic strength, maximum yields, vineyard management

techniques or analytical and aroma and flavour standards.

What the wines do offer is the promise of spending some

enjoyable, relaxing moments with others. Vins de France

allow winemakers to get their creative juices flowing, but they

also require specific marketing teams, especially overseas.

Very often, future customers are not familiar with the category

and have no real benchmarks. Winegrowers must therefore

ramp up their sales pitch and promote wines that deserve to

be known and have already garnered success in restaurants

and export markets.

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 37


VINS DE FRANCE

– INNOVATION –

Sophie, Noël and Nicolas Bougrier

FAMILLE BOUGRIER:

A COMPREHENSIVE RANGE

Famous for its fine Loire wines, the Famille Bougrier estate,

created in 1885, produces remarkable Vins de France.

Noël Bougrier took over the company reins in 1988 and

successfully gave the family estate fresh impetus by extending

its coverage to the entire Loire Valley. He was joined in 2015

by a sixth generation of winegrowers, his son Nicolas, then

in 2020 by his daughter Sophie. “We have been working

with the Vin de France category for a long time with a

comprehensive range of historic Loire Valley grape varieties

- Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin blanc, Gamay noir

and Pinot noir”, explains Nicolas Bougrier. “The aim is to

offer an introductory approach to our vineyard sites with

easy-drinking, fruit-forward, fresh wines. Through their

easily understandable positioning that combines the estate,

a grape variety and France, we aim to recruit new consumers

with these wines for pleasure”. The flagship grape varieties

of the Loire Valley have found their audience. Concurrently

with this, the estate has launched more unusual wines

for the French market and export destinations. “Exports

38 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


VINS DE FRANCE

– INNOVATION –

represent 85% of our markets”, says a delighted Sophie

Bougrier. “However, we are also driving sales of our ranges

in the French market where the prospects are good, there is

good feedback from our customers and our Vins de France

are reaching higher price points”.

BARTON & GUESTIER: THE JOY OF EXPORTS

The story of this key component of French wine heritage

began in 1725 when Irishman Thomas Barton settled in

Bordeaux. He was soon considered one of the 18 th century’s

best maturers of French wine. Today, Barton & Guestier

continues to select, produce and ship the finest French

wines and exports account for 95% of its sales. “Our

wines show the hallmark features of their appellations

and grape varieties”, explains Philippe Marion, deputy

director of Barton & Guestier, Patriarche and Listel. “Our

international presence requires us to develop qualities

catering to the major consumer markets in the world.

Vin de France helps us to do this. The strength of these

branded wines lies in their consistency and quality

stability”. Rosés, Pinot noirs and, more broadly speaking,

all the grape varieties that are difficult to source in a

single region are best sellers, with top-end wines currently

on-trend. “The grape variety is the number one cue, the

brand ranks second and the price third”.

Philippe Marion, deputy director of Barton & Guestier,

Patriarche, Listel

DOMAINES AURIOL: A HISTORY OF PASSION

As a child, Claude Vialade would accompany her father

Jean in the vineyards and cellars of Château de Pech-Latt

where he was the manager. After studying business, this

passionate wine enthusiast began her career distributing

wines in the international market for a producers’ group.

After a stint as manager of the Corbières appellation, she

created her own company in 2000. Today, Domaines

Auriol is a superb standard-bearer for Languedoc wines.

“Our Vins de France have a Mediterranean profile and

the vast majority have an environmental endorsement”,

explains Vialade. “Occitanie wines offer the flexibility

to adapt to each market. Also, the ability of company

executives to think outside the box and drive innovation,

securing good international recognition, should be

commended”. For the estate, marketing a wine under

the Vin de France designation offers greater latitude to

adapt each offering to its destination market in terms of

sweetness, oakiness or tannins.

Claude Vialade and Jordi Salvagnac, operations director at

Maison Auriol

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 39


VINS DE FRANCE

– INNOVATION –

Laurent and Jean-Michel Poiron, two brothers in the trees

DOMAINE POIRON-DABIN: A FAMILY AFFAIR

Set in the heart of the Muscadet appellation, Domaine

Poiron-Dabin has also carved out a reputation for itself

for its remarkable Vins de France. Here, vine growing

has been in the family since 1858. In 1962, Jean Poiron

married Thérèse Dabin who added her name to the

estate. In 1990, their sons Laurent and Jean-Michel

joined them until their respective retirements in 1999

and 2004. On this 69-hectare High Environmental

Value-certified (HVE) estate, the two brothers produce

wines from the Nantes region across a superb variety

of colours and aroma profiles by drawing on an

extensive range of 15 grape varieties, including Melon

de Bourgogne, Chardonnay, Côt (Malbec), Berligou,

the noble grape variety of the Dukes of Brittany, and

Pinots gris and noir used to produce white, red, rosé

and sparkling wines. “Our Vins de France are primarily

fresh wines for pleasure”, says Jean-Michel Poiron.

“They are unpredictable, surprising and sometimes

40 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


VINS DE FRANCE

– INNOVATION –

even disconcerting wines for the region due to their

novel grape varieties such as Gewurztraminer and Petit

manseng”. Matching the current zeitgeist, they ride the

crest of modernity and align with genuine demand for

instant gratification and moreish pleasure. “Producing

novel grape varieties gives another meaning to our

profession as winegrowers by rooting our vineyard sites

firmly in the modern age”, continues Laurent Poiron.

“Our Vins de France are bold yet delicate, and thanks

to them, we are currently developing our business in

Asia. Our choice of labels, which are both humorous

and modern, helps promote them. In fact, the only

challenge lies in the fact that they are niche wines that

are difficult to promote at their true value”.

BADET CLÉMENT: THE KEYS TO SUCCESS

The fifth-generation representative of a family of

Burgundy producers and merchants and an acclaimed

winemaker, Laurent Delaunay founded the Badet

Clément trading company with his wife Catherine

in 1995. Marketing 16 million bottles each year, two

thirds of which are exported to more than 50 countries,

the company specialises in producing and marketing a

broad portfolio that includes appellation wines from

Burgundy and Languedoc, PGI (Protected Geographical

Indication) wines from Languedoc and several ranges

of single-varietal Vins de France. “In general, we aim to

produce precise, elegant, well-balanced wines with good

drinkability”, says marketing and communications

director Emmanuel de Salve. “They all benefit from

very carefully designed packaging down to the smallest

detail. This attention to detail, from the vine to the

bottle, obviously comes at a cost and their price points

are slightly above the average for their category”. Within

this broad range, the successful brands belong as much

to the Vins de France category – including La Belle

Angèle – as to the IGP category such as Les Jamelles or

Burgundy appellations with Edouard Delaunay. “Vins

de France are not destined to be stuck at the bottom

of the ladder”, claims de Salve. “Numerous initiatives,

both within our company and among our colleagues,

prove that these wines can be successfully marketed

at price points on a par with or higher than those for

recognised appellations”.

Catherine and Laurent Delaunay, the founders of Badet Clément

Winemaking and ageing facilities in Monze, Languedoc

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 41


Nicolas and Sophie Bougrier

Laurent Prada in Patriarche’s cellars

Jean-Claude Bougrier in his

vineyards in 2010

Maryline Gianna, winemaker for Patriarche

Jordi Salvagnac of

Domaines Auriol

tasting wines

Claude Vialade, the founder of Maison Auriol

Laurent and Jean-Michel Poiron in front of their van

Mathieu Paquet of Paquet-Montagnac tasting wine in his cellars

Catherine Delaunay in the cellar where

some of her wines are matured


VINS DE FRANCE

– INNOVATION –

DOMAINE DE L’ERMITAGE:

MENETOU-SALON GEMS

Laurence de la Farge has a major connection with the

Menetou-Salon appellation. Her father, Bernard Clément,

was one of the founders of the Appellation d’Origine

Contrôlée in 1959. In 2003, with Géraud de la Farge, she

created Domaine de l’Ermitage. She was joined on this

9-hectare vineyard, 7 of them planted to Sauvignon and

2 to Pinot Noir, by her son Antoine. “The reason I am

winegrower today is because of my grandfather who has

always shared his passion for growing wine with me”,

recounts Antoine. “We produce pleasurable, gratifying

wines that illustrate the terroir of each appellation and

show distinctive finesse and freshness. In a niche wine

region with rare wines offering good value for money,

the key is quality and food pairing possibilities that

run the gamut. Here, Vins de France have found their

audience”. Exports generate 25% of revenue and are

growing on the back of new markets.

Madeleine, vineyard supervisor at Domaine de l’Ermitage

PAQUET-MONTAGNAC:

BEAUTIFULLY EXPRESSIVE

Mathieu Paquet has complete control over his wines and

likes to convey the history of a region and vineyard sites

but also of encounters with others and shared pleasures.

His trading company, Paquet Montagnac, distributes a

wide range of Burgundy, Beaujolais, Rhone Valley and

Provence wines, as well as Vins de France. “These are

expressive, accessible and ready to drink wines with nice

freshness”, stresses Paquet. “Our objective is to promote

the Burgundy grape varieties, Pinot and Chardonnay, by

offering affordable prices as well as sizeable volumes for

foreign markets”. The strategy has been highly successful,

and with 98% of sales in export markets, the brand has

now secured global recognition

REVOLUTIONISING CONVENTIONAL CUES

It took a long time to overcome the image of entry-level

table wine, particularly in France, but that page has now

been turned. Admittedly, some consumers seek out the

authenticity of estate-grown wines when buying French,

and often an appellation is a bonus. But swelling ranks

of consumers are convinced that they can find real gems

elsewhere and for them, the Vin de France category is no

longer viewed as a basic category but as a complementary

Antoine de la Farge in his vineyards at Domaine de

l’Ermitage

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 43


VINS DE FRANCE

– INNOVATION –

Mathieu Paquet who founded Paquet-Montagnac

gateway to terroir-driven wines. Some labels are priced in

excess of 15 euros, their quality alone allowing them to

break through the glass ceiling. By promoting vineyard

sites located outside recognised appellation areas, Vins de

France have everything it takes to grow and attract novice

consumers who feel lost amidst a complex sea of French

appellations. Vins de France also offer almost limitless

freedom for creatively blending new or forgotten grape

varieties. At the core of a crowded and competitive market

place, they provide a timely alternative to the major

appellations. Their choice is both broad and varied, with

wines that are often fruity, easy-drinking and versatile

from a food pairing perspective, matching every drinking

occasion. At the end of the day, the quality of the wines and

strength of the brand make all the difference.

44 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


Sweeping vistas of the Tour Castillon vineyards

opposite the Gironde estuary

BORDEAUX

– TRAVEL –

Escape to Bordeaux,

and visit some of its true gems

Of all the world’s wine regions, Bordeaux is home to the most prestigious wines,

but their crown is studded with some true little gems. Although less eye-catching,

they have the ability to take you by surprise. From the Graves to the Médoc via

Saint-Emilion, we offer a glimpse of what to expect.

By Camille Bernard - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 45


BORDEAUX

– TRAVEL –

Nicolas Ballande, owner of Château Palais Cardinal

Some 9,000 winegrowers call the Gironde department home,

working year in year out to offer wine enthusiasts the

best of their expertise. Across nearly 120,000 hectares

spanning myriad sites, they perpetuate over 2,000 years of

winegrowing traditions. This variety allows Bordeaux to run

the gamut in terms of wine styles, which each appellation harnesses to

form a consistent yet unique whole. Over the years, these appellations

have witnessed the birth of wines that are so prestigious that their

reputation now comes with a hefty price tag.

Pomerol, Saint-Emilion and Margaux, to name a few, are the cradle

of properties that are so renowned that their reputation spills out

over national borders and has helped garner Bordeaux’s global

acclaim. But just a stone’s throw from these standard-bearers, on the

same soils whose quality is unrivalled and undisputed, are estates

producing wines that are admittedly lesser-known but can hold their

own in comparison with their neighbours. Tended to by men and

women showing faultless determination and passion, these properties

successfully combine quality and accessibility so that consumers can

indulge, without breaking the bank. On our trip across Gironde,

we met some of these winegrowers who think outside the box and

make a point of producing elegant, no-fuss wines. These are wines

that manage to offer an honest, elegant rendition of their distinctive

vineyard sites, yet remain affordable. To achieve this, some producers

have freed themselves from appellation rules to gain greater freedom

in terms of varietal choices, whilst others have enthusiastically made

the demanding commitment to switch to organic. Whatever the tack

46 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


BORDEAUX

– TRAVEL –

taken, none of them lack ideas for revitalising the image of

Bordeaux wines. The following is a selection of some real

gems that deserve your whole-hearted attention.

CHÂTEAU PALAIS CARDINAL:

WHERE INNOVATION SHOWCASES TRADITION

Château Palais Cardinal is an integral part of Saint-Emilion’s

heritage, and rightly so. “The wine property dates back to

1843 and is named after Cardinal Gaillard de la Motte who

helped extend it in the 16th century and matured his wine

here”, recounts Nicolas Ballande, its current owner.

Although vines have always been grown here, “the vineyards

reached a turning point between 2008 and 2019 when

they increased from 4 to 30 hectares”. The plantings have

gone hand in hand with implementation of sustainable

winegrowing techniques for 12 years, making the estate

eligible for HVE 3 and Terras Vitis certifications. The

Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc vines,

whose average age is 40 years old, thrive on the local

soils where biodiversity is the norm, reverting to “farming

wisdom similar to that of our great-grandparents, aimed at

protecting us from the vagaries of the weather”.

Here, a return to tradition does not preclude the use of

innovation. The fruit is sorted using a density meter, the

wines undergo cold pre-fermentation soaking, the tanks

are temperature controlled and the wines are matured in

concrete tanks, barrels or even amphorae depending on the

vintages. The result is four unique labels where the mineral

expression of the soils is the avowed aim, “with differing

focuses on power”. Consequently, there is something

for everyone, across the globe. “Our wines are mostly

distributed through a network of wine merchants and

restaurateurs in France, Belgium, Italy, South Korea, Japan,

Hong Kong, the Philippines, Germany, the United States,

New Caledonia, Tahiti and Austria”.

The tasting room at Château Palais Cardinal offers panoramic views of the

estate’s vineyards

CHATEAU TOUR CASTILLON:

AGE-WORTHY WINES

Although the history of Chateau Tour Castillon is closely

linked to that of the Viscount of Castillon, who developed

winegrowing here in the 11 th century, the present-day

vineyards are the legacy of four generations who have

been the property’s incumbents for over a century. “My

great-grandfather acquired the property in 1914”, recounts

Laure Peyruse, its co-owner with her brother Sébastien. He

The vineyards of Château Tour Castillon

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 47


BORDEAUX

– TRAVEL –

Laure Peyruse, owner of Château Tour Castillon

produces the wine, she is its ultimate ambassador through

the wine tourism business she has grown over the past

twenty years.

“For a long time, vines grew amidst the cows, so the soils

are replete with fertilisers”. A dozen or so hectares of

Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot

and Carmenere now thrive here under the AOC Médoc

Cru Bourgeois appellation. The property’s environmental

ethos advocates “a hands-on approach to maintaining the

vineyards so that the high quality sites that we have been

given in an ideal location opposite the Gironde estuary

can be sustained for the future.” This attention to detail

is applied in the winery too, where the wines undergo

lengthy, bespoke vatting before being matured in barrels

or amphorae.

“This allows us to produce elegant, gratifying wines which

are designed to be enjoyed in their youth but are also very

age-worthy. These are wines with staying power.”

Although they can be found in the estate’s online store,

they are also exported to Canada, the United States, Japan

and China.

48 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


A hot-air balloon display at Château Palais Cardinal

The magnificent wrought-iron gates

at Château Palais Cardinal

Château Palais Cardinal shrouded in clouds

A visit of Chateau Tour Castillon for wine tourists

The barrel cellar and amphorae at Château Tour Castillon

A tasting of wines by Château Tour Castillon along the Gironde estuary


BORDEAUX

– TRAVEL –

Château Tourteau Chollet

CHÂTEAU TOURTEAU CHOLLET:

“THE QUALITY OF A GRAND CRU”

Located South of Bordeaux, Château Tourteau Chollet

boasts a history spanning over 260 years. It began in

1760 when Etienne Tourteau planted the first vineyard

block on deep gravel soils. The years passed and the

vineyards more or less weathered a series of industry

crises. Since the turn of the 21 st century, they are in the

capable hands of Maxime Bontoux.

“In 2003, Maxime realised that climate change was an issue

and planted more suitable varieties such as Petit Verdot and

Malbec”, explains Sébastien Labails who manages Maxime

Bontoux’s vineyards. On the property’s 56 hectares under

vine, the two grape varieties reside comfortably alongside

the more traditional Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot,

Sauvignon blanc and Sémillon vines. From these, five

different labels are produced under the AOC Graves

appellation and one as AOC Bordeaux. “Our wines spend

the summer in concrete tanks to preserve their freshness

and for the reds we use pre-fermentation soaking at low

temperatures to develop their primary aromas”.

This sensitive approach to winemaking creates the signature

style of Tourteau Chollet wines where “elegance is always

aimed for”. Work carried out beforehand in the vineyard is

just as essential. After pioneering the use of environmentallyfriendly

techniques, the estate continues to roll out ecological

initiatives and began to switch to organic last April.

This environmental pledge enhances this exquisite

vineyard site, producing wines that “show the quality of

a Grand Cru” and are sold in France, Benelux, the United

States and Hong Kong.


Arriving at Château Tourteau Chollet surrounded by vineyards

DOMAINE DE LAURANCEAU:

THE ART OF TRADITION

On the high quality clayey soils South of Bordeaux, the

Montagne family has been growing vines since 1890.

“My great-great-grandfather bought a few hectares a long

time ago”, recounts Sébastien Montagne, representing the

5 th generation. “Land was bought over the years and the

vineyards were acquired at Lauranceau in 1976”.

45 hectares are now farmed by Montagne who has “not

used pesticides since 2018” and is entering his third year of

conversion to organic farming. Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon,

Sauvignon, Sémillon, Colombard and Muscadelle are now

spared of any chemical inputs, from the vine to the bottle.

50 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


BORDEAUX

– TRAVEL –

Sébastien Montagne improvises a tasting at Domaine Lauranceau

All work in the winery is carried out traditionally. Here, “there is no

thermovinification”, but rather cold maceration followed by vatting

then maturation in underground tanks along with barrels sourced from

a Grand Cru Classé. “We use great quality wood”, which undeniably

lends the wines the remarkable balance that sets them apart. That’s

not the only reason, however, as Montagne conscientiously adapts

his winemaking methods to suit each individual vintage. So from one

year to the next, barrel maturation can “be up to 18 months” with the

wines subsequently blended with “varying amounts of wine from the

underground tanks”. In terms of sulphites, “I prefer to keep the carbon

dioxide to avoid using sulphites as much as possible”. By tweaking his

wines in this way, Montagne crafts some lovely offerings bound for the

French, Chinese and American markets.

Some properties help Bordeaux wines to flourish in their own subtle

but sure way. Some of them have allowed us in so that we can hear

their story, told with passion and humility. These treasured wineries

offer more than just wine. Their winegrowers willingly share their love

of the land and endeavour to preserve its environmental integrity. These

vineyard sites, the repositories of several centuries of winegrowing,

have something exceptional and unique which their growers strive to

safeguard and show off. Men and women create infinite combinations

of time-honoured wisdom and entrepreneurship, constantly innovating

to offer the finest renditions of their vineyards. They also provide an

excellent opportunity to discover Bordeaux in a different light.

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 51


BORDEAUX

– WINE GROWER PORTRAIT –

52 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE

Romain Roux in his Médoc

vineyards at Puy­Castéra


BORDEAUX

BORDEAUX

- WINE GROWER PORTRAIT -

– WINE GROWER PORTRAIT –

FROM ENTRE-DEUX-MERS TO THE MÉDOC

ROMAIN ROUX,

BORN TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR!

The four chateaux are his pride and joy.

You can’t help but like Romain Roux. Possibly a little gruff, by his own admission, but

this immediately disappears behind his loquaciousness, his joviality and his ability to

listen to others. After dreaming of a career in finance, he ultimately chose a job that

brings him down to earth every day. And he certainly is not complaining.

By Sylvain Patard – Photographs: © Sylvain Robin

Romain Roux did not want to be a winegrower, and he

explains why: “It’s hard work, and not necessarily

well-paid. But if you can make a living out of it, it’s the

best job in the world”. He actually wanted to become a

trader. “I sleep very little and I used to take great pleasure in

watching stock markets open around the world”.

Unfortunately, in 2000, his father had a serious health

problem, so after passing his Baccalauréat, Roux attended

agricultural college so that he could help him at the end of

his course. “I realise now that because of this, I have been

able to spend time with my family and my childhood friends

every day, whereas if I had found a job in finance in London

or somewhere else, I would probably have only seen them

once a year”, he admits.

COMPANY DIRECTOR AT 26

In 2005, he considered no longer working with his father

because of a disagreement. In the end, his father suggested

he establish a company that Roux would manage, realising

that his son needed independence and only one person

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 53

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 53


BORDEAUX

BORDEAUX

- WINE

– WINE

GROWER

GROWER

PORTRAIT

PORTRAIT –

-

“Being a winegrower is hard work and not necessarily well­paid. But if

you can make a living out of it, it’s the best job in the world”.

could head up the business. Roux comments: “This took me

by surprise because he has a strong personality, but in his

mind things were clear. He realised that this was the

preferable option for the business to be successful. So at

age 26, Roux’s journey began. Aiming to succeed at all costs,

he spared no effort and worked all hours. He expanded the

business by picking up his phone and calling supermarket

buyers, which he gradually brought on board. Then he

started exporting, which raised issues. The business was

growing strongly, but how should it develop? What

opportunities should be considered? After an audit

designed to shed light on these issues, he decided to

diversify by purchasing Château Taffard de Blaignan (Médoc)

in 2013. In just five years, the property was totally overhauled

and went from 21 to 68 bearing hectares. It was sold in 2018

to buy three other chateaux, representing four brands:

Plagnac, Pontey, Holden and Puy-Castéra. The latter of these

was not really on the agenda, but its location near the

prominent Médoc properties blew Roux away. The challenge

henceforth was to produce the finest wines, whilst

honouring the inherent features of each vineyard site. Plagnac

is a Médoc offering everyday luxury, as Roux so eloquently

defines it, retailing for between 5 and 7 euros. The wines are

relatively early-drinking and therefore quickly accessible,

which is a strategic asset. Pontey is denser, more earthy and

complemented by beautiful tannin finesse imparted by a

share of new oak and 90% Merlot, which is very rare in the

Médoc. Roux has learned a lot from Pascal, who is tasked

with winemaking and will soon retire. But the future lies with

27-year-old Etienne, a winemaker and agricultural engineer,

whom he has recruited to manage the three properties. As

Roux says: “He has the technical background and an

innovative vision that I don't necessarily have”.

Holden is part of the Puy Castéra vineyards (11 hectares). It

is more animal and wilder, but also very fruit-driven. Puy

Castéra itself epitomises fullness, finesse and elegance, along

with lovely concentration guaranteeing ageability. Eighty

thousand bottles are produced and there is even a second

wine: L'Octave de Puy-Castéra. The name is both a nod to

music and to his wife's grandfather. Laboratory and

consultancy services for the wine are provided by Eric

Boissenot who has long partnered with the greatest Médoc

chateaux. Roux has not rested on his laurels and has ventured

54 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE

54 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


“The most important

thing is to have a

“The most important

vision, a project and

thing is to have a

challenges to

vision, a project and

address”.

challenges to

address”.

Romain Roux was

blown Romain away Roux by was

Puy­Castéra. blown away by

Puy­Castéra.

The environment

is The a core environment issue

at Puy­Castéra,

is a core issue

where at Puy­Castéra,

bee hives

stand where close bee to hives

the stand chateau. close to

the chateau.

Combining

Combining

rugby

rugby

and

and

wine,

wine,

his

his

two

two

greatest

greatest

passions.

passions.

into into other other prestigious appellations, with with the the same same core core aim aim

of of moving moving upmarket and and diversifying. He He now now owns 2.8 2.8

hectares in Saint-Estèphe, 0.8 0.8 hectares in in Pauillac and 0.3

hectares in in Margaux.

MAKING PEOPLE HAPPY

When When asked asked what what his his next next dream is, is, his his answer is is above all all

that that of of a a husband and and father, which is is to to spend time regularly

with with his his wife wife and and children. But But from a a professional

perspective, the the hyperactive Romain Roux immediately

waxes waxes lyrical lyrical about about his his forthcoming projects. He He plans to to

establish establish a new a new brand, brand, Provenance, labelled IGP IGP Terres du du

Midi, Midi, across across the the colour colour spectrum spectrum and and including boxed

wines, wines, with with 10 10 million million bottles. bottles. And And as as he he concludes

pragmatically:

pragmatically:

“My

“My

main

main

dream

dream

is

is

to

to

make

make

people

people

happy,

happy,

which

which

makes

makes

me

me

happy

happy

too.

too.

But

But

I'm

I'm

not

not

just

just

a

a

philanthropist

philanthropist

either”.

either”.

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 55

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 55

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 55


CIDERS

– DISCOVERY –

At the height of the season, over one million tonnes of apples are harvested

at the Cidrerie de la Brique, before being crushed so that the juice can be collected

Cider: a whole host of choices

waiting to be discovered

Ciders are the perfect match for current drinking trends. Great for socialising,

relatively low in alcohol, inexpensive and less mired in the pomp and circumstance

that accompany wine tasting, they attract a wider clientele.

Nine prominent French cider firms explain why.

By Jean-Paul Burias - Photographs: courtesy of the estates - © Thierry Houyel - © Alice Bertrand

56 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


CIDERS

– DISCOVERY –

In the west of France, the orchards of Normandy and

Brittany are part and parcel of the landscape. This year’s

apple harvest started quite late – at the beginning of

October – and volumes are lower than in previous years

due to a dull summer and adverse weather conditions.

This is bad news for an industry providing 15,000 jobs

and boasting 600 cider works, which has already had to

cope with the pandemic and a drop in stocks. Cider is

rooted in French tradition and has many assets. Produced

by fermenting apple juice, its flavours and low alcohol

content, ranging from 2 to 8% ABV, are a magnet for

consumers. In France, apple orchards account for a quarter

of all fruit orchards, equating to 35,000 hectares, 9,000

of which are planted to specific varieties for producing

cider. At less than 2 litres per year per capita, French cider

consumption is significantly lower than for wine or beer.

This can be ascribed to its highly seasonal nature – sales

peak at the beginning of the year and in the summer, and

outside Brittany and Normandy consumption is relatively

low. The marketing board and several brands have grasped

the nettle by rolling out PR campaigns to promote cider

and broaden the consumer base. We met the main players

in a market that is decidedly bubbly!

The La Sapinière cider works

LA FERME DE LA SAPINIÈRE:

A PASSION FOR CIDER

Near the D-Day landing beaches and the American

cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, the orchards belonging to

Philippe and Michel Legallois invite visitors to discover the

Ferme de la Sapinière. The two ‘flavour artisans’ have been

producing Pommeau de Normandie, Calvados, apple juice

and of course cider since 1991. “Our organically-farmed

orchards are home to 35 different varieties of cider apples”,

says Michel Legallois. “The ciders are vintage-labelled

and produced by natural fermentation in the bottle with

no added carbon dioxide”. Here, customer relations are

prioritised. Cellar door sales account for 70% of the total

and exports 4%, mainly to Germany, Belgium and Mexico.

Apple Oak is a naturally fermented cider. It matures for the

first 5 months in tanks, then it ferments in relatively new

Cognac barrels. The resultant cider shows distinctive balance

between fine tannins and acidity, delicate effervescence and

a long finish driven by notes of mature spirits.

Michel Legallois of the La Sapinière

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Loïck and Jean-Marie Gouret from Cidrerie Kerloick

CIDERS

– DISCOVERY –

CIDRERIE KERLOÏCK: HEIRLOOM RECIPES

Loïc Gouret and his wife Anita established their business

in 1999 before being joined by their son Jean-Marie in

2016. This Breton cider works farms 40 hectares of organic

orchards. About fifteen varieties of apple trees are used

to produce structured dry ciders showing intense aromas,

as well as medium-dry and sweet ciders which display

distinctive lightness and fruity flavours on the palate. “As

an orchard owner and producer, we can control every

stage of production”, stresses Jean-Marie Gouret. “All our

farmhouse products, ciders, juices and spirits are made

on our farm”. Exports account for 10% of volumes and

are tending to grow due to the care taken across the

different ranges.

CIDRERIE VIARD: THE REGIONAL FORCE

Three kilometres from Bayeux with its medieval centre,

Notre-Dame cathedral and famous namesake tapestry, the

Viard cider works is one of the oldest family-run businesses

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CIDERS

– DISCOVERY –

in Normandy. Established in 1932, it houses a superb

18th century farmhouse. In this enchanting setting, the

company honours its native Normandy with full-flavoured

ciders. “Our ciders are made from apples harvested less

than 60 kilometres from the farm”, explains sales manager

Vanessa Sagot. “We select the most aromatic varieties and

only press apples of excellent quality. The Guillaume,

Odon and Edouard labels are defined by controlled

fermentation using exogenous yeast customarily used

for wine, which develops specific aroma and flavour

characteristics. These are exceptional ciders, which we

rated 93, 92 and 90/100 respectively.

CIDRERIE KERISAC:

THE FAMOUS CENTENARIAN

In the Guillet family, expertise and tradition are passed

down through the generations. In 1920, Jean-Edmond

Guillet founded a company focused on producing cider

– his ambition was to spread traditional Breton knowhow

outside his regional boundaries. A century later,

Laurent Guillet, his great-grandson, is the sales director

of a company with a staff of 40 which has a made a

pledge to protecting the soils and orchards. “Our ciders

show hallmark fine bubbles, freshness and tannins”, he

explains. “Our blends are produced from typically Breton

apples”. Cellar master Marion Dubarry makes fresh,

complex ciders. The dry, sweet and traditional dry Cuvée

spéciale stems from a unique production process with

lengthy maturation in tanks that harks back to the roots of

traditional cider making.

Sébastien Malherbe and Margaux Desheulles tasting cider at the

Bayeux cider works

LES CELLIERS ASSOCIÉS: EXPORT FOCUS

This cider co-operative is one of the key industry players.

In 1953, 12 apple producers from the Val de Rance

area combined their production and marketing resources

driven by a passion for excellence. On 5 hectares of

land along the banks of the Rance, Les Celliers Associés

boasts 355 member producers and 115 employees. This

environmentally-friendly cider cooperative is France’s first

to be certified High Environmental Value. Its generous,

well-structured Val de Rance ciders feature on the menus of

many restaurants and across 50 countries. There is a valid

explanation for its export success: “Our ciders are defined

Marion Dubarry, the cellar master at Kerisac tasting

the newly fermenting juices

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CIDERS

– DISCOVERY –

by their typical flavours”, comments export sales manager

Philippe Coignat. “Each market has its own preferences

and the work of our cellar master Alain Le Page allows

us to closely align with our customers’ expectations. For

example, our dry ciders show a hint of tannin entwined

with a touch of sourness and a refreshing aftertaste, due to

a blend of sweet, bitter-sweet and bitter apples that have

very little acidity. The resultant aromas are ripe fruit with

hints of herbs and spices”.

Val de Rance cellar master Alain Lepage

LES CELLIERS DE L’ODET: SOUL BROTHERS

Three brothers, Guillaume, Joseph and Mathieu Jan,

united by a brotherly bond and unrelenting quest for

excellence, run Les Celliers de l’Odet. Set on a 13th century

estate, Château Lézergué overlooks a superb 35-hectare

orchard established by their father in 1990. Their ciders’

perfectly balanced sweet and sour flavours regularly win

them awards. “They show trademark length on the palate”,

stresses Guillaume Jan. “The powerful polyphenols in our

apples make them rich and powerful. Depending on our

choice of blends, varieties and fermentation temperatures,

the cider can be dry, mineral, full-bodied and fleshy or

sweet, mellow and spicy”. Although dry cider is the most

popular in France, extra-dry is very successful in the United

States and sweet cider in Japan.

The three Jan brothers Matthieu, Joseph and Guillaume at Celliers de l’Odet.

CIDRERIE DE LA BRIQUE:

AT THE CORE OF NORMAN CIDER

Since 1953, promoting Norman cider has been part of

the genetic make-up of Cidrerie de la Brique. Exports

represent 20% of revenue with the ciders shipped to over

20 countries. “Our goal is to promote Norman cider

internationally”, says chairman Jean-François Calandot.

“We work with 500 local apple producers. Dry cider

accounts for 75% of sales versus 25% for sweet cider.

Admittedly, the market has been declining for several

years, but rejuvenation in the restaurant industry with

a new, young clientele, new formats and more modern

marketing all deserve praise. Our products are natural and

local and have all the requisite qualities to perform well.

They have low alcohol content, a low calorie count and

low sulphite content”.

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Michel Legallois in his cider works

Jean-Marie Gouret tasting his ciders

Loïck Gouret, who established

the cider works in 1999 with his

wife Anita, and his son Jean-Marie

who partnered with them in 2016

Loïck Gouret, company co-founder,

in the schooner ‘Kerloïck’,

its mascot

A cider offering perfect

food pairings

Thierry de Ferrand of Val de Rance

Guillaume, Matthieu and Joseph Jan, the three brothers

at the helm of Celliers de l’Odet in their orchard

Cidrerie de la Brique is now a company with a staff of 8

Harvesting fruit from the orchards at Cidre Le Brun

Laurent Guillet, Lucile Letort, head of communications,

and right-hand man Frédéric Frery, in front of the

Kmobile, a lorry that travels the length and breadth of

Brittany offering tastings of Kerisac cider

Laurent Guillet, great-grandson

of the Guillet Frères cider works,

creators of Kerisac cider, who is

now at the company’s helm


CIDERS

– DISCOVERY –

Pierre-Emmanuel Racine-Jourdren, co-founder

of the Sassy brand of cider with his business partner

Xavier d’Audiffret Pasquier

MAISON SASSY: THE NORMANDY START-UP

Founded by Pierre-Emmanuel Racine-Jourdren and Xavier d’Audiffret-

Pasquier, Maison Sassy has been displaying outstanding growth in the

cider market. Launched in November 2014, the Normandy-based

start-up has witnessed incremental growth in revenue each year and

now markets several million bottles, half of them exported. They can

be found in gourmet restaurants and cocktail bars. “France and the

UK are our two major markets”, explains Racine-Jourdren. “But we

also ship to Australia, South Korea, Japan and Canada. We chose to

design a modern product geared to present-day drinking habits and

to break with conventions by creating a balanced cider that is more

complex than a classic industrial cider”.

CIDRE LE BRUN: FAMILY EXPERTISE

Jean Le Brun established this cider works in 1955 near the Atlantic

Ocean. It was taken over in 1991 by his youngest son Dominique.

Often showered with accolades in France and abroad, the company

has grown to become France’s leading independent cider works and

its third by production. “Our ciders are 100% pure juice and we don’t

use any concentrates”, explains sales manager Maxime Segard. “The

bubbles form naturally during the fermentation process in the tank.

Our ciders are not pasteurised so that we can better preserve aromas

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CIDERS

– DISCOVERY –

Dominique Le Brun

of the eponymous cider works

and flavours. The specific nature of the region’s apple varieties allows

us to use the traditional process of clarifying apple must by gelling the

pectin”. This renowned technique maximises the aroma and flavour

quality of the ciders, and enjoyment for consumers.

A GREAT FIT FOR THE ZEITGEIST

Obviously, the pandemic and closure of restaurants, a growth area

for cider manufacturers, led them to fear the worst. Initially, volumes

lost in the hospitality industry were not counterbalanced by super and

hypermarkets, but they have since recovered. In fact, cider is proving

to be extremely popular with a new category of relatively young

(from 25 to 45 years old) urban enthusiasts and imbibers. Although

consumers in France are still very much drawn to wine, the trend

seems to be less entrenched abroad. “The market is faring pretty well”,

claims one producer. “If post-pandemic consumers have a yearning

to revert to simple, natural values, cider is the perfect fit for these

precepts”. Cider is most often made without any added ingredients,

just fermented apples, and has low alcohol content and calories. It is a

great drink for sharing and also pairs extremely well with local dishes

from Normandy or Brittany. Offering laid-back enjoyment, it also

works with different types of cuisine from around the world. Both in

France and internationally, these are all major plus points.

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HUNGARY

– RENAISSANCE –

Tokaj, at the dawn of

a new era

This historic wine region enjoyed its golden era from the 17 th to the 19 th century,

before it was devastated by phylloxera, then undermined by 40 years of Soviet rule.

Since 1990, Tokaj has recovered its prestige, not only thanks to the wines for which

it is renowned, but also through innovative fine dry white and sparkling wines.

By Florian Glemot - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

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HUNGARY

– RENAISSANCE –

The desiccation process of the berries after being affected by noble rot

In the North-East of Hungary, not far from the borders

with Ukraine and Slovakia, lies the country’s most

famous wine region – Tokaj. The first wine region to be

classified with growths in 1670, it would go on to secure

one of the first appellations in history, in 1737. At that

time, Tokaj’s fine noble rot wines were very popular with

Russian and European aristocrats.

Set in the foothills of the Zemplén Mountains, the vineyards

now cover 5,800 hectares of poor, volcanic soils facing

South-East and South to South-West. At the foot of these

rolling hills run two rivers, the Bodrog and the Tisza, which

help create the mantle of morning fog that emerges in

September and the spread of the fungus Botrytis Cinerea.

The rot pierces the grape skins and infects the fruit before

being obliterated by the afternoon sunshine. The grapes

are then gradually desiccated, take on brownish hues and

develop concentrated aromas, sugars and acids to become

Aszú, like the eponymous, storied noble rot wine of Tokaj.

Mirroring the trend for Sauternes, since the turn of the century

Tokaji has borne the brunt of plummeting consumption

of noble rot wines worldwide. So, without turning its

back on its glorious past – and incredible showcase for the

region across the globe – Tokaj has successfully reinvented

itself by transitioning towards the production of dry white

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HUNGARY

– RENAISSANCE –

wines in barely a decade, and more recently towards

sparkling wines. Our visit to seven estates, with the uberknowledgeable

Tokaj ambassador Gergely Somogyi as

our guide (see box on page 7), gave us the opportunity

to discover the outstanding quality and variety of styles

of wines produced across the region.

The tasting ‘room’ with breath-taking views over the Petracs vineyard

OREMUS, THE CUSTODIAN OF TRADITION

Created in 1993 by the prestigious Spanish group Vega

Sicilia, Oremus has remained focused on fine noble rot

wines, which account for 60% of production from its

80 hectares under vine. Located on the edge of a labyrinth

of underground galleries used for ageing the wines,

the estate’s winery is built on three levels. The grapes

are brought to the upper level, then undergo stringent

sorting depending on their final destination. They are

then transported by gravity to the different presses

on the middle level where they are fermented. Once

fermentation is over, the wines are then again transported

by gravity to the lower level with its galleries hewn out

of the volcanic rock to be matured in one of the estate’s

1,000 or so oak barrels. The oak comes from the Zemplén

forests where the climate is harsh, producing very finegrain

wood. This unique feature provides reduced microoxygenation,

which is ideal for the lengthy maturation

period of Aszú wines that must last for at least 18

months. Aszú wines now come in two versions: 5 or

6 puttonyos, depending on the level of residual sugar.

They are produced by macerating Aszú grapes in must

or in dry white base wine for between 12 and 60 hours,

depending on the desired style. Consequently, Aszú wine

boasts the freshness of dry white wine, coupled with the

rich aromatics and sweetness of Aszú grapes. The 2013

Aszú 5 puttonyos label is a sumptuous wine with notes

of acacia, dried apricot, orange peel marmalade and

pastry-like flavours of honey and gingerbread, supported

by fat and sweetness on the palate which counterbalance

its high acidity. The overall feeling beckons imbibers

towards meditation.

The endless underground network of galleries at Oremus Estate

SAMUEL TINON, A FRENCHMAN IN TOKAJ

Samuel moved to Tokaj over twenty years ago and is

now one of the region’s most enthusiastic ambassadors.

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HUNGARY

– RENAISSANCE –

Samuel Tinon, the French craftsman,

produces exceptionally high quality

Szamorodnis in his humble, typical cellar

He produces the most profound Szamorodni wines we

tasted. Szamorodni stems from Polish and means “as

it comes”. The wines are fermented from grape clusters

that have partial noble rot and are then matured for at

least six months in oak casks. There are two distinctive

styles of Szamorodni: a noble rot style called Édes,

generally akin to the Aszú style with fresher, less sweet

aromatics, making it the perfect dessert wine; and a dry

wine matured biologically in an oxidative environment

under a veil of flor in casks that are not topped up, which

is very similar in style to Jura’s ‘vin jaune’. Maturing the

wine under a veil of flor lends it distinctive aromatic

notes of curry and fresh nuts which are entwined with

the notes of dried apricot, honey and sweet spices typical

of botrytis. This style of Szamorodni is called ‘Száraz’

and, whilst traditional, is only produced by a handful

of winegrowers in Tokaj. This is probably due to the

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HUNGARY

– RENAISSANCE –

Pascal Demkó, owner of Holdvölgy Estate

fact that the wines are very challenging to produce and can

easily fail during the maturation phase. Also, its consumer

base is restricted to a few well-informed enthusiasts looking

for rare gems. Vinified with no added sulphites, the

Szamorodni Száraz produced by Samuel Tinon are matured

for 6 years. Showing remarkable intensity and precision,

they encapsulate all the passion and huge amount of

patience the winegrower has put into them.

HOLDVÖLGY, RIGOROUS PRECISION

In the small, tranquil, picture-postcard village of Mád is

an estate where rigour and precision are the rule. Just like

in a high-tech laboratory, its owners – Natalia Demkó

and her brother Pascal – ferment single batches of the 6

permitted grape varieties from the property’s 25 blocks of

vines in 6 growths, in a very sophisticated style. Their aim

is to drill down and get a very precise understanding of the

combinations of the grape varieties and vineyards they own

in order to extract their quintessential characters. Overall

production is therefore divided between myriad singlevineyard

wines produced in minute amounts. One of their

single-vineyard offerings is the Intuition n°3 range from

the superb 2017 vintage – it is a remarkable rendition of

the native Furmint grape variety. Numbered from 1 to 6,

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HUNGARY

– RENAISSANCE –

Vivien Ujvári, the talented young winemaker at Barta Pince

each label matches one of the 6 permitted grapes in

Tokaj. The n°3 is dedicated to Furmint, the king of the

region’s varietal range, which accounts for about 67% of

plantings. It is defined by its vertical acid structure which

makes it the backbone of Tokaji fine wines and lends

them substantial ageability. It can appear austere and

not very aromatic when it is slightly under ripe or the

yields are too high. But with controlled yields, the finest

dűlős – or growths in Hungary – can produce energetic

and extremely refined wines. The Intuition n°3 offers

up a crystalline nose recalling green apple, pear, passion

fruit and delicate mineral notes. On the palate, the attack

is clean and vibrant, followed by substantial aromatic

richness combining the freshness of the fruit with the

smoothness of the oak in which the wine was matured

for 5 months. The mineral finish is supported by intense

salinity which drives the gentle sourness typical of the

variety over many long seconds.

BARTA PINCE, FEMININE ELEGANCE

In the same tiny village of Mád, the manor house at

Domaine Barta is a splendid example of architecture

harking back to the region’s golden era. Bought by the

family in 2003, it has been restored in the purest local

tradition and now welcomes visitors. The vineyards cover

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HUNGARY

– RENAISSANCE –

Scenic vistas from the Király dűlő vineyard

13.5 hectares in the Király and Kővágó dűlős. The Király

dűlő, or growth of kings, is without doubt the region’s

most iconic. The upper part has been entirely restored

and replanted with high-density staked vines since 2003.

On this steep slope, Furmint delivers intense expression,

offering up generous palate weight that is rare for this

grape variety. Vivien Ujvári, the young winemaker who

joined the estate in 2016, has successfully established her

style – her wines yield convincing purity and elegance.

She uses modern technology such as pneumatic pressing

and temperature control for the various casks and tanks.

Mindful to allow the region to fully express its potential,

she delivers a superb iteration of Tokaj’s second major

grape variety, Hárslevelü, which accounts for about

20% of plantings in the region. Highly aromatic, with

a less radical structure than Furmint, it is traditionally

used in blends of Aszú wines to bolster their perfume

and floral characters. It is now frequently fermented as

single-varietal dry white or blended with Furmint. The

2019 Hárslevelü label by Domaine Barta offers up a very

aromatic nose suffused with notes of white flowers, white

peach and fresh quince. The attack is fresh and opens up

intensively to aromas of orange blossom, lemon peel,

yellow peach and ginger. The fruity finish is precise and

carried over substantial length by gentle sourness.

ERZSÉBET PINCE, FAMILY SPIRIT

At the foot of Mount Tokaj, in the small village of Tarcal,

the Prácser family strives to craft fine terroir-driven wines.

Established in 1990 but with roots in the village that predate

the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the company boasts

one of the oldest underground galleries that dates back

to the 1600s. At that time, it was used by the Russian

Court to store the finest bottles of Tokaji Aszú destined

for the Emperor. Since 2009, the estate has been assisted

by Hajni Prácser’s husband, Ronn Wiegand MW MS*, the

first person ever to combine these two prestigious titles.

The wines are all gifted with substantial aromatic and

structural freshness.

The Prácser family owns 1 hectare of Furmint planted

on the Király dűlő, a prime site for the grape. The

2017 single-vineyard Király dűlő offers magnificent siteexpressiveness.

The wine is fermented in Bordeaux oak

Erzsébet Pince, a family affair

*Master of Wine, Master Sommelier

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HUNGARY

– RENAISSANCE –

Brother and sister Miklós and Hajni Prácser work together to produce very expressive dry wines

casks then racked and transferred to Hungarian casks to be

matured. The nose is highly expressive and recalls fresh, precise

fruit with lots of elegance and sophistication. The oakiness

is now perfectly integrated, underscoring the fruit with very

pleasant, soft vanilla-like notes. The wine boasts a lengthy

finish and superb balance which will undoubtedly lend it long

ageability, although it already offers huge pleasure today.

KIKELET PINCE,

THE REALMS OF HÁRSLEVELÜ

Stéphanie Berecz left her native Loire region in France in the

early 1990s to settle in Tokaj. For a decade or so, she worked

for the famous Disznókő estate, becoming head winemaker.

In 2002, she decided to start up her own winery, called

Kikelet, meaning ‘spring’ in Hungarian, with her husband Zsolt.

Stéphanie handles winemaking whilst her husband manages the

vineyards which extend over 5 hectares of volcanic soils covered

with varying thicknesses of loess. This very porous, mineral

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HUNGARY

– RENAISSANCE –

Stéphanie Berecz, the ‘Queen’ of Hárslevelű, produces renowned,

elegant wines from the variety

soil delivers a more subdued and charming expression

of the Hárslevelü grape variety, boasting an elegant

acid structure.

In a bid to adapt to a very early harvest in 2013, then

more systematically for the following vintages, Stéphanie

produces a sparkling wine called Pezsgő in Hungary

– a blend of 70% Hárslevelü and 30% Furmint made

using the traditional method and matured on the lees

for 2 years. This is one of the rare examples of this

style to be entirely estate-produced, from the base wine

through to disgorgement. Very few producers have the

expertise to do so in the region and most sparkling wines

undergo their secondary fermentation and are disgorged

by major specialist co-operatives. The results are all the

more convincing. This 2017 Pezsgő brut displays great

aromatic balance, halfway between white flowers, pear,

apple and secondary brioche and toasted notes. This

harmonious and compelling wine is a great showcase for

the potential of sparkling wine in Tokaj that has yet to be

fully explored.

A typical underground cellar at Kikelet Pince

ZOLTÁN DEMETER,

A QUEST FOR EXCELLENCE

“The old things are around me to fill me up with the

spirit they preserve”. This quote from Zoltán Demeter

sums up his determination to take a long-term approach

by painstakingly crafting his wines and perpetually

seeking out perfection. This devotion won him the title

of best Hungarian winegrower in 2007. Zoltán was

born on the far eastern side of the Tokaj wine region,

in the village of Sátoraljaújhely. He still owns a family

vineyard that he is extremely attached to. After travelling

to France, the USA and the UK, he began producing his

own wines in 1996, whilst at the same time consulting

for other wineries, then devoted himself entirely to his

own winery in 2008. A dyed-in-the-wool visionary, he

pioneered production of sparkling wine in Tokaj starting

in 2009. He makes regular trips to Champagne to

learn the correct protocol and now produces extremely

complex wines grown on clay and tuff soils over the

volcanic bedrock. The 2015 Pezsgő is matured for 58

months on the lees. Its characteristics are akin to those of

a top vintage Champagne with distinctive notes of lemon,

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HUNGARY

– RENAISSANCE –

Zoltán Demeter who has pioneered the sparkling wine revolution

in Tokaj since 2009

grapefruit, green apple and pear entwined with a chalky feel

and gorgeous pastry notes. The attack is full of energy and

the bubbles are creamy. Fruit-driven length lingers on and

on suffused with more mineral notes on the finish. This

gratifying, vinous, concentrated and elegant wine also paves

the way for the advent of fine sparkling wines from Tokaj.

Drawing on 4 centuries of producing top noble rot wines,

Tokaj is on the cusp of a new era focusing on fine dry

whites and sparkling wines. With climate change afoot,

Tokaj has many assets for securing a prime place in the

world of fine wines. Hungary is home to a raft of microclimates.

Mirroring its top quality whites, it also excels

in producing fine red wines, like those by the Jammertal

estate in the Villány region, in the southern part of the

country. Jointly run by winemaker Zsófia Kövesdi and

viticulturist Zsolt Nagy, the estate has risen right to the

top with its superlative quality wines, primarily the Koh-

I-Noor range. Produced from international grape varieties,

they were awarded first-rate scores in the Gilbert & Gaillard

International Challenge which you can find at the end of

this issue.

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 73


An aerial view of Alta Alella with the city of Barcelona in the background

SPAIN

– DESIGNATION –

Will changes to D.O. Cava

help improve quality

and sales?

Cava has become a household name across the globe in recent years, providing

consumers with an affordable sparkling wine that can be enjoyed on numerous

occasions. But faced with increased competition, the appellation’s authorities

have been prompted to make some major changes to regulations,

aimed at enhancing quality and provenance.

We ask a range of Cava producers what the changes imply for them.

By Santiago Jimenez - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

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SPAIN

– DESIGNATION –

Clusters of grapes used to make some of the sparkling wines at Costers del Sió

Most people situate Cava vineyards in Catalonia,

specifically in the Penedés region, with Sant

Sadurní d’Anoia at its epicentre. And indeed

around 90% of total production is focused

on Catalonia. Despite this, some wineries

outside the region have been making Cava – a name that can

only be used for Spanish sparkling wine – since the beginning

of the appellation. One such example is Rioja-based Bodegas

Bilbaínas, which was bought by the Raventós Codorníu

group, one of the leading names in Cava production.

In 2020, a series of changes were made to Cava D.O.

regulations, including a new classification that includes zones

(Comtats de Barcelona, Valle del Ebro, Zona de Levante and

Viñedos del Almendralejo) and sub-zones, as well as a new

category (Cava de Guarda and Cava de Guarda Superior). All

these modifications will be gradually introduced in the near

future. Cava is not only produced in Catalonia, there are

also Cava wineries in Aragón, Castilla y León, Extremadura,

Navarra, the Basque Country, the Valencia region and Rioja.

We have selected a raft of sparkling wine producers to find

out how the appellation changes will affect them and what

impact they will have.

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 75


SPAIN

– DESIGNATION –

An aerial view of the Paraje Calificado of Vallcirera

ALTA ALELLA – A GAME-CHANGER

This winery, located to the North of the city of Barcelona,

is distinctive in that it lies next to the Mediterranean. It is

a personal project of the Pujol-Busquets Guillén family,

which began with Josep Maria and Cristina and continues

with their daughters Mireia and Georgina, who have been

intensely involved in growing wine and Cava since they

were children. For some 30 years now they have been

farming organically, and the results are very satisfactory.

They are quite rightly proud of their products, especially

two of them, both of which come from a designated

vineyard site (Paraje Calificado), Vallcirera: Alta Alella

10, a new release, whose first vintage was launched in

2021. This Cava is matured for 10 years and is elegant

with great ageing capacity. The other is Mirgin Opus: a

limited edition Cava that, like the previous example, also

has a long ageing period, in this case 36 months, before

being released for sale. Both are the winery’s superpremium

Cavas.

Regarding the changes to appellation rules, Mireia claims

that “these changes were absolutely necessary. We have

been talking about zoning for some time now, and

we needed an identity that was more specific to each

zone. Our Cavas already have their own identity, but

the consumer will receive more information with these

changes and it will allow us to safeguard our product

better”. The winery supports the idea that in order to

sell your products, you have to be able to tell a story,

something that the changes will not alter. What it does

feel, though, is that they “provide us with new tools, so

we will be able to talk more specifically about our origins.

Defending our terroir in a more concrete way makes us

more unique”.

The new winery at Clos Montblanc

CLOS MONTBLANC – THE CU4TRO PROJECT

Clos Montblanc is a winery located in Barberá de la

Conca, in Tarragona. At domestic level, its still wines and

Cavas are very well known, but it also nurtures a project

designed for exports: Cu4tro Project. The project, which

has been ongoing for some years now, has been very

well received outside Spain, with Japan and South Korea,

together with the United States, being the main export

markets. Brazil, however, stands out above the rest, along

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SPAIN

– DESIGNATION –

Josep Maria Busquets

with his daughter Mireia

in the cellar of Alta Alella

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SPAIN

– DESIGNATION –

An aerial view of the farmland surrounding Clos Montblanc

with other markets such as China, Taiwan and, of course,

the European market, where Germany, Belgium and

Holland are prime destinations.

As with Alta Alella, it is important to differentiate

between different zones. “For us it is very important to

highlight the origin. Cava was born specifically in this

area, where the main varieties we use in our blends are

perfectly adapted to the soil and weather patterns, which

bring out the qualities we seek”. When it comes to selling

their products beyond Spanish borders, being able to

specify exactly where their Cavas are produced “allows

us to supply the most genuine Cava. Apart from quality,

which in our view is the basic premise, we can ramp up

arguments like genuine origin and tradition”.

In terms of winemaking procedures, Clos Montblanc

clarifies that “this does not involve any changes since for

Cavas in this profile (Guarda Superior) we already select

the oldest vineyards, always older than 10 years, with

maturation exceeding the minimum required. All the

vineyards used to produce our Guarda Superior Cavas

come from organically certified vineyards”.

Old vines used to produce Cavas at Bodegas Valdeorite

BODEGAS VALDEORITE -

ONGOING ADAPTATION

Who would have thought years ago that one day Cavas

would be grown outside of Catalonia? This project,

in the province of Badajoz, in Extremadura, just a few

kilometres from the city of Badajoz, is a good example

of the fact that Cavas can be made outside their original

home region. This winery has garnered acclaim both

domestically – winning the Gran Espiga de Oro award for

the best cava in Extremadura for three consecutive years

– and internationally, which has put it in a privileged

position when exporting its Cavas.

Here, the newly-minted Cava D.O. regulations have not

implied any changes for the moment, aside from one

major adaptation: “Since the new regulations, we have

been adapting to the main change which is making

organic wines, and trying to ensure these wines are ready

by the time the regulatory period of adaptation expires”.

This is going to require efforts on the part of the winery,

but there is a strong chance they will come to a successful

conclusion. The winery also believes that the changes

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– DESIGNATION –

in terms of classification, with zones and sub-zones,

are interesting: “Any personalisation is worthwhile,

especially for Premium Cavas, where we will be able

to make highly expressive Cavas”. In turn, the winery

believes this will facilitate sales.

CASTELL SANT ANTONI - AWAITING CHANGE

This winery, which is approaching the 60th anniversary

of its official opening (1963), is a family project that

began when Ramón Canals Ridorsa decided to build a

small wine cellar at the back of the family home in Sant

Sadurní d’Anoia. Subsequently, as sales experienced

incremental growth, the space became too small and

they had to “emigrate” to the outskirts of the town to

accommodate the now larger production volumes.

The new brand was born on the eve of the 21st century,

in 1999, and led to the current name of the winery:

‘Castell Sant Antoni’. Pere Canals’ project became a

reality with the emergence of a new winery dedicated to

producing highly expressive Cavas.

Since then, drawing on their dedication and patience, they

have been producing high quality Cavas some 40 km from

Barcelona, in the birthplace of Cava. The belief here is

that “the new regulations are a step in the right direction.

Consumers are becoming more and more demanding

and providing extra information about the origin of the

wines they drink is, without a doubt, an initiative that is

not only good but also necessary at the present time. It is

important to point out that this is a very substantial and

complex change, which we are still studying in depth. We

are waiting to see how it will be applied in the medium

term throughout the entire appellation”.

Any additional information they can provide in the

future, due to changes in the regulations “is also an

opportunity on a commercial level and good news, but to

a large extent, whether or not it will ultimately facilitate

marketing will depend on how the new regulations are

applied and developed”.

Sergi Canals, on the right, is the winemaker at Castell Sant Antoni

COSTERS DEL SIO -

PROUD OF ITS SPARKLING WINES

Halfway between the towns of Balaguer and Agramunt,

in Lleida, is this project which began to take shape in the

Juan and José are the owners of Costers del Sió

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SPAIN

– DESIGNATION –

Members of the Porcioles-Buixó family

same year that the Olympic Games were held for the first

time in Spain (Barcelona, 1992). The Porcioles-Buixó

family acquired the property that is home to the winery

in that same year. After 6 years, the first vineyards were

planted and in 2005 the first grapes were harvested and

the first wines were produced: Alto Siós, Viña Siós red

and rosé. In 2014, 22 years after starting the project, the

sparkling wines Siós Brut Blanc de Noirs and Siós Brut

Rosé were produced.

Out of choice, these wines do not come under the Cava

D.O. so obviously none of the changes introduced

last year to the appellation have implied any direct

changes for them. At Costers del Sió, as winemaker

María Mendoza said, “we are proud to make quality

sparkling wine under the Costers del Segre appellation”.

As she said, the new regulations “are not relevant for our

products”. In fact, here, the belief is that they will make

marketing more difficult.

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SPAIN

– DESIGNATION –

RAMON CANALS – ORIGIN IS ESSENTIAL

Located some 30 kilometres from Barcelona, in the

town of Castellví de Rosanes, this winery was founded

in 1903. Three generations have injected life into the

winery, which produces still wines in D.O. Penedés and

Cavas under D.O. Cava. It is a family business that has

evolved over the generations but has remained steadfast

in its principles: the quality of its products and a strong

commitment to disseminating and promoting the

culture of wine.

Mother and father Maria Angels Canals Duran and

Ramón Canals Llaverol and their children Ramón

Canals and Marta Canals are the winery’s owners

and managers. Ramón Canals (son) is in charge of

winemaking and sales. Daughter Marta is tasked with

management, administration and quality control of the

shipments. The changes in D.O. Cava classifications

have not affected them much. They feel that “the

stricter the regulations the better. We already make all

our Reservas with more than 18 months’ maturation

and soon almost all our Cavas will be organic. But for

ordinary consumers, not experts, we would have to ask

whether they have a full understanding of so many

names, appellations and ways we have of categorising

sparkling wines nowadays. At marketing level, it is

also a well-known fact that complicated names are

difficult for the public to remember. It’s all very well for

professionals, but for the vast majority, those who buy

millions of bottles of Cava every year, will it be clear

or not?”

Son Ramón Canals explains that “highlighting

provenance is essential, as this is the basic tenet of

any D.O. This is fundamental and one of the reasons

why some producers have left the D.O., especially for

exports. It is a good step forward. But from my point of

view the names are complicated and difficult for nonexpert

consumers”.

Inside the Ramón Canals winery

RAVENTOS CODORNÍU -

BENEFICIAL CHANGES

Internationally renowned Raventós Codorníu

encapsulates the history of Cava. As Codorníu’s

winemaker, Bruno Colomer, told us, “it is a pleasure

A beautiful sunset over the vineyards of Ramón Canals

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SPAIN

– DESIGNATION –

Bruno Colomer is the winemaker at Raventós Codorníu

to travel around the world with a Codorníu business

card, as it opens many doors. In most countries around

the world we are known for our Cavas”. What can be

said about the company that is not already known? At

Raventós Codorníu, the opinion is that all the regulatory

changes “do not imply a different way of working, since

all the principles that are defined were already being

applied: the origin of the vineyard, choice of vineyards

for lengthy ageing... but it is true that with the new

regulations we are permitted to mention the origin of

the grapes on the labels. Some administrative aspects

have changed, such as the certification of vineyards for

Guarda or Guarda Superior; reporting the Kg/Ha to the

administration, and differentiating it from the rest of

the vineyard, for example: but the work and internal

winery procedures are 100% compatible with the new

regulations”. Raventós Codorníu is already known in

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– DESIGNATION –

One of the inside rooms at the Raventós Codorníu winery

almost every corner of the planet, but it believes that

the changes to the regulations “will indeed facilitate

marketing. Any aspect that increases the quality of the

product will help the customer take it into account

when they make a decision to purchase”.

There is one remaining question – what will happen

to the wineries that make sparkling wines and are not

under the umbrella of D.O. Cava? Will the changes

prompt them to take on the challenge of altering

some of their procedures so that they comply with the

new regulations? Or, on the other hand, will there be

wineries that are currently marketed under D.O. Cava

which, due to the new requirements, will want to leave

the appellation? Only time will tell and reveal how the

situation evolves. Each winery is different and not all

wineries have the same ethos. The future will provide

the answer.

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PORTUGAL

– MARKETS –

A beautiful view of the Stone Garden at Quinta Boavista

Casa Santos Lima:

Portugal’s standard-bearer abroad

Founded in the late 19 th century, Casa Santos Lima is a winery that predominantly

exports Portuguese wines. So much so that it is one of Portugal’s largest exporters.

After being passed down through five generations, it is now in the capable hands of

José Luis Oliveira da Silva, the current CEO, a man who puts

his heart and soul into advancing this family-run project.

By Santiago Jimenez - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

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PORTUGAL

– MARKETS –

José Luis Oliveira da Silva, CEO

Casa Santos Lima was founded by Joaquim

Santos Lima in the late 19 th century, and

for many years it exported barrels of wine

produced at Quinta da Boavista to countries

like Brazil and the United Kingdom.

Since then, five different generations have managed

the family business. In the 1990s, the task fell to José

Luis Oliveira da Silva, who left his career in finance to

fully focus on his family’s business. After taking over

the company, he launched himself into restructuring

the old winery, modernising the equipment, and

building new infrastructures and wine cellars.

The same decade also saw several milestones in

the company’s development. For example, the

most prestigious Portuguese varieties, as well as

international varieties (1990-1995) were introduced;

the first vintages under the Quinta da Espiga, Quinta

das Setencostas and Palha-Canas brands (1996) were

bottled and the first 86,000 bottles were shipped to the

United Kingdom.

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PORTUGAL

– MARKETS –

An aerial view of Casa Vila Verde

Even now, in the current decade, remarkable progress

is still helping the winery maintain its position as one

of the most prominent wine exporters. In fact, around

90% of its production is exported, and the wines can be

found in over 50 countries across five continents. The

United States, Canada and the Scandinavian countries

are key markets, though Casa Santos Lima has also been

bold enough to introduce its wine to more challenging

markets, such as India, Indonesia, Ukraine, and Belarus,

where the population does not tend to drink as much

wine.

Several new investments have been made, notably

Quinta de Porrais in the Douro region in 2011 (one of

the vineyards owned by the legendary Dona Antónia

Ferreira); a new winery was created in Quinta da

Boavista in the Alenquer region in 2014, followed by

another one on the Algarve in 2015. This has been

concurrent with further investments into various aspects

of the company, all of which have led this group of

wineries – centrally managed by José Luis Oliveira da

Silva – to become one of the biggest wine exporters in

Portugal.

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Casa Santos Lima’s vineyards with the new winery in the backdrop

Although the buildings at Casa Santos Lima are cutting-edge, they also fit into the landscape

A spectacular panoramic view of the Quinta do Conde winery


PORTUGAL

– MARKETS –

The vineyards at Quinta de Porrais climb steep hillsides

The Quinta do Conde winery ensconced amidst vineyards

The main winemaking facilities are in the Alenquer

region, at Quinta da Boavista, situated about 45 minutes

from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. This location

boasts over 500 hectares which are planted with various

varieties of grape, both native and international. In fact,

there are over 50 different varieties, a feature which is

almost exclusive to Casa Santos Lima. In terms of red

wine varieties, the company works with Alfrocheiro,

Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Camarate,

Castelão, Malbec, Merlot, Negra Mole, Petite Sirah,

Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Preto Martinho,

Sousao, Syrah, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Lisboa, Tinta Roriz,

Tinto Cao, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional. It also

works with a fair number of white varieties: Alvarinho,

Antao Vaz, Arinto, Avesso, Chardonnay, Códega do

Larinho, Encruzado, Fernao Pires, Gewürztraminer,

Loureiro, Malvasia Fina, Moscatel, Rabigato, Roupeiro,

Sauvignon Blanc, Seara Nova, Trajadura, Verdelho,

Viognier, Viosinho and Vital.

These varieties are grown across 5 different regions, each

one with its own soil and climate patterns. Briefly, these

regions can be defined as below.

LISBON – ALENQUER: Here, vineyards are planted

on rolling hills. The soil is predominantly comprised

of clay and limestone and is gently influenced by the

Atlantic Ocean.

ALGARVE – TAVIRA: Influenced by the Mediterranean

climate, vineyards here grow on clay, limestone and

slate soils and enjoy a substantial amount of sunshine

(more than 3,000 hours a year).

ALENTEJO – BEJA: In this area, you will find the

perfect conditions for growing top-quality grapes. Clay

and limestone soils and a continental climate with a

Mediterranean influence are a match made in heaven

when it comes to producing the very best wines.

DOURO – MURÇA: Vineyards are planted around 600

metres above sea level in this region. These vineyards

previously belonged to Dona Antónia Ferreira… This

alone should tell you everything you need to know

about the quality of the wines produced here.

VINHOS VERDES – LOUSADA AND PONTE DE LIMA:

The wines that come from this region are crisp with

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PORTUGAL

– MARKETS –

Hillside vineyard plantings at Quinta de Porrais

great minerality and are intensely aromatic. The

climate is cool and humid due to the influence of the

Atlantic Ocean.

The medley of regions, climates and varieties means

that this family-run company can produce all types

of wines, from white, red, rosé and sparkling to semisparkling

and late harvest, in both bottled and boxed

wine formats — and all at great value for money. The

wines are often considered “best buys” and frequently

win awards in various international wine competitions.

In 2017, the company began to develop a programme

of wine tourism activities at Quinta da Boavista, that

allows visitors to indulge in an unforgettable experience.

As part of this, they get to know the wines produced

by Casa Santos Lima first-hand and, in this way, the

wines become a part of their lives to a certain extent.

As CEO José Luis Oliveira da Silva once said: “we

want to produce wines that are part of our customers’

daily lives”.

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ITALY

– DISCOVERY –

Puglia

and its wine revolution

Puglia is one of the regions in southern Italy which has carved out a reputation

for itself in recent years for both its quality and its identity, drawing on a winning

combination of both native and international grape varieties.

By Francesco Saverio Russo - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

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ITALY

– DISCOVERY –

Although Primitivo (Zinfandel), Negroamaro

and Nero di Troia are the varieties which

most frequently represent the region in the

domestic and international markets, the range

of Puglian grapes is in fact much broader and

includes native grape varieties such as the lesser known

Bombino Nero, Malvasia Nera, Aleatico, Sussumaniello

and Ottavianello (Cinsaut), as well as Montepulciano,

Sangiovese and Aglianico and international cultivars

Merlot and Cabernet-Sauvignon. White grapes from

the region include Bombino Bianco, Malvasia Bianca,

Verdeca, Bianco d’Alessano and Pampanuto, as well as

Fiano, Moscato Bianco and Chardonnay.

The Puglia wine region is divided between hills and plains.

Starting in the north, the Gargano area is a promontory

of limestone and eruptive rocks, with slopes clad in

Mediterranean scrub. Heading south you encounter

the Tavoliere area, in the province of Foggia, with its

sandy-clay alluvial soils. This is followed by Murgia, a

very extensive area with soils of limestone agglomerates,

which extends across the provinces of Barletta-Andria-

Trani, Bari and Brindisi. Lastly is Salento, a very fertile,

cool zone with limestone soils, located in the province of

Lecce and partly extending into Brindisi and Taranto. The

total area under vine is approximately 85,000 hectares,

some 75% planted to red grape varieties.

Amastuola’s vineyards are located in Valle d’Itria heading towards the sea,

around the Arco Ionico area

FROM BLENDING WINES TO QUALITY

BOTTLINGS

The real revolution in Puglian wine, however, cannot be

expressed in numbers, but in the work of forward-thinking

producers who have moved beyond the principles of

quantity and deeply-coloured, structured wines (a legacy

of the era when Puglian wines were considered to be

blending wines) to embrace a more sensitive approach

to the region through the use of typical vines and longstanding

training systems. This includes the use of the

‘Alberello’ system, which has been used for thousands

of years and features in the writings of the Roman

authors Pliny the Elder, Horace and Tibullus. Puglia has

always been a very important supplier of wine and oil,

producing products strongly linked to its tradition and

culture which, today, are finally getting the recognition

they deserve.

The wine cellar at Conti Zecca, located in Leverano. Founded in the 1930s,

Conti Zecca is one of Puglia’s longstanding wine producers

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ITALY

– DISCOVERY –

Podere Don Cataldo is the estate after which the Puglian company run by

Ernesto Rocca and his family is named. It follows the same quality

standards as all Rocca family wineries

The Puglian designations are: Primitivo di Manduria

dolce natural Docg, Castel del Monte Bombinonero

Docg, Castel del Monte Nero di Troia and Castel del

Monte Rosso Riserva Docg; Aleatico di Puglia Doc,

Alezio, Barletta, Brindisi, Cacc’e Mmitte di Lucera, Castel

del Monte, Copertino, Galatina, Gioia del Colle, Gravina,

Leverano, Lizzano, Locorotondo, Martina or Martina

Franca, Matino, Moscato di Trani, Nardò, Negro Amaro

di Terra d’Otranto, Orta Nova, Ostuni, Primitivo di

Manduria, Rosso Barletta, Rosso di Canosa, Rosso di

Cerignola, Salice Salentino, San Severo and Squinzano,

Tavoliere delle Puglie and Terre d’Otranto. These are

complemented by the IGTs Puglia, Daunia, Murgia,

Puglia, Brindisi, Salento, Tarantino and Valle d’Itria.

Puglia boasts very varied soil types with an extensive

footprint which is perfect for wine growing. The defining

factor is the climate – this region is one of the sunniest

in Italy and Europe. The sea also plays a fundamental

role since Puglia is surrounded by over 800 kilometres of

coastline. These factors can be combined with altitude,

which can reach over 400 metres above sea level.

From a winemaking perspective, the wines range from the

traditional method to passiti (dessert wines made from

partially dried grapes) and natural sweet wines to fullbodied,

elegant reds and fresh, fragrant whites. Puglia is

also the cradle of Italian rosé wines, and produced Italy’s

first rosé in 1943.

Boasting a wide variety of soil types, vine varieties, local

knowledge and ancient traditions, Puglia is one of the

most interesting regions on the Italian wine scene. The

following are some excellent examples of what the region

has to offer.

Puglia is not only famous for growing vines but also olive trees, viewed as

authentic natural monuments. Amastuola has thus preserved its ancient olive trees

AMASTUOLA

The Amastuola winery is one branch of the Kikau group, a

company founded in 1984 by Giuseppe Montanaro, who

runs it with his wife Rosaria and children Ilaria, Donato

and Filippo with their respective spouses Giuseppe, Anna

and Raffaella. They are united by their ability to innovate

while respecting history and tradition.

Known for its vineyards grown in «wave» formations

which have been the subject of international studies

and awards, the winery combines production, aesthetics

and tradition.

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ITALY

– DISCOVERY –

The Montanaro family runs the Amastuola winery, part

of the Kikau group, and honours both history and tradition

It is located behind the Valle d’Itria heading towards

the sea, around the Arco Ionico area. The climate

is Mediterranean, with temperatures mitigated by the

proximity of the sea and frequent sea breezes which

promote healthy vines. The area tends to be flat, with

low-lying hills inland, where the soils (‘red earth’) are

mainly limestone-clay. This is prime Primitivo land. The

vines, which are mostly bush-trained, grow vigorously,

ripen early and the fruit tends to develop high alcohol

content. Negroamaro is also significant and suited to the

local climate and soils, as is Aglianico and some white

varieties including Fiano di Puglia and Malvasia.

At Amastuola, the feeling is that the perception of

Puglian wine has improved considerably over the last

twenty years, as more and more wineries have focused

their efforts on producing quality wines. Demand for the

region’s wines, especially for Primitivo, has grown, so

much so that Primitivo is now one of the most popular

wines in the world. Amastuola produces about 200,000

bottles for its main markets that are the EU, Canada,

USA, China and Japan.

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ITALY

– DISCOVERY –

Clemente Zecca, who studied marketing in the USA and graduated with an MA in wine culture, is contributing

to sustainable innovation in the family business

CONTI ZECCA

Conti Zecca, located in Leverano, is one of Puglia’s longstanding

wine producers – it was founded in the 1930s.

Today, the company is run by the four Zecca brothers

Alcibiade, Francesco, Luciano and Mario with his son

Clemente. Their mission is to preserve tradition and their

strong identity while also innovating, drawing on their

strength of character and vision.

Conti Zecca is an independent winery only making wine

from its own grapes and overseeing the entire production

chain first-hand. Sustainability is fundamental and its pest

management protocols are certified SQNPI.

The vineyards owned by the family extend over 320 hectares

in the province of Lecce, mainly in Leverano and Salice

Salentino. Zoning has identified the best plots – totalling

around 40 hectares – for premium wines.

In Leverano, the soils are shallower, more calcareous and

suitable for white varieties. In places, however, there are

dips where clay has accumulated due to alluvial activity

making them ideal for growing red grapes. The micro-

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ITALY

– DISCOVERY –

climate is characterised by the gentle influence of the

sea breeze, which regulates temperatures, encouraging

regular ripening.

In Salice Salentino, the soil is deeper and more clayey,

with medium texture – it is richer in organic substance.

This is the isthmus of land where the distance from the

two seas, the Ionian and the Adriatic, is the shortest,

and is therefore optimally influenced by the sea. Here,

mainly black grapes are grown for full-bodied wines.

Salento is mainly home to Negroamaro and Primitivo,

the grape varieties that probably spearheaded the

rebirth of Puglian viticulture, but Conti Zecca also

believes in white Malvasia and Moscato. Conti Zecca’s

primary grape though is Negroamaro, which forms the

backbone of several wines. The belief here is that the

Puglia ‘brand name’ has gained a lot of traction in recent

years thanks predominantly to tourism, which has put

Puglia on the map as a top gourmet food destination.

Tourists in particular have helped Puglian wine make

its mark, enhancing it as a national and international

brand through its strong regional ties.

The company produces approximately 2,800,000 bottles

of wine, but its Conti Zecca 1580 – earmarked for top

restaurants and wine shops – is released on a smaller

scale of 200,000 bottles. 30% of production is shipped

abroad, mainly to Germany and the English-speaking

world, as well as Japan, China and Thailand. 70% of the

wines though are sold in Italy, mainly in Puglia.

The vineyards owned by the Conti Zecca family cover 320 hectares in the

province of Lecce, mainly in Leverano and Salice Salentino

CANTINA DUE PALME

Cantine due Palme is an agricultural co-operative founded

in 1989 by 10 members, rising to a current 1,000 or so

members and over 2,500 hectares of vineyards in the

provinces of Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto. Production

is centred on Negroamaro, the flagship vine variety of

Salento, which is used to make D.O.P. Salice Salentino,

Brindisi and Squinzano. Production of D.O.P. Primitivo

di Manduria is handled by the Cantina San Gaetano, in

Lizzano, acquired in 2012 with the aim of being part of

the D.O.P.

The Due Palme group also owns the Angelini winery in

San Pietro Vernotico, Riforma Fondiaria and Produttori

Agricoli in Cellino San Marco – where the grapes are

raisined to produce passito – and lastly Cantina Arnesano.

The hub of Cantine Due Palme, in Cellino San Marco, an example of high-tech

winemaking

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Cantina Due Palme is the culmination of Angelo Maci’s dream. Along with

his family, he runs the business with great foresight

The growers own land located in very different areas in

the three provinces of Salento, with equally different

characteristics. This not only promotes greater variety of

expression but also minimises risks in the event of adverse

weather such as hailstorms, torrential rain and frosts. Among

its indigenous grape varieties, one in particular is currently

highly successful – Susumaniello. The variety, which almost

disappeared entirely, has been recovered by Due Palme

and other companies that believed in the cultivar’s longstanding

tradition. Issues with ripening and the demanding

vineyard management techniques required had previously

discouraged producers from growing it. But more modern

techniques have resulted in wines that are rounded, ripe and

distinctive. There are also some interesting experiments with

local blends such as Primitivo and Aglianico or Vermentino

with Malvasia Bianca, and international blends such as

Primitivo and Cabernet-Sauvignon.

Due Palme is also the driving force behind one of the first

Traditional Method sparkling wines in Puglia, a Negroamaro

Blanc de Noir. Rosé is also a mainstay – its producers aim

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Podere Don Cataldo’s history is inextricably linked with that of the Rocca family. Its vines sink deep roots in Puglia,

in the heart of Salento, just a few kilometres from the Ionian coast

for lighter coloured wines that are more delicate and more

dynamic to drink.

The winery’s production totals some 20,000,000 bottles

distributed to over 40 countries in the off-trade and on-trade

but since Covid-19, e-commerce has also been growing.

PODERE DON CATALDO -

ANGELO ROCCA & SONS

In 1998, Ernesto Rocca, the third generation of the family,

bought a farm in Leverano, in the province of Lecce, spurred

on by his love of Salento and winegrowing. This swathe of

over 100 hectares is home to two twin farms: Vignali Grandi

and Podere Don Cataldo. The business is named after the

second of the two. The passion for the art of wine has now

been passed down to the fifth generation.

The vineyards are located just a few kilometres from the

Ionian coast and enjoy a Mediterranean climate which,

combined with the very fertile soils, create a felicitous site for

growing vines. The varietal range embraces native varieties

Negroamaro, Primitivo, Nero Di Troia and Susumaniello;

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Podere Don Cataldo is the estate after which the Puglian company run

by Ernesto Rocca and his family is named. It follows the same quality

standards as all Rocca family wineries

Puglia is also the home of Italian rosé wines and Podere

Cataldo honours that tradition

nationally-grown cultivar Vermentino (introduced in

place of Chardonnay), and international varieties Syrah,

Merlot and Cabernet-Sauvignon.

Obviously, the region’s identity is best expressed through

its typical grape varieties.

Primitivo: ‘authentic and seductive’. A challenging grape

variety from an agricultural point of view, it is invariably

a real palate-pleaser. Despite the fact that it is the earliestripening

native Puglian red grape variety, its sugar levels

are always highly concentrated. The challenge is to

achieve a balance between alcohol and acidity. This

is made possible by early harvesting, generating fullbodied

wines with great aromatic concentration and

typical sweet notes.

Negroamaro: ‘elegant and velvety’. A generous vine

variety, it is the symbol of the Salento area and offers

velvety tannins, a full, rounded flavour and a surprising

aftertaste of Mediterranean herbs.

Nero di Troia: ‘intriguing and vigorous’. A historic vine

variety which is experiencing renewed purity. Austere

and imposing, it combines a typical explosion of red

and black fruit with notes of leather and undergrowth.

The grape lends itself to maturing in wood, displays

excellent acidity and therefore has a propensity to age.

Susumaniello: ‘rich and intense’. This is a recently

rediscovered native grape. Although in the past it was

known for its high productivity, when controlled, the

variety has the ability to produce extraordinary aromatic

concentration and epitomise the sunny Salento region.

Maximum concentration and high alcohol content

supported by excellent body make it one of the most

interesting Italian native grape varieties.

The Rocca family mature almost all their red wines in

large Slavonian oak casks for about 8 months, in a bid

to enhance the unique characters of each native grape

including their distinctive ripe fruit notes.

Oak barrels were selected for the Susumaniello grape,

however, due to the bolder structure of the wine and

they produced excellent results.

The Rocca family believes the perception of Puglian

wine has changed a great deal in recent years, due to

improved quality coinciding with greater interest in

native grapes, especially in foreign markets. The charm

of the native grapes has struck a chord with experts and

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non-experts alike in their search for something different

and authentic. Wine tourism has acted as a catalyst for

change, creating a strong connection between food and

wine, combined with the experience of taking in vistas

of clear water, vines and centuries-old olive trees.

Podere Don Cataldo produces some 160,000 bottles of

wine exported to more than 40 destinations around the

world such as Northern Europe, Benelux, Russia and

Vietnam in addition to Italy. All of them are sold in the

on-trade.

TENUTE AL BANO CARRISI

This estate lies in the heart of Puglia, in Cellino San Marco,

a town in the hinterland of the province of Brindisi at the

gateway to Salento. Here, Al Bano, the world-famous

Italian singer, has created a small traditional village

surrounded by woods, vineyards and olive groves, just

20 km from the city of Lecce and a few kilometres as the

crow flies from both the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

Love and respect for the land is a principle that Al Bano

learned from birth. Born into a family of farmers, the

singer has never lost those values, which are his main

inspiration for producing his wines.

Winegrowing is a family affair and knowledge and

vines have been handed down for generations. In

fact, Al Bano Carrisi created his winery because of

a promise he made to his father Don Carmelo. The

wines produced are based on some of the most typical

varietals in Puglia, such as Primitivo, Negroamaro and

Salice Salentino along with Chardonnay and Aleatico.

Tenute Al Bano does not just produce around

1,500,000 bottles of wine, it is also a wine tourism

oasis comprising the Hotel Felicità, the Don Carmelo

Restaurant and the Tenuta Carrisi Spa. The winery,

which forms the village’s hub, can be visited on one of

a number of tasting tours through the oak barrels and

bottles of wines laid down to mature. Al Bano is not a

classic VIP vineyard investor because he actually grew

up here, surrounded by vineyards and winemaking.

In addition, he has consistently shown a sincere and

strong dedication to producing wines which reflect

the identity of Puglia and has focused on enhancing

knowledge and awareness of the region’s wine both in

Italy and abroad.

The Vinicola Al Bano Carrisi is a unique wine destination, where

the famous Italian singer produces wines with a strong regional

identity, in keeping with his family’s tradition

Tenute Al Bano Carrisi is located in the heart of Puglia, in Cellino

San Marco. Here the famous Italian singer has created a small

traditional village surrounded by woods, vineyards and olive trees

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The Prosecco Hills are enhanced and preserved by wineries such as Cantine Riondo

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Prosecco

in the pink of health

A combination of confidence and reticence, foresight and respect for tradition,

Prosecco Rosé was born in 2020. The pink version of Prosecco, with its own

regulations, joins existing white versions of DOC Prosecco produced since 2009,

namely Prosecco Frizzante, Spumante and Tranquillo.

By Francesco Saverio Russo - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

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In actual fact, many Prosecco companies were already

producing the pink version with considerable success,

even without stating the name ‘Prosecco’ on the

label. For this very reason, the Consortium decided to

regulate the production of rosé, thereby enhancing its

quality and recognisability, with positive effects on the

perception of the region and the other types of Prosecco.

Rosé production conditions require that only Glera (85 -

90%) and Pinot noir (10 - 15%) grapes be used, fermented

as red wine. Also, on the label the term ‘Millesimato’ is

mandatory, followed by the reference vintage of at least

85% of the grapes. Initially, the indigenous Raboso grape

(in Veneto) and Refosco (in Friuli) were considered for

the blend.

The production area matches that for DOC Prosecco,

which is located in north-eastern Italy and more

specifically in 5 provinces in Veneto (Treviso, Venice,

Vicenza, Padua, Belluno) and 4 in Friuli Venezia Giulia

(Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste and Udine). When the grape

harvest, winemaking process and bottling take place

entirely in the provinces of Treviso and Trieste, the special

statement of Treviso or Trieste may be used to emphasise

the historical value of the two provinces.

The rosé version must be produced entirely by natural

fermentation in autoclaves with a winemaking period

of at least 60 days. During this period, the yeast can

release compounds such as mannoproteins, which have

positive effects on colour and effervescence and increase

sensory and taste complexity. The colour is a pale pink

which varies in intensity, glistens and displays consistent

bubbles. The aroma is fine, characteristic and typical of

the original grapes. Alcohol content must be at least 11%

vol. and minimum total acidity is 4.5 g/l, with a minimum

non-reducing extract of 14.0 g/l.

In its first year of production, rosé Prosecco was a

resounding success. In just 9 months, 54.2 million bottles

were produced out of a total 425.5 million of DOC

Prosecco. Its current share of 13% of total production

underscores the relevance of the project and demonstrates

the growing trend worldwide for rosé wines.

Here, we review a selection of the most significant Prosecco

wineries to demonstrate the growth of the rosé category.

Prosecco Rosé offers great versatility in terms

of food and wine pairing, something which

Cantina La Marca seeks to capitalise on

Perfect clusters of Glera grapes grown by one of the 400 members of the

Montelliana winery

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Piera Martellozzo, who has

been running the Piera 1899

winery for the last 25 years

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PIERA 1899

The story of Piera began in 1899, with farms in the Padua area. It

is a family business, passed down through the generations, with

management responsibilities transferred from father to daughter.

Piera Martellozzo has currently been running the business for

twenty-five years.

The company believes that the Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged

companies to look for innovative and alternative solutions and has

also opened up new markets and broadened tastes around the world.

DOC Prosecco Rosé Clâr de Lune is one of the products created by

Piera 1899 during the pandemic. The excellence of the base wine

attracted widespread interest. As wine shops and restaurants have

reopened, its success has grown further, fuelled by its flavour and

packaging, which is fundamental for this type of wine.

DOC Prosecco Rosé Piera 1899 is a complex wine which, as a Brut

Nature (zero dosage) undergoing lengthy fermentation (120 days),

meets the tastes of even the most demanding palates.

Being able to use Pinot noir has bolstered the perception of Prosecco,

especially abroad. It also increases the sensory quality of the wines,

adding greater structure, pleasant aromas and good persistence.

These aspects are emphasised by the winery’s decision to use Pinot

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Armando Serena, founder of Montelvini, and his two children Sarah

and Alberto, who are now at its helm

noir with light oak maturation. Only 10,000 bottles of DOC

Prosecco Rosé Clâr de Lune are produced, using grapes from the

Friuli Grave region. The main markets are Italy, Central Europe,

Asia and North America.

MONTELVINI

Armando Serena founded Montelvini in 1968 and his children

Sarah and Alberto are now at the helm. Although the company is

one of the long-standing producers of Asolo Prosecco Superiore

DOCG, it has willingly taken on the challenge of Prosecco

Rosé, showing great foresight. The results have undeniably been

positive, driving both growth for the business and a lot of interest

and curiosity. All of the company’s customers have shown

interest, even though the rosé still needs to break into the market

segment, which is not a lover of Prosecco DOC, thereby raising the

perception of the label.

Using Pinot noir certainly helps at international level – initially the

plan was to use a native varietal such as Raboso, but it is less wellknown.

Also, Pinot noir has been grown across the region for a long

time, can be easily exported and consistently lends delicate versatility

to sparkling wines. The results are excellent and, according to the

company, Prosecco Rosé has given the entire sparkling and semi-

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sparkling rosé wine segment a boost, even those that are

not Prosecco. The hope is to use the rosé version to raise the

general profile of DOC Prosecco. Montelvini produces two

versions: ‘Promosso’, a DOC Prosecco rosé in the ‘classic’

range; and a DOC Prosecco Treviso Rosé in the ‘Serenitatis’

collection, with a bottle customised by Montelvini and

elegant livery. Currently, in addition to sales to Italy, the

company also exports to 50 countries. All have shown great

interest, but Prosecco rosé is enjoying particular success in

the USA, UK, Russia, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Stefano Gava, Villa Sandi

VILLA SANDI

Villa Sandi is located in Crocetta di Montello, in what was

once “the Garden of Venice”, in a former Palladian school

dating back to 1622, located at the foot of the Treviso hills.

DOC Prosecco Rosé has also been a great success for this

important company. The driving force behind the birth

of Prosecco rosé was the growing desire among Prosecco

enthusiasts for a pink sparkling wine. Villa Sandi was one

of the first companies to believe in the potential of the

rosé version and respond to demand from international

markets. Riding the crest of the pink wine wave, the

combination of Prosecco and rosé was a winner, despite

being launched during a globally challenging period.

The new version has opened up new opportunities for

Prosecco. Its colour might suggest it would appeal more to

a female audience, but this is actually not the case. DOC

Prosecco Rosé is enjoyed by all consumers, as it combines

the freshness and floral and fruity notes of Prosecco with

the red berries, pomegranate and rose notes of Pinot noir.

The longer ageing period gives it greater complexity and

increases its perceived value. It is also very versatile for

food pairings. It is important for Villa Sandi to emphasise

the regional connection with Prosecco rosé, using only

Pinot noir from its own vineyards, where it has grown for

decades.

Commercially, Prosecco rosé was immediately embraced

by the two countries that started the international Prosecco

boom: the UK and the US. The success then spread

throughout the world.

In 2019 the hills of Prosecco Docg became a UNESCO World Heritage Site

SERENA WINES

Serena Wines 1881 is located in the heart of the Prosecco

region, a stone’s throw from Conegliano. The family-run

company notched up its fourth generation with Giorgio

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Serena Wines, which has always been family-run, is now in its

fourth generation with Giorgio and fifth with his son Luca who

currently manages the company

Serena and is now in its fifth generation, with his son Luca

Serena at the helm.

The figures confirm the positive trend for Prosecco rosé,

both in Italy and internationally, with the USA in pole

position (1 in 5 bottles of Prosecco sold in the USA is

pink Prosecco), followed by the UK and then Poland,

Germany, Romania and Italy, with super/hypermarkets

stealing a march on the on-trade. In the Italian on-trade,

partly because of the pandemic, Prosecco rosé is still

carving out a place for itself, unlike supermarkets which

are responding very well to the new style.

This is a high-quality wine where use of the Glera grape

underscores its regional connections, while Pinot noir

instils elegance and helps raise the profile of Prosecco

abroad. It has already become the jewel in the DOC’s

crown, with the long Charmat method imparting fine,

persistent bubbles and greater complexity.

LA TENTIA WINERY - ZARDETTO SPUMANTI

Zardetto was founded in 1969 by Pino Zardetto who,

drawing on more than 15 years’ experience as a winemaker

for important wineries, decided to devote himself to

Prosecco. Today it is one of the most established wineries in

the area and, as such, saw Prosecco rosé as an opportunity

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Zardetto has been producing and marketing sparkling wines for more than fifty

years, mainly made from grapes grown in the eastern part of the Conegliano

and Valdobbiadene hills

to raise the profile of the Prosecco appellation across-theboard.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the company’s

Prosecco sales remained stable in certain countries where

the pandemic ran a different course than in Europe

(e.g. Asia), while the spring and summer re-openings

brought a wave of positivity and confidence for the entire

wine chain, particularly in markets where the on-trade is

significant such as Italy and the USA. Diversifying markets

has minimised the risks, and target markets are currently

the USA, Italy, Southeast Asia and Germany.

Prosecco owes part of its success to the fact that it is a

‘democratic’ wine, suitable for everyone. Prosecco rosé also

aims to be a cross-category wine, but showing high quality.

Use of Pinot noir has made a major contribution to moving

the category upmarket, enhancing the entire designation.

It is an internationally recognised grape variety, and for

Zardetto, it was definitely a good choice.

The target market is the on-trade and the Prosecco

Zardetto Rosé 2020 was only presented to Italian and

international customers in spring 2021, later than the first

Prosecco rosé releases at the end of 2020. It immediately

turned heads in the international market, thanks to its

customised presentation kit, use of the ‘Provençal’ colour

and innovative packaging, all cues associated with a

premium Prosecco.

For the company, the important thing now will be to

consolidate the Prosecco brand across the globe and help

customers understand the different styles.

For three generations the Balbinot family has been running Le Manzane. Ernesto

is now at the helm with his wife Silvana and their children Marco and Anna

LE MANZANE

Le Manzane is a family-run business located in San Pietro

di Feletto, halfway between the Dolomites and Venice. It

is ensconced amidst the hills of the province of Treviso, in

the heart of the Prosecco Superiore uplands. The winery,

which has its roots in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene

DOCG area, decided to add a DOC Prosecco rosé to its

portfolio to demonstrate its responsiveness to current

market dynamics. After a first year of sales, its Prosecco

rosé has garnered a very positive response. Despite the

challenges thrown up by Covid-19, the wine has been well

received, offering a breath of fresh air, and sales above

expectations.

According to Le Manzane, pink Prosecco appeals to young

people and is attractive to a female audience, but its

versatility and low alcohol content make it suitable for

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The Manzane harvest

different occasions, from celebrating a special occasion to an aperitif

at the end of the day. Certainly Pinot noir fermented as red wine has

made sparkling Glera more intriguing both from a visual and sensory

perspective.

These characteristics have also allowed Prosecco rosé to be welcomed

by international markets with great enthusiasm and interest and it

will carve out an increasingly important market share for itself in

the future.

The company produced 60,000 bottles in 2020, marketing them

mainly abroad and in Italy over the summer season.

BACIO DELLA LUNA

The Bacio della Luna winery belonging to the Schenk Italia group

was established in the heart of the renowned Prosecco Superiore

Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG area. Sustainable winegrowing

with respect for nature and a hands-off approach in the winery have

resulted in a range of wines which include the new Prosecco rosé.

The pink version has capitalised on the success of ‘white’ Prosecco

and has grown apace, though initial fears that one of the two would

swallow up, even a part of the other, proved to be unfounded.

The last two years have been very complex, but the company has

come out the other side on a positive note, leveraging its multichannel

distribution network and the increase in supermarket sales.

These compensated for losses in the on-trade, so much so that in

October 2021, the company returned to pre-pandemic sales levels.

Investments in production and communication also facilitated the

launch of Prosecco Spumante Rosé Millesimato Doc Extra Dry Bacio

della Luna.

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– NEW APPELLATION –

The Bacio della Luna winery sustainably farms vineyards in the heart of the

Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG area

Restricting Prosecco rosé to women, young people or

special occasions would be counterproductive, as the

wine has already demonstrated consistent consumption

all year round by a varied target market, and is linked to

glamorous, social occasions.

The Pinot noir produces a fruity profile which emphasises

body and elegant aromas. Its 100% Veneto provenance

and fermentation for a minimum of 60 days mean that it

has more structure than its white alter ego.

The public has responded well to the new version of

Prosecco and sales have grown simultaneously with those

of DOC Prosecco. Slow fermentation has produced a

more complex, complete wine, and the company believes

there is still room for it to distinguish itself from white

Prosecco and certainly has greater versatility in terms of

food pairing.

Its key markets are mainly the UK, USA and Italy, but Russia,

Eastern Europe and Scandinavia are also growing well.

Evocative images of harvesting in the vineyards of one of the members of the

Cantina Cooperativa Montelliana

MONTELLIANA WINERY

Cantina Montelliana dei Colli Asolani, founded in 1957,

is a co-operative of winegrowers located in Montebelluna

(Treviso). It has about 400 members and a total vineyard

area of approximately 690 hectares, with low yields per

hectare, which are synonymous with quality. The debut of

Prosecco rosé has been very successful for the winery, and

its launch was met with great excitement from the market.

At Cantina Montelliana too, the feeling is that the rosé

version does not have a specific target market, as the

different styles offer different flavour experiences. The real

difference is in the distribution channels and the off-trade

is the primary source of success. Super/hypermarkets are

focusing a lot more on Prosecco rosé than the on-trade.

The choice of Pinot noir stems mainly from the fact that

the variety was already authorised by Prosecco regulations

in the blend for DOC Prosecco, but few people know

this. This certainly sped up the emergence of Prosecco

rosé. Some would have preferred Raboso or other native

varieties, but for others Pinot noir is a winning choice.

Points of view aside, Pinot noir, in addition to its elegant

colour, lends Prosecco rosé unique aromas and flavours.

Internationally, Prosecco rosé is particularly popular, while

in Italy there is still some scepticism. In the first year of

rosé sales, despite initial fears, ‘white’ Prosecco continued

to grow and Prosecco rosé joined Prosecco sales at around

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Valerio Cescon, chairman of Cantina La Marca

15% of total sales. The significant increase in demand for Prosecco,

both white and rosé, coupled with stable supply has resulted in price

increases for the 2021 harvest.

To enhance the value of the product, consumers need to understand

that Prosecco rosé is not a better or worse version of the ‘original’

Prosecco. Prosecco rosé is simply a different iteration of Prosecco.

Differing price points can and should be justified by the longer

production process but also and above all by the effects it has on the

wine in terms of development of aroma, body and bubbles. Prosecco

rosé is therefore not a ‘cheap’ version of classic method rosés, nor is it

a wine for women. “Unique, but for everyone!” should be its slogan.

The key markets are Australia, the Russian Federation, Finland,

France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,

Norway, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, United States, Sweden,

Switzerland and Ukraine.

LA MARCA

Founded in 1968, La Marca now represents about 5,000 winegrowers

who manage some 15,000 hectares of vineyards, divided between the

group’s 8 wineries, all of them located in the heart of the Prosecco

region in the province of Treviso. The company’s philosophy is based

on regional focus, co-operation and sustainability.

Despite the uncertainties caused by Covid-19, its performance

over the last two years has been better than hoped for, as off-trade

sales more than compensated for losses in the on-trade. Launching

Prosecco rosé helped, as it is a wine aimed at everyone with a fresh

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– NEW APPELLATION –

Cantina La Marca focuses heavily on young people and on the Italian

lifestyle, with help now from Prosecco Rosé

The headquarters of Cantine Riondo in Monforte d’Alpone (VR)

and delicate taste. This is partly ascribed to Pinot noir,

which has always been grown in the local vineyards and

is constantly the subject of experiments by the company’s

team of winemakers with excellent results. The fine

bubbles hold the palate in a velvety embrace, releasing

the fresh fragrance of red fruits. The feedback for Prosecco

rosé is enthusiastic and confirms the relevance of the

company’s project with this type of wine.

DOC Prosecco Rosé is gaining more and more traction,

both in Italy and abroad, and is helping to enhance the

value of the Prosecco brand and its regional origins. The

markets that have responded most positively are the USA,

UK and Germany.

RIONDO WINERIES

The history of Riondo Wineries, founded in 2008 as a

branch of the Collis Veneto Wine Group, does not prevent

the company from looking to the future. Its mission is

to market wines produced from the grapes of its 2,000

members. It sells the wines in Italy and around the world

in the on-trade and in super/hypermarkets. Prosecco rosé

was an immediate success for the winery, attracting a lot of

publicity and positive feedback.

Prosecco rosé is a versatile, enjoyable wine, suitable for

a variety of drinking occasions and therefore appeals to

a broad-ranging audience, although the main focus is

certainly young people; its delicate pink nuances also

make it particularly attractive to a female audience. Pinot

noir as a complementary grape to Glera is a valuable

component of the blend and increases the perceived value

more than the traditional version.

The trend was generally positive in all markets, although

the focus was mainly on the US market, which received the

new product with a great show of enthusiasm. This was

followed by Italy, Russia, Germany and Denmark, all of

which showed a particular propensity to buy. In general,

Riondo Wineries confirms that rosé sparkling wines are

increasingly sought-after abroad.

Consumers have been struck by the pink bubbles from

Glera and Pinot noir: elegance, quality, conviviality and

fun are the images associated with Prosecco rosé. The trend

is quickly becoming a driving force for Riondo Wineries,

which supplies two different versions: a Prosecco Rosé

Extra Dry Riondo and a Brut signed Casalforte, in its

premium line.

110 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


The South African viticultural landscape is historically French, but grape varieties

from diverse regions in different countries are now gaining currency

SOUTH AFRICA

– NEW VARIETIES –

Mother Nature sets

the trends

In South Africa, most new planting material is not being chosen on the basis

of fashion or novelty but rather because it is best for local climate conditions –

and climate change.

By Joanne Gibson - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 111


SOUTH AFRICA

– NEW VARIETIES –

Roussanne is among the Rhône grapes planted

at Riebeeksriver for Anthonij Rupert’s Cape

of Good Hope range

Winemaker Clarise Sciocatti-Langeveldt

A

mere five grape varieties account for over

54% of all plantings in South Africa (SA),

namely Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Cabernet

Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz (in

that order). The top 10, including Chardonnay,

Pinotage, Merlot, Ruby Cabernet and Cinsault, account for

over 86% of plantings, according to SA Wine Industry

Information & Systems (SAWIS). However, there are

over 100 varieties planted and while some seem destined

to remain very niche, such as Austria’s Grüner Veltliner

(produced by Diemersdal in Durbanville and Neil Joubert

in Stellenbosch) or Germany’s Sylvaner (first bottled in

1971 at Stellenbosch estate Overgaauw, the 2020 vintage

scoring 87 points in the Gilbert & Gaillard International

Challenge), some are really gaining currency as growers

realise which ‘cultivars’ are best suited to local climatic

conditions and soil types.

Historically, the SA viticultural landscape is

overwhelmingly French, from the Loire’s Chenin Blanc

to the Bordeaux grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon

Blanc and Merlot in the top 10, with Semillon at number

13 (having once been SA’s most widely planted grape by

far) followed by Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec

in 15 th , 16 th and 18 th place respectively. In 12 th place,

Burgundy’s ‘heartbreak grape’ Pinot Noir has found a

home in cooler areas, such as the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley

and Elgin, but in recent years SA producers have looked

more to the Rhône.

In 2007, for example, Franschhoek-based Anthonij Rupert

Wines purchased the Swartland farm Riebeeksrivier with

the express aim of growing Rhône grapes on shale

soils reminiscent of the Côte Rôtie. Syrah, Carignan,

Cinsault, Durif, Grenache Noir, Marsanne, Mourvèdre

and Roussanne are among the varieties planted, with

the Cape of Good Hope Riebeeksrivier Caroline 2018

(50% Marsanne, 36% Roussanne, 13% Chenin and 1%

Viognier) scoring 90 points. When it comes to singlevarietal

bottlings, Stellenbosch wine farm Hazendal

sources Roussanne from a vineyard next to the Berg River

near Franschhoek, saying that the alluvial soils and large

white rocks create ideal conditions for slow ripening and

flavour preservation (88 points for the 2018 vintage).

Hazendal also produces a rare single-varietal Carignan

(87 points for the 2017): ‘When given the opportunity

to truly show itself, Carignan shines brightly as a wine

112 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


SOUTH AFRICA

– NEW VARIETIES –

‘Innovation is a way

of life,’ say Creation

co-owners

Jean-Claude (JC)

and Carolyn Martin

of voluptuous power and elegance,’ says viticulturist/

winemaker Clarise Sciocatti-Langeveldt.

High up on the much cooler Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge,

Creation Wines has a great reputation for Pinot Noir and

Chardonnay, but co-owners Carolyn and Jean-Claude

Martin planted Viognier in 2003 and Roussanne in 2015,

always with a white blend in mind. With their Viognier-

Roussanne 2020 scoring 88 points, it will be exciting to

see what Grenache Blanc (planted in 2018) and Marsanne

(coming soon) contribute. ‘While the white blends of the

southern Rhone have exquisite aromatics, they can fall flat

with low acidity and high alcohol levels. Being in a cooler

climate with a long ripening window, we intend to capture

the beautiful aromatics and keep the natural acidity and

lower alcohols.’

Twee Jonge Gezellen (TJG) in Tulbagh is best known

for its Krone brand of Cap Classique sparkling wines.

However, when the team started dreaming of bringing

back the TJG brand with a premium white and red wine,

the hot summers and rocky soils of the farm steered them

towards planting Grenache Noir and Syrah for the red

(a 92-point rating for the Grenache Noir 2019, sourced

from Piekenierskloof, promising great things for when

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 113


SOUTH AFRICA

– NEW VARIETIES –

Twee Jonge Gezellen winemaker Barbara Melck with

her maiden Grenache Noir 2019 from Piekenierskloof

Cape Point Vineyards winemaker Riandri Visser can’t

wait for her maiden 2022 vintage of Sauvignon Gris

the farm’s own vines reach maturity), and Chenin Blanc,

Grenache Blanc and Piquepoul Blanc for the white.

Explains winemaker Barbara Melck: ‘We always knew the

white would be a Chenin-based blend – true to our SA

heritage – but we wanted a differentiating character, which

led us to be one of the first farms to plant Piquepoul Blanc

in 2018. Piquepoul is known for its high acidity, which

is going to become even more important in the future,

thanks to global warming. We are extremely excited about

the maiden 2022 harvest.’

As far as fresh white wines are concerned, Cape Point

Vineyards on the Cape peninsula has an almost unsurpassed

reputation for Sauvignon Blanc and Bordeaux-style whites

– which is why they decided to introduce Sauvignon

Gris ‘to add body, texture and another dimension’. Says

winemaker Riandri Visser: ‘We had to wait many years

before the nursery could provide viable young vines, but

in 2018 we finally planted the mother block of 1,200 vines

on the lower part of the estate where it is sheltered from

the wind, with a lovely view of the ocean. 2022 will be

our first harvest and we will bottle it separately at first in

order to learn.’

114 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


SOUTH AFRICA

– NEW VARIETIES –

At certified organic producer Waverley Hills, some 20km

south of Tulbagh, manager/winemaker Johan Delport

has pioneered the growing and bottling of Marselan,

a cross between Cabernet and Grenache. Material was

imported in 2009, and after some years of propagation

and experimentation, the first commercial vineyard was

planted at Waverley Hills in 2016, with the maiden 2020

vintage scoring 90 points. Says Delport: ‘I am very happy

with our Marselan, the first in SA. It has a dark colour

and concentrated flavours, with very soft tannins. I would

recommend it to other local producers, because of its

drought resistance.’

A southern French grape with a much longer track record

in SA is Cinsault, aka Hermitage (famously crossed with

Pinot Noir in 1925 to create Pinotage). Once widely

planted in SA, Cinsault went out of fashion but has made

a top 10 comeback thanks to people increasingly wanting

lighter reds. ‘Like Chenin Blanc, it was a workhorse due

to its high yields,’ says Arco Laarman of Laarman Wines

whose Focal Point 2019 from a Bottelary Hills vineyard

near Stellenbosch has scored 91 points. ‘Now, however,

thanks to older vines being available, the wines show

much more concentration. I believe Cinsault can reach

the same status we have achieved with Chenin,’ he says,

with 91 points for another Bottelary Hills Cinsault, the

Kaapzicht Skuinsberg 2020, adding weight to this idea.

Waverley Hills winemaker Johan Delport

GRAZIE ITALIA

Although not widely planted, there have been small

pockets of Italian grapes growing in SA for decades.

Barbera, first planted in Durbanville in the 1920s, was

brought ‘home’ to Merwida Wines in the Breede River

Valley in the late 1990s by co-owner Schalk van der

Merwe. Today, his son Albertus reports that almost five

hectares flourish in the farm’s rich floodplain soils.

‘Barbera is one of the few red wine grape cultivars with the

ability to retain high natural acidity in the warm Southern

Africa climate. This combined with its low tannins and

spicy undertones has allowed it to become one of our

flagship wines, winning numerous awards and acquiring

a loyal and ever-increasing following.’

Certainly the Merwida Barbera 2019 impressed the Gilbert

& Gaillard tasting panel as a ‘great example of the variety’

(90 points), shining alongside the Merwida Papenkuils

Waterblommetjie Pinot Grigio 2021 (87 points) from an

Johan Delport recommends planting Marselan because of its

drought resistance

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 115


SOUTH AFRICA

– NEW VARIETIES –

At Merwida, six members of the seventh-generation Van der Merwe family are currently involved at either the winery or on the farms

11-year-old block. ‘The Pinot Grigio ripens nice and early in the

season and has really impressed us with its subtle but poignant

floral notes, good natural acidity and well-balanced structure.’

SA’s first Nebbiolo seems to have arrived around 1910, although

better clones were imported in the 1990s, when Steenberg in

Constantia became the first farm to bottle it as a single-varietal wine.

Meanwhile, Peter Finlayson of Bouchard Finlayson in the Hemelen-Aarde

Valley decided to combine it with Sangiovese and Barbera,

along with Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Mourvèdre, to create a memorable

left-field blend whose name – Hannibal – is ‘a symbolic expression

of the connection between the Old and New Worlds of viticulture’

(the Carthaginian general Hannibal was famously carried by an

African elephant when he invaded Italy).

SA’s first Sangiovese was planted at Boplaas in Calitzdorp in 1982,

with better clones for high-quality wines imported in 1991. The

Jasper Raats Single Vineyard Wines range includes a rare Stellenbosch

interpretation, named Silk Weaver, grown on the lower southwestern

slopes of Helderberg Mountain using a traditional Pergola or Tendone

trellising system. ‘This one-hectare vineyard enjoys refreshingly cool

116 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


SOUTH AFRICA

– NEW VARIETIES –

breezes from the Atlantic Ocean during the day and cool

night air flowing down the mountain, resulting in even

ripening of the berries and good natural acidity,’ says wine

famer/vigneron Jasper Raats. ‘The vines are meticulously

cared for by hand to ensure maximum quality and the

wine is organically produced.’

A far more recent Italian import is the Sardinian grape

Nero d’Avola, which was first planted at Bosman Family

Vineyards in Wellington in 2004. Says owner Petrus

Bosman: ‘Nero doesn’t just survive; it thrives under the

bright African sun. Even on the hottest day, the grapes

remain vibrant and fresh in the vineyard, needing much

less water than their neighbouring varietals.’ Cellarmaster

Corlea Fourie agrees: ‘It thrives in our warm climate, with

higher natural acidities than some of its red counterparts.

The wine we have bottled since 2013 is still medium

bodied, but I believe structure and extraction depth will

follow over the next few years as the vineyards come into

their stride.’

Other varieties thriving in Bosman’s Wellington vineyards

include a Cinsault and a skin-fermented Grenache Blanc.

‘Our viticulture landscape is sure to change in future when

we start to adapt to water-saving strategies and to droughtand

heat-resistant cultivars,’ says Fourie.

Arco Laarman believes SA can achieve the same recognition for Cinsault

that it already has for Chenin Blanc

OBRIGADO PORTUGAL

Thanks to SA having a proud history of Port-style fortified

wine production, it’s perhaps not surprising that several

Portuguese grapes have been cultivated locally since the

1920s, with some of them now also very successfully used

for table wines. For example, the Gilbert & Gaillard panel

was very impressed with the Moordenaarskloof Tinta

Barocca 2019 produced by Stellenbosch estate Dornier

from a Swartland vineyard, awarding it 92 points.

‘That vineyard was a lucky find,’ says Dornier winemaker

Philip van Staden. ‘We were buying Chenin Blanc from

the grower when we noticed the Tinta Barocca. When we

asked about it, they said they were going to pull it out

because they were selling it to the local co-operative at a

loss. We immediately offered to pay double. It makes a

phenomenal wine, with all the fruit, concentration and

structure you get in Port, with soft velvety tannins.’

When it comes to Portuguese whites, it was a blend of

the Madeiran grape Verdelho with Chenin Blanc and

Chardonnay that really impressed the panel: the Cavalli

Pinot Noir pioneer Peter Finlayson, the mastermind behind

Bouchard Finlayson’s innovative Hannibal blend in the 1990s

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 117


Bosman owner Petrus

Bosman says Nero d’Avola

thrives under the bright

African sun

Jasper Raats has achieved an 89-point rating for his organic

Stellenbosch Sangiovese, The Silk Weaver 2019

Dornier winemaker Philip van Staden rescued an unwanted

block of Tinta Barocca in the Swartland

Cavalli winemaker Craig Barnard appreciates the uniqueness and freshness of Verdelho

Bosman cellarmaster

Corlea Fourie predicts

a widespread shift to

heat-resistant cultivars

in coming years

118 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


SOUTH AFRICA

– NEW VARIETIES –

Cremello 2020 (91 points). ‘We planted the Verdelho in

2000,’ says winemaker Craig Barnard. ‘It was planted so

that we could have a unique offering, initially as part of a

complex blend, but as the vines got older the quality really

started to shine through so we took the decision also to

bottle it as an individual wine. It has an amazing acidic

backbone which lends the wine a vibrant freshness. When

used with older barrels, you are able to get great structure

in the wine without impacting on the floral, perfumed and

exotic aromatics. I definitely think more producers should

consider planting it. It is well suited to our terroir as the

summer heat allows the vines to ripen early and evenly,

thereby retaining freshness.’

It was memories of drinking Portuguese Vinho Verde

on family in Mozambique that first got the Newton

Johnson family thinking about planting ‘Alvarinho’ at

their eponymous farm in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde

Valley with its maritime climate. Their research led them

across the Spanish border to the classical expression of

the grape that they most wanted to pursue: Albariño from

the granite soils of Rias Baxas. ‘As the Upper Hemel-en-

Aarde is an “island” of granite between the shale soils

of our neighbouring appellations, we had an unusual

opportunity to work with a white variety suitable for

our granite soils and maritime climate,’ says managing

director Bevan Newton Johnson.

‘We sourced some material from UC Davis in California.’

Made by Newton Johnson’s brother, Gordon, and sisterin-law,

Nadia, the Albariño has been enthusiastically

received since the first general release in 2015, with the

2020 scoring 90 points. ‘The wine is fermented and

matured in a combination of concrete eggs, old oak

barrels and stainless steel tanks to preserve the clear

aromatics of the grape, along with good mid-palate texture

and fresh acidity to finish off. We are getting a good feel

for it after eight vintages, except the acidity levels are still

too high at our preferred picking stage that we have to

leave it out there a bit longer before we pick, unlike our

other wines where we err on slightly lighter alcohols to

retain freshness and perfumed fruit. These are nuances we

have yet to fully master.’

Leliefontein in Wellington is home to the Bosman family, who also own

Bosman Adama, the largest vine nursery in Africa

MORE FROM THE MED

At Dornier, mentioned previously, another Spanish variety

that has taken time to master is Tempranillo, the noble

Dornier’s former owner, the late Swiss artist Christoph Dornier, had a passion

for architecture, as the estate’s landmark cellar demonstrates

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 119


SOUTH AFRICA

– NEW VARIETIES –

The husband-and-wife winemaking team at Newton Johnson,

Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson

Gary and Kathy Jordan plan to make their Assyrtiko in a fresh, focused,

mineral style, without any oak influence

grape perhaps most famous in Rioja. ‘We wanted something

to set us apart, so in 2010 we grafted Tempranillo onto a onehectare

block of Cabernet,’ says Philip van Staden. ‘It grew very

vigorously and the early wines were a bit green and extremely

tannic. We decided to use Smart-Dyson trellising to get more

sunlight into the bunches, which helped with the greenness,

and then we researched how they handle the wine in Spain

and realised that it needs much longer oak ageing. It now

spends one year in older French oak, one year in one-third

new American, and then goes back into French oak for about

44 months in total. You can’t be in a hurry with Tempranillo,

you have to be patient,’ he says, his patience now rewarded

with a 93-point rating.

More patience is still required for SA’s first Assyrtiko to bear

fruit. The drought- and wind-resistant grape from the Greek

island of Santorini, where vines planted in igneous soils are

famously trained in ‘koulara’ baskets, has found a new home

in SA thanks to Gary and Kathy Jordan of Jordan Wines in

Stellenbosch. In 2019 they planted vines on a stony hilltop

with a north-facing aspect, strong south-easterly winds, and

soil consisting of broken-up granite. ‘Assyrtiko must be planted

in sight of the sea – which ours is, overlooking False Bay – and

some of the vines will be trellised while the others will be

trained into baskets,’ says Jordan. ‘So far it’s looking good!’

120 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


STARS

– & WINE –

Courteney Cox:

“Just like in other areas,

women bring a fresh

perspective to wine”

She was in her early twenties when she appeared on camera for the first time in 1984,

swaying her hips in front of Bruce Springsteen in the memorable video clip of

‘Dancing in the Dark’ by Brian de Palma. It would get her instantly noticed.

Ten years later, Martha Kaufmann, co-writer and producer of the series ‘Friends’,

gave her the role of Monica Geller. It was a life-changer and she went on to become a global

star. While waiting for her big comeback in 2022 in a new opus of ‘Scream’,

the beautiful Alabama native speaks to us about wine emphatically and with conviction...

Interview by Frank Rousseau, our correspondent in the United States

Photographs: all rights reserved

With her sun-kissed beauty and magnetic eyes, this Alabama native

has always been close to nature and the simple things in life

It has often been said and/or written that wine is

men’s business. Is this still true in your opinion?

I think there are still many sommeliers who tend to

have a man taste a freshly opened bottle of wine rather

than a woman! The same applies when you are invited

to the homes of some “conservative” people, who still

think that a woman’s “job” is to watch over the roast in

the oven while the man is in charge of getting the wine

from the cellar! But mentalities are of course changing.

I once chatted with a woman who had taken over her

father’s business because he no longer had the strength

to look after his vines. It wasn’t the man’s sons who

took over but his daughter. To perpetuate his legacy,

she had gone as far as to study oenology at university.

Her father had only given hands-on, practical training

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 121


STARS

– & WINE –

and in her eyes, that was not enough. I think deep

down she knew she had to prove herself. As her every

move was now being scrutinised, she equipped herself

to equal and even surpass men!

After the success of Friends, she found fame again in the ‘Cougar Town’

series where she plays a gregarious middle-aged woman determined

to have a good time

What do you think women contribute to the wine

business?

Whether they are cellar masters, oenologists, winegrowers,

sommeliers or winemakers, they bring a

fresh perspective to wine. There is no denying that

women are capable of taking more risks, of being more

enterprising and launching genuinely novel projects.

From the container to its contents, including the shape

of the bottle, the design of the label, the blends, etc.,

they like to think outside the box. And that’s not

just true of the wine world. For gastronomy, design,

painting or whatever, women take a decidedly more

modern, more enterprising approach to things!

Drinking wine on her own is out of the question – she loves to share it with

her friends, and has been known to drink it in the kitchen!

But what about you, Courteney, what is your intimate

relationship with wine?

I don’t really see the point of uncorking a bottle on

your own! That is so sad! It’s a bit like booking a

table in a top restaurant and eating all by yourself! I

love to “enjoy life”, with my friends from ‘Friends’ for

example. Matt (LeBlanc) has travelled a lot. He tells

us about the wines he has tasted all over the world.

Jennifer (Aniston) really knows her stuff and she can’t

stand men who talk down to her about wine. Lisa

(Kudrow) married a Frenchman. Consequently, she

only has eyes for the wines produced in her beloved’s

home country. But of all of us, the one who knows the

most about wine is David (Schwimmer). A few years

ago he played a sommelier in a series called ‘Feed the

Beast’. To be credible on camera, he trained with one of

the best sommeliers in New York. I’m not saying that

David would be able to write a thesis on wine, but one

thing is for sure, the person who tries to palm him off

with a basic wine in place of a grand cru hasn’t been

born yet!

122 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


CONTACT

– DETAILS –

CIGARS – PAGES 8 – 9

• Don Rodrigo Cigars Geneva

+41 (78) 749.51.69

www.donrodrigocigars.com

CHAMPAGNE – PAGES 10 – 26

• Champagne Besserat de Bellefon :

Tel. +33 3 26 78 52 16 -

www.besseratdebellefon.com

• Champagne Bollinger:

Tel. +33 3 26 53 33 66 -

www.champagne-bollinger.fr

• Champagne Gosset:

Tel. +33 3 26 56 99 56 -

www.champagne-gosset.com

• Champagne Mandois:

Tel. +33 3 26 54 03 18 -

www.champagne-mandois.fr

• Champagne J. M. Gobillard & fils:

Tel. +33 3 26 51 00 24 -

www.champagne-gobillard.com

• Champagne de Barfontarc:

Tel. +33 3 25 27 07 09 -

www.champagne-barfontarc.com

• Champagne Dom Caudron:

Tel. +33 3 26 52 45 17 -

www.domcaudron.fr

• Champagne Maurice Vesselle

+33 3 26 57 00 81 -

www.champagnemauricevesselle.com

RHONE VALLEY – PAGES 28 – 35

• Maison Ogier: Tel. +33 4 90 39 32 41 -

ogier.fr

• Domaine Martin:

Tel. +33 4 90 37 23 20 -

domaine-martin.com

• Domaine des Arches:

Tel. + 33 4 75 27 11 00 -

domaine-des-arches.com

• Château de l’Isolette:

Tel. +33 4 90 74 56 79 -

chateau-isolette.fr

VINS DE FRANCE – PAGES 36 – 44

• Famille Bougrier:

Tel. + 33 2 54 71 31 02 -

www.famille-bougrier.fr

• Barton & Guestier:

Tel. + 33 5 56 95 48 00 -

www.barton-guestier.com

• Les Domaines Auriol:

Tel. + 33 4 68 58 15 15 -

www.saint-auriol.com

• Domaine Poiron-Dabin:

Tel. + 33 2 40 06 56 42 -

www.poiron-dabin.com

• Badet Clément: Tel. +33 3 80 61 46 31 -

www.badet-clement.com

• Domaine de l’Ermitage:

Tel. + 33 2 48 26 87 46 -

www.delafarge.com

• SARL Paquet-Montagnac:

Tel. + 33 3 79 35 00 10 -

www.paquet-montagnac.com

BORDEAUX – PAGES 45 – 51

• Château Palais Cardinal:

Tel. +33 5 57 24 32 27 -

palais-cardinal.fr

• Château Tour Castillon:

Tel. +33 5 56 41 54 98 -

www.vignoblespeyruse.com

• Château Tourteau Chollet:

Tel. + 33 5 56 67 47 78 -

www.lesvignoblesdemaxime.com

• Domaine de Lauranceau:

Tel. +33 9 62 39 81 95 -

www.montagnevin.fr

BORDEAUX – PAGES 52 – 55

• Vignobles Roux: Tel. +33 5 56 61 98 93

- www.vignobles-roux.com

CIDERS – PAGES 56 – 63

• Ferme de la Sapinière:

Tel. + 33 2 31 22 40 51-

www.fermedelasapiniere.com

• Cidrerie Kerloïck: Tel. +33 2 96 34 80 14 -

www.kerloick.bzh

• Cidrerie Viard: Tel. + 33 2 31 92 09 15 -

www.cidrebayeux.com

• Cidrerie Kerisac:

Tel. + 33 2 40 87 61 55 -

www.kerisac.com

• Cidre Val de Rance:

Tel. 33 + 2 96 83 20 02 -

www.valderance.com

• Les Celliers de l’Odet:

Tel. + 33 2 98 59 63 45 -

www.chateau-lezergue.com

• Cidrerie de la Brique:

Tel. + 33 2 33 40 19 27 -

www.cidrerielabrique.com

• Maison Sassy: Tel. + 33 6 77 62 79 88 -

www.maison-sassy.com

• Cidre Le Brun: Tel. + 33 2 98 54 42 25 -

www.cidrelebrun.com

HUNGARY – PAGES 64 – 73

• Samuel Tinon: Tel. +36 20 994 0032 -

http://samueltinon.com

• Holdvölgy: Tel. +36 70 391 46 43 -

https://holdvolgy.com

• Barta Pince: Tel. +36 30 324 2521 -

https://bartapince.com

• Erzsébet Pince: Tel. +36 20 802 0137 -

https://erzsebetpince.hu

• Kikelet Pince: Tel. +36 30 636 9046 -

www.tokajkikelet.hu

• Oremus: Tel: +36 20 251 2240 -

https://www.temposvegasicilia.com/

en/terroirs/5/tokaj-oremus

• Zoltán Demeter: Tel. +36 20 806 0000 -

https://www.demeterzoltan.hu/en/

SPAIN – PAGES 74 – 83

• Alta Alella: Tel. +34 937 689 307 -

https://altaalella.wine

• Clos Montblanc: Tel. +34 977 887 030 -

https://closmontblanc.com

• Bodegas Valdeorite:

Tel. +34 670 466 894 -

https://bodegavaldeorite.com

• Castell Sant Antoni:

Tel. +34 93 818 30 99 -

https://castellsantantoni.com

• Costers Del Sio: Tel. +34 973 424 062 -

www.costersio.com

• Ramon Canals: Tel. +34 93 775 54 46 -

www.ramoncanals.com

• Raventos Codorníu:

Tel. + 34 93 818 32 32-

www.raventoscodorniu.com

PORTUGAL – PAGES 84 – 89

• Casa Santos Lima:

Tel. +351 263 760 621 -

https://casasantoslima.com


PUGLIA – PAGES 90 – 99

• Amastuola: Tel. +39 099 990 80 25 -

www.amastuola.it

• Conti Zecca: Tel. +39 0832 925613 -

https://contizecca.it

• Cantina Due Palme:

Tel. +39 0831 617865 -

www.cantineduepalme.wine

• Podere Don Cataldo - Angelo Rocca &

Sons: Tel. +39 039 650151 -

https://poderedoncataldo.com

WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 123


CONTACT

– DETAILS –

• Tenute Al Bano Carrisi:

Tel. +39 0831 619211 -

www.vinicolalbano.com

PROSECCO – PAGES 100 – 110

• Piera 1899: Tel. +39 0434 963100 -

https://piera1899.com

• Montelvini: Tel. +39 0423 8777 -

www.montelvini.it

• Villa Sandi: Tel. +39 0423 8607 -

www.villasandi.it

• Serena Wines: Tel. +39 0438 2011 -

www.serenawines.it

• La Tentia Winery - Zardetto Spumanti:

Tel. +39 080 6450707 -

www.latentiawinery.com

• Le Manzane: Tel. +39 392 5162811 -

www.lemanzane.com

• Bacio Della Luna:

Tel. +39 0423 983111 -

www.baciodellaluna.it

• Montelliana Winery:

Tel. +39 0423 22 661 -

www.montelliana.com

• La Marca: Tel. +39 0422 814681 -

www.lamarcaprosecco.com

• Riondo Wineries:

Tel. +39 045 6104346 -

www.cantineriondo.com

SOUTH AFRICA – PAGES 111 – 120

• Anthonij Rupert Cape of Good Hope

Wines: Tel. +27 21 874 9041 -

www.capeofgoodhopewines.com

• Bosman Family Vineyards:

Tel. +27 21 873 3170 -

www.bosmanwines.com

• Bouchard Finlayson:

Tel. +27 28 312 3515 -

www.bouchardfinlayson.co.za

• Cape Point Vineyards:

Tel. +27 21 789 0900 -

www.cpv.co.za

• Cavalli Wine & Co:

Tel. +27 21 855 3218 -

www.cavalliestate.com

• Creation Wines:

Tel. +27 28 212 1107 -

www.creationwines.com

• Dornier Wines: Tel. +27 21 880 0557 -

www.dornier.co.za

• Hazendal: Tel. +27 21 903 5034 -

www.hazendal.co.za

• Jasper Raats Single Vineyard Wines:

Tel. +27-21-855-2005 -

www.jasperraats.co.za

• Kaapzicht: Tel. +27 21 906 1620 -

www.kaapzicht.co.za

• Laarman Wines:

Tel. +27 83 546 1146 -

www.laarmanwines.com

• Merwida Wines:

Tel. +27 23 349 1144 -

www.merwida.com

• Newton Johnson Wines:

Tel. +27 28 312 3862 www.

newtonjohnson.com/contact

• Overgaauw Estate:

Tel. +27 21 881 3815 -

www.overgaauw.co.za

• Twee Jonge Gezellen:

Tel. +27 23 230 0680 -

www.kronecapclassique.co.za

• Waverley Hills: Tel. +27 23 231 0002 -

www.waverleyhills.co.za

• Jordan Wine Estate

+27 21 8813 441-

www.jordanwines.com

7, parc des Fontenelles - 78870 Bailly - France

Tel.: +33 1 30 80 08 08 - Fax: +33 1 30 80 08 88

Editorial Directors: François Gilbert and Philippe Gaillard

Editor in chief: Sylvain Patard

Tasting committee: François Gilbert, Philippe Gaillard, Sylvain Patard,

François Bezuidenhout, Olivier Delorme, Matthieu Gaillard, Jamal Awni

Rayyis, James Turnbull

Editorial staff: Michèle Huyard

Contributors to this issue: Camille Bernard, Jean-Paul Burias, Alain Echalier,

Joanne Gibson, Florian Glémot, Santiago Jiménez, Sylvain Patard, Frank Rousseau,

Francesco Saverio Russo, Christelle Zamora.

Translation: Sharon Nagel, Rosa Almeida - CS Traduções, Marika Quarti

Sales and Marketing Director: Etienne Gaillard : +33 6 30 97 87 26

etienne@gilbertgaillard.com

Advertising France:

Bordeaux - Charentes:

Frédéric Comet: +33 6 27 58 47 06 - fcomet@gilbertgaillard.com

Corsica - Languedoc - Provence - Rhône Valley:

Nicolas Sanseigne: +33 6 46 86 80 01 - nsanseigne@gilbertgaillard.com

Jura - Loire Valley - Savoy - South West - Roussillon:

Caroline Gilbert: +33 6 84 92 57 61 - caroline@gilbertgaillard.com

Alsace -Beaujolais - Burgundy - Champagne:

Lucie Jeandel: +33 6 77 72 16 04 - ljeandel@gilbertgaillard.com

Advertising Italy:

Sandra Sirvente: (+33) 7 63 87 13 13 - ssirvente@gilbertgaillard.com

Advertising Spain, Portugal:

Thibault Leray: (+33) 6 84 01 57 24 - tleray@gilbertgaillard.com

Production: Isabelle Méjean-Plé - Tapioka Conseil: +33 1 34 62 89 30

Lay-out: Lise Delattre - Com l’Hirondelle: +33 9 81 47 75 25

Murielle Guégan - Impactea Concept: +33 6 59 32 08 65

Printed in Spain: Matthieu Battini - Carré Collé: +33 6 87 27 12 65

Gilbert & Gaillard Tasting South-Africa: Petru Venter, General Manager:

+27 82 787 1784 - petru@gilbertgaillard.com -

Olivier Duroy, Area Manager: +27 72 389 1083 - oduroy@gilbertgaillard.com

Matthieu Gaillard, Brand Ambassador: +27 66 429 9219

International Distribution:

Pineapple Media Ltd - http://www.pineapple-media.com

For more information, please contact Ana Gisbert:

ana@pineapple-media.com

Gilbert & Gaillard is published by Vinipresse, SARL with a capital of 35,500 euros • Head Office: 7 parc des Fontenelles, 78870 Bailly, France • Legal

representative and Editorial director: Sylvain Patard • Legal deposit: Fourth quarter 2021 • Legal publication n° pending • ISSN 2110-6762

Reproduction of part or all of the contents of this magazine in any form is expressly prohibited. Any company names that appear in the articles are given

for information only and have no publicity purpose.

124 WINTER 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


Pages 126 to 138

TOP WINES

OUR SELECTION

— CHAMPAGNE - CAVA - PROSECCO ROSÉ - SPARKLING WINES - HUNGARY —

The best of WINTER 2021

Our Winter 2021 selection, tasted and rated by our tasting panel, is featured on pages 126 to 138. As usual,

we have chosen to present wines by region (CHAMPAGNE, PROSECCO...), then by appellation in each region,

with each company or chateau listed in alphabetical order, and finally by tasting scores in descending order.

THE TASTING PANEL

FRANCE

FRANCE

FRANCE

Philippe Gaillard

Olivier Delorme

James Turnbull

François Gilbert

SOUTH AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA

Sylvain Patard

Matthieu Gaillard

François Bezuidenhout

Wine scores

Our tasting notes are scored on a 100 point scale, which gives

enough range to evaluate every characteristic that we taste in a

wine. Below are the different levels that make up this scoring:

95-100/100: an outstanding wine, when a great “terroir” meets

exceptional winemaking expertise.

90-94/100: a superlative wine combining finesse, complexity and

remarkable winemaking.

85-89100: a wine of extremely high standard, which we enjoyed for its

typicity and character.

80-84/100: a quality wine combining balance, structure and neatness for

a pleasurable wine drinking experience.

75-79/100: a wine deemed acceptable.

70-74/100: a wine with defects, unacceptable.

65-69/100: a wine with major defects, inadmissible.

50-64/100: unacceptable wine, not worthy for sale.

Note: wines scoring less than 75/100 are not included in our publications.

Wine characteristics

■ RED WINE

■ DRY WHITE WINE

■ SWEET WHITE WINE

ORG: Organic Wine.

■ SPARKLING BRUT

■ SPARKLING EXTRA-BRUT

■ SPARKLING BRUT ROSE

CONV: In the process of converting to organic

production.

CR: This statement refers to sensible farming methods

where use of inputs or agri-chemicals are restricted.

These include fertilisers or other crop protection

products, the aim being to limit their impact on the

environment to a minimum.

HVE: This French endorsement guarantees that all of the

agricultural practices used across the farm safeguard the

natural ecosystem and reduce environmental pressure –

on the soils, water and biodiversity, for example – to a

minimum.

AGEABILITY

D= DRINK NOW D= DRINK NOW OR KEEP D= KEEP

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CHAMPAGNES

OUR WINTER

SELECTION

Our absolute must-read 2021 selection

of the 76 best labels from across the

Champagne spectrum, all of them rated

90/100 and above.

CHAMPAGNE GOSSET 98/100

D Brut - Celebris 2008 : Light orangy hue. Mature

nose showing great complexity with a mix of ripe red

berry fruit notes, orange peel and toast. The palate is

complex yet ethereal and distils the same racy aromas

over impressive length.

Price: € 175.00

http://www.champagne-gosset.com

Champagne Gosset

+33 3 26 56 99 56

CHAMPAGNE BOLLINGER 97/100

CR D Brut PN VZ16 : Appealing light gold. Very

delicate nose of red berry fruits. The palate shows a

texture that is ethereal yet fleshy with measured vinosity

and tension supporting aroma. Very long finish of red

berry fruits.

Price: € 90.00

http://www.champagne-bollinger.fr

Champagne Bollinger

+33 3 26 53 33 66

CHAMPAGNE PERRIER-JOUËT 97/100

D Brut Belle Epoque 2013 : Magnificent glistening

light gold. The nose is delicate yet expressive and

complex with a white fruit note, floral and biscuit touch.

The palate shows more of the same and is silkily textured

with remarkable tension and full-on aromas. Stunning.

Price: € 142.00

http://www.perrier-jouet.com

Champagne Perrier-Jouët

+33 3 26 53 38 00

CHAMPAGNE PERRIER-JOUËT 96/100

D Brut rosé Belle Epoque 2012 : Beautiful pale

orangy colour. The nose delivers a mix of toast and

citrus fruits. Wonderfully textured, very elegant palate

with the same aromas becoming more powerful through

to the finish. This is a rosé Champagne for fine dining

pairing with sweetbreads.

Price: € 250.00

http://www.perrier-jouet.com

Champagne Perrier-Jouët

+33 3 26 53 38 00

CHAMPAGNE BOLLINGER 95/100

CR D Brut rosé : Beautiful pale orangy hue.

Deliciously aromatic nose midway between ripe

orange and biscuit notes. The palate is very silky and

echoes the citrus nose aromatics. Beautiful freshness on

the finish rekindles aromatic expression in this versatile

rosé Champagne.

Price: € 64.00

http://www.champagne-bollinger.fr

Champagne Bollinger

+33 3 26 53 33 66

CHAMPAGNE DRAPPIER

96/100

■ Brut Grande Sendrée 2010

CONV D Brilliant pale gold. Expressive, compelling

nose intermixing fresh fruits and a roasted coffee

touch. The attack on the palate is intense with lots of

character, weight and freshness. The finish is chiselled

and persistent with a saline touch. Art at its finest.

Price: € 82

PRESENTATION : The estate’s 57 hectares of vines are

located in the heart of the Côte des Bar, on Urville hill.

Planted by the Gallo-Romans in the early modern era, the

vines were some of the first to be farmed by Cistercian

monks from Clairvaux Abbey. Fast forward to the 20th

century and Maison Drappier’s claim to fame is that it was

the supplier of a prestigious neighbour, namely General

de Gaulle. Pinot noir accounts for the lion’s share of the

vineyards, with 70%, along with equal shares of

Chardonnay (15%) and Pinot Meunier. These are

complemented by Champagne’s heirloom grape varieties

that are Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Blanc Vrai and

Fromenteau. Maison Drappier produces very distinctive

Champagnes showing extremely consistent quality and

spending time in its splendid 12th-century vaulted cellars.

This is a top quality Champagne house which bowls us

over with this remarkable ‘Grande Sendrée 2010’ label.

Tel.: +33 3 25 27 40 15

E-mail: info@champagne-drappier.com

Website: http://www.champagne-drappier.com

CHAMPAGNE COLLET 95/100

D Brut 1er cru Esprit Couture 2012 : Lovely brilliant

light gold. The nose is extremely delicate and displays

red fruit, brioche and biscuit aromas. The palate offers

up a marvellous combination of density, freshness and

expression with intense, persistent, noble aromas.

Price: € 145.00

http://www.champagne-collet.com

Champagne Collet

+33 3 26 55 15 88

CHAMPAGNE DE SAINT-GALL 95/100

D Brut blanc de blancs grand cru Orpale 2008

: Beautiful brilliant yellow-gold. The nose is intense

yet delicate with toast tones and shows incredible

precision. Good freshness, intensity and finesse on

the palate. A superlative Champagne offering a great

rendition of its quality provenance.

http://www.de-saint-gall.com

Champagne de Saint-Gall

+33 3 26 57 94 22

CHAMPAGNE G.H. MUMM 95/100

D Brut blanc de blancs grand cru - RSRV - Cuvée

Reservée 2014 : Appealing pale gold with green tints.

The nose shows white flowers and meadow aromas

on first pour with more mineral scents after airing.

The palate is firmly rooted in the same, terroir-driven

aromatic spectrum. This is a top-flight Chardonnay

pairing with roast turbot.

Price: € 72.00

http://www.mumm.com

Champagne G.H. Mumm & Cie

+33 3 26 49 59 69

CHAMPAGNE GOSSET 95/100

D Brut Grand Blanc de Blancs : Brilliant, clear pale

hue. Delicate toast on the nose with chicory accents

and a subtle touch of pastry. The palate is silky yet

tense with aromas perfectly showcased by freshness.

Very purely styled.

Price: € 52.00

http://www.champagne-gosset.com

Champagne Gosset

+33 3 26 56 99 56

CHAMPAGNE MAURICE VESSELLE 95/100

D Extra brut grand cru Les Hauts Chemins 2011

: Beautiful clear, yellow-gold. Mature nose of berry

stone fruits. The palate is very full at point of entry with

pleasant softness and a tension that carries aroma over

considerable length. Set aside for delicacies.

http://www.champagnemauricevesselle.com

Champagne Maurice Vesselle

+33 3 26 57 00 81

CHAMPAGNE BESSERAT DE BELLEFON 94/100

D Brut blanc de blancs grand cru : Beautiful clear,

pale yellow. Stellar quality fruit on the nose which is

then augmented by elegant toast tones. Incredible

completeness, fullness, intensity and complex, persistent

aromas on the palate of this consummate Champagne.

Price: € 49.00

http://www.besseratdebellefon.com

Champagne Besserat de Bellefon, depuis 1843

+33 3 26 78 52 16

For a detailed explanation of scores and wine

colours and the meaning of symbols and abbreviations,

refer to the instructions mentionned on

page 125.

126

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CHAMPAGNE COLLARD-PICARD 94/100

CR D Extra brut grand cru blanc de blancs - Dom.

Picard : Clear light gold. Delicate nose marrying pastry,

white fruit and biscuit notes. The palate combines lovely

weight, freshness and ripe fruit aromas that linger. A

very successful Champagne that would work wonders

with shellfish.

Price: € 37.00

http://www.champagnecollardpicard.fr

Champagne Collard-Picard

+33 3 26 52 36 93

CHAMPAGNE G.H. MUMM 94/100

D Brut blanc de noirs grand cru RSRV - Cuvée

Réservée 2012 : Beautiful golden hue. Vinous nose of

ripe red berry fruits. The palate is fleshy and robust and

showcases more of the same opulent aromas. A foodfriendly

Champagne that would make a great match

for sweetbreads.

Price: € 83.00

http://www.mumm.com

Champagne G.H. Mumm & Cie

+33 3 26 49 59 69

CHAMPAGNE GEORGES VESSELLE 94/100

CR D Brut Nature Grand Cru 2013 : Lovely brilliant

yellow-gold. Intense nose of ripe red fruits with a subtle

biscuit tone. The palate swings pleasantly from vinosity

to freshness and tension and shows more of the same

chiselled and very persistent aromas. Such purity!

Price: € 29.10

http://www.champagne-vesselle.fr

Champagne Georges Vesselle

+33 3 26 57 00 15

CHAMPAGNE COLLARD-PICARD 93/100

CR D Extra brut Archives 2012 : Pale gold. The

nose is expressive and delicate with floral, dried fruit

and sweet spice tones. The palate is very fresh and also

shows intensity and real elegance. This is a top-flight

Champagne for a gourmet meal.

Price: € 155.00

http://www.champagnecollardpicard.fr

Champagne Collard-Picard

+33 3 26 52 36 93

CHAMPAGNE DEVAUX 93/100

D Brut D Millésimé 2009 : Very pale yellow. Very

pure, delicate nose showing almond and white fruit

tones and a floral touch. Extremely pure expression

on the palate with very energetic aromas that offer

real persistent fruitiness on the finish. A successful

Champagne.

Price: € 69.00

http://www.champagne-devaux.fr

Champagne Devaux

+33 3 25 38 30 65

CHAMPAGNE GEORGES VESSELLE 93/100

CR D Brut rosé grand cru : Beautiful light orangy

hue. Delicate, elegant nose offering up ripe strawberry

tones and a faint tangy touch reminiscent of orange.

The palate shows textbook expression, balance and

softness. Lovely intense finish where the citrus perfumes

are more upfront.

Price: € 26.30

http://www.champagne-vesselle.fr

Champagne Georges Vesselle

+33 3 26 57 00 15

Prices mentioned in this book are guideline

and can vary depending on point of sale.

The shops, wineries or publisher can in no way

be held responsible for this.

CHAMPAGNE MAURICE VESSELLE 93/100

D Extra brut grand cru 2008 : Attractive light gold.

Extremely elegant nose where a subtle pastry tone

rapidly flows into red fruits. Right off the bat, the palate

is very powerful with intense aromas and sustained

freshness. A very invigorating Champagne.

Price: € 37.00

http://www.champagnemauricevesselle.com

Champagne Maurice Vesselle

+33 3 26 57 00 81

CHAMPAGNE PAUL DÉTHUNE 93/100

D Brut blanc de noirs grand cru : Brilliant yellowgold.

The nose shows seductive intensity driven by red

fruit tones and a novel exotic touch. The palate offers

up great complexity with an extensive array of aromas

which introduces spice. This is a gourmet food-style

Champagne.

Price: € 52.00

http://www.champagne-dethune.com

Champagne Paul Déthune

+33 3 26 57 01 88

CHAMPAGNE BEAUMONT DES CRAYÈRES 92/100

D Brut Fleur Blanche 2013 : Beautiful light gold.

Very pure nose of white fruits coupled with a floral tone

and very elegant toast touch. Remarkable softness,

freshness and aromatic intensity that stays sustained

through to the finish.

Price: € 39.00

http://www.champagne-beaumont.com

Champagne Beaumont des Crayères

+33 3 26 55 29 40

CHAMPAGNE ETIENNE OUDART 92/100

CR D Brut Nature Cuvée Juliana 2009 : Beautiful

light gold. Expressive yet delicate nose delivering super

ripe fruit tones and a pastry note. Seductive throughout.

An ample attack shows lots of lushness, expression and

volume. This is a very complete Champagne for food.

Price: € 64.00

http://www.champagne-oudart.com

Champagne Etienne Oudart

+33 3 26 59 98 01

CHAMPAGNE GREMILLET 92/100

D Brut Cuvée Evidence : Beautiful pale gold.

Expressive nose of white fruits tinged with floral touches.

The palate beguiles with its fleshy style, its freshness,

crispness and persistent finish. A successful Champagne

that works best with food.

Price: € 50.50

http://www.champagnegremillet.fr

Champagne Gremillet

+33 3 25 29 37 91

CHAMPAGNE INFINITE EIGHT 92/100

D Brut N°8 : Beautiful vibrant, yellow-gold. Very

elegant nose marrying white fruit notes, biscuit and

a subtle smoky touch. The palate is silky and mouthcoating

with freshness supporting aromas. A very

successful Champagne for fish.

Price: € 33.60

Champagne Infinite Eight

+33 6 08 61 53 41

CHAMPAGNE J. M. GOBILLARD & FILS 92/100

D Brut blanc de noirs : Beautiful yellow-gold. Highly

expressive fruity nose in a very clean style. Beautifully

balanced freshness, vinosity and aromatic intensity

on the palate. The finish is long, moreish and very

energetic.

Price: € 20.20

http://www.champagne-gobillard.com

Champagne J. M. Gobillard & fils

+33 3 26 51 00 24

CHAMPAGNE DE BARFONTARC

92/100

■ Brut Un Voyage dans nos Coteaux 2015

CR D Beautiful yellow-gold with amber tints. Delicate

nose offering up accents of white fruits with a faint

jammy touch of raspberry and blueberry. The palate is

very vinous and full-bodied with more of the same very

noble aromas. Pair with caviar. Price: € 54.90

PRESENTATION : In 1962, a handful of winegrowers

established this House in Baroville and created

Champagne De Barfontarc. Located in the North-East

of the Côte des Bar, near Bar-sur-Aube, its vineyards

encompass nearly 130 hectares on clay-limestone

soils. The varietal range is typical of the region with

90% Pinot noir and 10% Chardonnay. Over the

hillsides of Baroville, Fontaine, Arconville and

Dolancourt, each winegrower pampers their vines to

produce the finest possible quality, using

environmentally sensitive, sustainable vineyard

techniques. The company’s cellar master and

winemakers then play their part in their state-of-the-art

facilities, crafting Champagnes that aim to honour the

character and style of the House.

Tel.: +33 3 25 27 07 09

E-mail: champagne@barfontarc.com

Website: http://www.champagne-barfontarc.com

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CHAMPAGNE CHARLES ELLNER

92/100

■ Brut Séduction 2007

D Beautiful brilliant yellow-gold. Delicate nose marrying

ripe fruits with a toast tone, sweet spices and tobacco.

The palate is beautifully textured and very expressive with

richness and freshness supporting throughout. This is a

food-friendly Champagne. Price: € 30

PRESENTATION : Founded by Charles-Emile Ellner in

1905, this house is still family-run. It farms a sizeable

50-hectare vineyard spread over 15 localities, giving it

significant independence in terms of supplies. Pierre

Ellner continued to build on his father’s legacy,

establishing the quality to which Champagne Charles

Ellner owes its excellent image. Pierre’s four sons –

Jacques, Michel, Jean-Pierre and Philippe – subsequently

took over yet continued to uphold the founders’ spirit.

Jean-Pierre and his wife now manage the company, with

the help of the fourth generation. Emmanuelle and

Alexandra are tasked with marketing, communications

and administration, whilst Frédéric and Arnaud are in

charge of the vineyards and work in the winery.

Together, and with the same motivation, they have

introduced the changes required for the family-owned

company to meet the needs of today’s markets,

modernising the production facilities in Epernay whilst

safeguarding the family’s traditions and spirit.

Tel.: +33 3 26 55 60 25

E-mail: info@champagne-ellner.com

Website: http://www.champagne-ellner.com

CHAMPAGNE J. M. GOBILLARD

& FILS

92/100

■ Brut Privilège des Moines - Élevé en Fût de

Chêne

CR D Light gold. Delicate nose of fresh oak and

sweet spices. The attack on the palate is chiselled and

perfumed and showcases pleasantly mature aromatics

with a welcome saline touch on the finish. This is a

Champagne for gourmet foods. Price: € 25

PRESENTATION: In the heart of Champagne, 5

kilometres from Epernay, the village of Hautvillers overlooks

vineyards. It is home to the abbey where, in around

1681, Dom Pérignon created the first Champagne

bubbles. This incredible figure made it the most famous

village in the entire region. Boasting 30 hectares of

owned vineyards complemented by an extra 125

supplied by grape purchase contracts with vine growers

selected for their expertise, Champagne J.M. Gobillard &

Fils produces 1.5 million bottles annually, 50% of them

exported. This thriving family-run company expertly

combines passion, entrepreneurship and proficiency, from

work in the vineyard through to marketing. In 2021, the

house was awarded HVE level 3 certification (High

Environmental Value) for all of its vineyards.

Tel.: +33 3 26 51 00 24

E-mail: ccontact@champagne-gobillard.com

Website: http://www.champagne-gobillard.com

CHAMPAGNE JEAN VESSELLE 92/100

CONV D Brut Nature L’Expression Nature : Yellowgold.

Delicate nose showing accents of red berry

fruits that become more intense. The palate is vinous

and intense and mimics the same heady aromatics

of ripe raspberry. A very accomplished, food-friendly

Champagne.

Price: € 24.00

http://www.champagnejeanvesselle.fr

Champagne Jean Vesselle

+33 3 26 57 01 55

CHAMPAGNE JEEPER 92/100

D Brut blanc de blancs Grande Réserve : Beautiful

light gold. The nose is delicate with white fruit tones

and a subtle toast touch. The palate is very soft with

melt-in-the-mouth effervescence and persistent, chiselled

aromas. A very elaborate Champagne for the most

delicately flavoured foods.

Price: € 45.00

http://www.champagne-jeeper.fr

Champagne Jeeper

+33 3 26 05 08 98

CHAMPAGNE MARCELLIN BEAUFORT 92/100

CR D Extra brut grand cru : Beautiful, high-shine

yellow-gold. Mature nose of dried herbs and dried straw

with a subtle pastry touch. The palate is seductively silky

with strict aromatics and unwavering tension punctuated

by a persistent finish. Pairs with sweetbreads.

Price: € 26.55

La Commanderie Diffusion

+33 6 07 10 91 18

CHAMPAGNE MAURICE VESSELLE 92/100

D Extra brut grand cru Cuvée Réservée : Beautiful

golden hue. Very typical, expressive nose marrying

red fruits and biscuit notes. The palate delivers a

very successful combination of vinosity, freshness and

aromatic expression. A versatile Champagne that is

equally suitable as an appetiser or with food.

http://www.champagnemauricevesselle.com

Champagne Maurice Vesselle

+33 3 26 57 00 81

CHAMPAGNE ODIL MORET 92/100

CR D Brut Cuvée Désiré 2014 : Beautiful clear,

light gold. Clean, precise nose with berry stone fruit

tones. The palate is vinous on the attack then fresh

and expressive, with the finish adding some delicate

sweet spice tones. An extremely racy, food-friendly

Champagne.

Price: € 24.00

Champagne Odil Moret

+33 3 26 52 81 65

CHAMPAGNE POINTILLART LEROY 92/100

CR D Brut 1er cru Corps et Esprit : Beautiful,

brilliant light gold. The nose gradually opens up to

mineral, saline and fruity tones. The palate displays real

character. It is dynamic, fresh and very fruity with a

more mineral, terroir-centric finish.

Price: € 25.50

Champagne Pointillart-Leroy

+33 3 26 49 77 24

CHAMPAGNE PRESTIGE DES SACRES 92/100

CR D Extra brut 30 & 3 : Beautiful bright golden

hue. Gorgeous, intense nose marrying white fruit tones

with toast and pastry touches. This slightly exuberant

character carries through to the palate. A rich,

consummate Champagne pairing with shellfish.

Price: € 35.40

http://www.champagne-prestigedessacres.com

Champagne Prestige des Sacres

+33 3 26 03 63 40

128

WINTER 2021– GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


FRANCE - Champagne

CHAMPAGNE RÉMI HENRY 92/100

CR D Brut Nature Grand Cru Age d’Or-Magnum

1995 : Beautiful light gold. Mature nose of jammy fruits

and ripe fig with a touch of almond paste. The palate

shows more of the same with very complex aromatics

coupled with lots of freshness. Long finish suffused with

citrus fruits, sweet spices and lime.

Price: € 280.00

Champagne Rémi Henry

+33 3 26 57 82 13

CHAMPAGNE A. VIOT & FILS 91/100

CR D Brut blanc de blancs Cuvée du Centenaire

2014 : Beautiful, brilliant light gold. Delicate nose of

white fruits coupled with a toast tone bordering on

pastry. Wonderful ripe, fruit-forward attack flowing into

great tension and an ample, saline finish. Pairs with

grilled shellfish.

Price: € 42.00

Champagne A. Viot & Fils

+33 3 25 27 02 07

CHAMPAGNE ANTHONY BETOUZET 91/100

CONV D Brut Instinct 2013 : Beautiful brilliant light

gold. Very expressive nose marrying red fruit and wafer

tones. The palate is fruity, focused and very generous

with delightful red berry fruit overtones. A pure, festive

Champagne.

Price: € 27.90

Champagne Anthony Betouzet

+33 7 82 39 69 19

CHAMPAGNE BÉATRIX DE GIMBRES 91/100

CR D Brut 1er cru Terroir : Brilliant golden hue.

Pleasant nose of ripe fruits coupled with a fairly heady

touch. Remarkably delicate texture on the palate, silky

and expressive with a very distinctive saline finish.

Genuinely fulfilling.

Price: € 25.00

Champagne Béatrix de Gimbres

+33 3 26 02 97 67

CHAMPAGNE BEAUMONT DES CRAYÈRES 91/100

D Brut Fleur de Prestige - Coeur de cuvée 2012

: Beautiful brilliant yellow-gold. Ripe fruit on the nose

marrying white fruits and a toast tone. Invigorating,

perfumed palate that also shows lovely persistency. A

generous Champagne in a food-friendly style.

Price: € 37.30

http://www.champagne-beaumont.com

Champagne Beaumont des Crayères

+33 3 26 55 29 40

CHAMPAGNE COLLET 91/100

D Brut rosé : Lovely brilliant orangy hue. Nose of

red fruits, biscuit and ripe orange tones. The palate

reveals a velvety rosé with mature aromas that beguiles

with its balance and persistent fruitiness. A top-flight

rosé Champagne.

Price: € 36.00

http://www.champagne-collet.com

Champagne Collet

+33 3 26 55 15 88

CHAMPAGNE DENIS BOVIÈRE 91/100

CR D Brut blanc de noirs grand cru : Bright strawgold.

A mix of pastry notes, white fruits, dried fruits and

wild strawberries on the nose. Elegant vinosity, tangy

freshness and clean aromatic expression make the

palate very comforting. Pairs with top quality fish.

Price: € 19.50

Champagne Denis Bovière

+33 3 26 49 43 40

CHAMPAGNE DEVAUX 91/100

D Brut Cuvée D : Pale yellow. Intense fruity nose

with a red berry fruit slant. Beautiful, very velvety attack

on the palate, very mouth-filling mid-palate with a fresh,

silky feel. A very pure Champagne for a festive aperitif.

Price: € 40.00

http://www.champagne-devaux.fr

Champagne Devaux

+33 3 25 38 30 65

CHAMPAGNE G. BOUTILLEZ-VIGNON 91/100

CR D Brut 1er cru Cuvée Prestige : Glistening

yellow-gold. Expressive, rich nose marrying white fruits

with a more pastry-like tone. The palate is generous,

very expressive and silky with a moreish saline finish.

More of a food-friendly Champagne.

Price: € 18.60

Champagne G. Boutillez-Vignon

+33 3 26 97 95 87

CHAMPAGNE GREMILLET 91/100

D Extra Brut Rosé Vrai : Deeply coloured, brilliant

light red. Red berry fruits on the nose gradually

delivering quite ripe aromatics. Beautiful quality fruit on

the palate is showcased by creamy effervescence in this

very successful rosé Champagne.

Price: € 43.50

http://www.champagnegremillet.fr

Champagne Gremillet

+33 3 25 29 37 91

CHAMPAGNE HAUTBOIS 91/100

CR D Extra brut Haut’bsession 2012 : Appealing,

brilliant light gold. Intense nose of red berry fruits

coupled with a mature tone bordering on pastry. The

palate is fleshy and framed by creamy effervescence.

A Champagne that is rich yet fresh and shows good

length.

Price: € 65.00

http://www.champagne-hautbois.com

Champagne Jean-Pol Hautbois

+33 3 26 48 20 98

CHAMPAGNE J. M. GOBILLARD & FILS 91/100

CR D Brut blanc de blancs Chardonnay : Glistening

yellow-gold. Expressive nose with precise fruit tones,

notes of ripe apple and pear, white peach and a fine

biscuit touch. Truly satisfying palate with tension that

enhances the same subtle perfumes.

Price: € 20.20

http://www.champagne-gobillard.com

Champagne J. M. Gobillard & fils

+33 3 26 51 00 24

Very picturesque views out over the vineyards in the village of Hautvillers, near Epernay

WINTER 2021 – GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 129


FRANCE - Champagne

CHAMPAGNE JEEPER 91/100

D Brut Grand rosé : Very pale orangy hue. Highly

expressive fruity nose offering up a fusion of apple,

pear and citrus fruits. The palate displays heady, tangy

fruit aromatics that are fairly powerful and taut. A very

distinctive rosé Champagne.

Price: € 50.00

http://www.champagne-jeeper.fr

Champagne Jeeper

+33 3 26 05 08 98

CHAMPAGNE LE GOUIVE PÈRE ET FILS 91/100

D Extra brut Les Houies : Pale gold. Delicate nose

offering up white fruit and biscuit tones. Saline, smooth,

expressive palate delivering freshness yet also richness

and a very creamy feel. Would pair with grilled

shellfish.

Price: € 28.50

Champagne Le Gouive

+33 3 26 59 75 69

CHAMPAGNE MANDOIS 91/100

CONV D Brut blanc de blancs 1er cru 2016

: Beautiful clear, light gold. Very endearing nose

of white fruits flowing into a subtle pastry tone. The

palate immediately beguiles with its freshness and silky

effervescence. The finish is convivial, persistent and

very intense.

Price: € 31.00

http://www.champagne-mandois.fr

Champagne Mandois

+33 3 26 54 03 18

CHAMPAGNE MICHEL ARNOULD & FILS 91/100

D Extra brut rosé grand cru La Saignée 2016 :

Brilliant deep pink. Suggestions of super ripe cherry

and raspberry on the nose. The palate shows a novel

personality with very pure red fruit. A fleshy style with

lovely aromatic persistency. A gourmet-food-friendly

rosé Champagne worth trying with game.

Price: € 36.00

http://www.champagne-michel-arnould.com

Champagne Michel Arnould & Fils

+33 3 26 49 40 06

CHAMPAGNE PAUL DÉTHUNE 91/100

D Extra brut grand cru : Clear light gold. The nose

is intense and precise with a successful combination

of red berry fruits and biscuit. The palate is generously

styled, very aromatic and displays elegance, intensity

and good length.

Price: € 32.00

http://www.champagne-dethune.com

Champagne Paul Déthune

+33 3 26 57 01 88

CHAMPAGNE POINSOT FRÈRES 91/100

CR D Brut - Grand Héritage - Vieilles Vignes :

Beautiful light gold. Compelling nose marrying white

fruits and a crisp pastry tone. Very full at point of entry

with very pleasant aromatic intensity. This is a highly

accomplished food-friendly Champagne.

Price: € 23.00

Champagne Poinsot Frères

+33 3 25 29 66 18

CHAMPAGNE SCHREIBER 91/100

ORG D Brut Grande Cuvée : Beautiful brilliant

yellow-gold. Nose of ripe red fruits coupled with a

pastry tone. The palate is in the same vein with a fleshy

edge and lots of freshness enhancing aroma through to

the finish. A very distinctively styled wine.

Price: € 45.00

Champagne Schreiber

+33 3 25 38 22 95

CHAMPAGNE VIGNON PÈRE & FILS 91/100

D Extra brut grand cru L’Aura 2012 : Beautiful pale

gold. Elegant nose, fairly subtle even with floral and

sweet spice tones. The palate is very ample, full-bodied

and generous. This is a beautiful gastronomy-style

Champagne that would work with, say, shellfish.

https://www.champagne-vignon.com/fr/

Champagne Vignon Père & Fils

+33 3 26 49 80 39

CHAMPAGNE ALBIN MARTINOT 90/100

HVE D Brut Clin d’Oeil Finesse : Beautiful light

gold. Delicate, refined nose accented by red berry fruits

with toast-like undertones. The palate is very elegant

and controlled with chiselled aromas. A Champagne

showing great complexity.

Price: € 24.50

http://www.champagne-albin-martinot.fr

Champagne Albin Martinot

+33 3 25 29 83 49

CHAMPAGNE ANTHONY & CLÉMENCE TOULLEC 90/100

HVE D Extra brut 1er cru blanc de blancs : Bright,

light gold. Pleasant nose of white fruits coupled with a

subtle toast tone. The palate is very soft, light and fresh.

This is a very palatable Champagne that works equally

well as an aperitif or with food.

Price: € 31.00

Champagne A&C Toullec

+33 6 77 11 02 67

CHAMPAGNE CANARD-DUCHÊNE 90/100

ORG D Extra brut P. 181 : Beautiful yellow-gold.

Very pure nose accented by candied fruits entwined

with a toast tone. The palate shows great character

and features the same subtle, persistent aromas. A

Champagne offering delicate expression.

Price: € 27.50

http://www.canard-duchene.fr

Champagne Canard-Duchêne

+33 3 26 61 11 60

CHAMPAGNE CHARLES COQUET 90/100

D Brut grand cru Dandy : Beautiful brilliant golden

hue. Intense, compelling nose marrying red berry fruits

with a biscuit tone. The palate is savoury with very

mature, intense, persistent aromas that linger on and

on. A gourmet-food-friendly Champagne.

Price: € 39.00

Champagne Charles Coquet

+33 3 26 57 07 87

Harvesting in Verzenay, a 100% Grand Cru classified village in the Montagne de Reims

130

WINTER 2021– GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


FRANCE - Champagne

Dom Caudron’s impressive winery in Passy-Grigny, Marne

CHAMPAGNE COMTESSE LA FÉE 90/100

D Brut 2009 : Bright yellow-gold. Subtle nose

opening up after airing to lemony and faintly toasted

tones. The palate is tense, fresh and young and shows

character and good balance. A full-bodied, foodfriendly

Champagne for red mullet.

Price: € 27.90

Stella 51000

+33 6 44 74 11 18

CHAMPAGNE DE BARFONTARC 90/100

CR D Brut La Vigne au Roy 2013 : Beautiful light

gold. Open nose of dried fruits with an elegant pastry

tone. The palate is accomplished and rich with aromas

that are mature but boast lovely freshness. A foodfriendly

Champagne working with, say, sweetbreads.

Price: € 26.90

http://www.champagne-barfontarc.com

Champagne de Barfontarc

+33 3 25 27 07 09

CHAMPAGNE ELEXIUM TROUILLARD 90/100

D Brut rosé Brillant : Light orangy hue. Very

endearing nose of ripe red fruits with blood orange.

The palate is extremely fruity and gratifying with a

fresh, velvety feel. This is a tense and very expressive

Champagne with real appeal.

Price: € 21.60

http://www.champagne-trouillard.fr

Champagne Trouillard

+33 3 26 55 37 55

CHAMPAGNE FAŸ-BERJOT 90/100

D Brut Cuvée Félicien : Beautiful light gold. Very

indulgent nose marrying white fruits and a fresh hazelnut

note. The palate is pleasantly fleshy with the same crisp

aromas flowing through. An intense, ripe, slightly exotic

and very unusual style.

Price: € 14.50

Champagne Faÿ Berjot

+33 3 23 70 21 53

CHAMPAGNE FENEUIL COPPÉE 90/100

CR D Brut 1er cru Sélection : Beautiful brilliant light

gold. Pleasant nose marrying fresh hazelnut and white

fruits with a creamy tone. The palate is fresh, fleshy

and very expressive with a clean array of aromas

punctuated by a saline touch on the finish.

Price: € 17.40

http://www.champagne-feneuilcoppee.com

Champagne Feneuil Coppée

+33 3 26 97 66 72

CHAMPAGNE GERMAR BRETON 90/100

CR D Extra brut 2014 : Beautiful pale gold. Delicate

nose accented by flowers entwined with a toast tone.

The palate is very appealing, tense and aromatic. It is

beautifully textured with aromas released on the finish.

A Champagne now fully at its peak.

Champagne Germar Breton

+33 3 25 27 73 03

CHAMPAGNE JEAUNAUX-ROBIN 90/100

CONV D Brut Nature Eclats de Meulière : Beautiful

light gold. Pleasant nose midway between mineral,

smoky and fruity notes. The palate is nicely textured,

very silky and delicate. The aromas are clean and quite

persistent with a very pleasant, faint saline touch on

the finish.

Price: € 31.00

http://www.champagne-jr.fr

Champagne Jeaunaux-Robin

+33 3 26 52 80 73

CHAMPAGNE LUCIEN ROGUET 90/100

D Brut grand cru N° 1 Tradition : Beautiful yellowgold.

Very fruity, very pure nose accented by apple,

pear and fresh grape. The palate is very harmonious,

dense and soft with seductive fruit characters. Beautiful

lingering, crisp finish with delicate saline flavours.

http://www.champagne-lucien-roguet-grandcru.com

Champagne Lucien Roguet

+33 3 26 49 41 36

CHAMPAGNE MANDOIS 90/100

CONV D Brut blanc de noirs 2015 : Beautiful light

gold. The nose offers up subtle red berry fruit aromas of

raspberry. The palate combines vinosity, silkiness and

chiselled fruit expression with a fresh finish. Beautiful.

Price: € 31.00

http://www.champagne-mandois.fr

Champagne Mandois

+33 3 26 54 03 18

WINTER 2021 – GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 131


— CHAMPAGNE - CAVA - PROSECCO ROSÉ - SPARKLIN

FRANCE - Champagne

BS_CUVEES_G&G_N°46_Mise en page 1 04/12/2021 10:50 Page 4

The best of WINTER 2

Our Winter 2021 selection, tasted and rated by our tasting panel, is feat

we have chosen to present wines by region (CHAMPAGNE, PROSECCO

with each company or chateau listed in alphabetical order, and finally b

CHAMPAGNE MATHIEU-GANDON 90/100 scallops for full enjoyment.

CR D Brut Saveur : Appealing brilliant light gold.

Delicate nose accented by ripe red berry fruits. The

palate is seductively vinous with weight and aromatic

Price: € 21.00

Champagne Rousseaux Daye

+33 3 26 49 43 66

intensity. This is a Champagne with all the requisite

CHAMPAGNE SORET-DEVAUX 90/100

attributes for pairing with food.

D Brut Tradition : Brilliant light gold. The nose is

Price: € 27.00

expressive, chiselled and marries white fruit and dried

Champagne Mathieu-Gandon

fruit aromas. The palate is fleshy, vinous and perfumed.

+33 3 26 51 96 18

It gains in intensity through to the finish which shows

CHAMPAGNE MICHEL ARNOULD ET FILS 90/100 remarkable THE persistency. TASTING PANEL

D Brut grand cru Carte d’Or 2015 : Beautiful light

gold. Very clean, pleasant fruity nose with more of a

Price: € 19.90

https://champagnesoretdevaux.pagesperso-orange.fr/

accueil.html

white fruit focus. The palate is fresh, fleshy and fruity.

Champagne Soret-Devaux

This is a lively Champagne that would make the perfect FRANCE

+33 3 25 27 12 55

partner for appetisers or a buffet.

FRANCE

Price: € 26.60

CHAMPAGNE TAISNE RIOCOUR 90/100

http://www.champagne-michel-arnould.com

Champagne Michel Arnould & Fils

+33 3 26 49 40 06

D Brut 2014 : Brilliant light gold. Nose of red berry

fruits mainly focusing on ripe raspberry. The palate is

very clean with a forthright attack and focused, ripe

CHAMPAGNE Philippe PATRICE Gaillard

aromatics. The finish is persistent with the very clean fruit

GUAY 90/100

notes flowing through.

D Extra brut Mont Aulin 2016 : Yellow-gold.

Olivier Delorme

James Turn

Mature nose of dried herbs, mineral tones and a Champagne Taisne Riocour

touch of biscuit. The palate is dense and driven by +33 3 25 29 64 37

lovely freshness delivering more of the same distinctive

aromas. A powerful, food-friendly Champagne. SOUTH CHAMPAGNE AFRICA TROUILLARD 90/100SOUTH AFR

Price: € 43.00

Champagne Patrice Guay

+33 3 26 57 67 66

CR D Brut Chardonnay : Beautiful brilliant yellowgold.

Distinctive, delicate nose of white flowers and

hazelnut. The palate shows real typicity, freshness

and silkiness. This is a versatile Champagne, equally

CHAMPAGNE ROUSSEAUX DAYE 90/100 suitable as an aperitif, with a buffet or with fish.

D Brut blanc de blancs grand cru RD 3 : Beautiful Price: € 21.40

light gold. Nose of citrus fruits and ripe lemon. A very http://www.champagne-trouillard.fr

clean style on the palate supported by freshness and Matthieu Champagne GaillardTrouillard

François Bezuid

developing quite elegant lemony aromatics. Pair with +33 3 26 55 37 55

FRANCE

Sylvain Patard

CHAMPAGNE DOM CAUDRON

90/100

■ Extra brut Sublimité MPC

D Light gold. Very well-balanced, ripe fruity nose with

subtle floral and herbal tones. The palate is very silky,

soft and expressive with mature aromatics energised

by toast tones and faint sourness on the finish.

Price: € 80

PRESENTATION : Champagne Dom Caudron was

founded in 1929. With complete control over production,

from the vineyard to the wine glass, it now boasts 90

winegrowers who produce terroir-driven Champagne

crafted from 130 hectares under vine located across the

hillsides of the Marne Valley around Passy-Grigny. Pinot

Meunier is the iconic grape variety in this western part of

Champagne and accounts for 80% of acreage. The

vineyard sites of Passy-Grigny, which are perfectly suited to

this varietal, naturally favoured the production of Blanc de

Noirs, allowing Pinot Meunier to fully reveal its roundness

and intense fruitiness, creating the perfect match for the Dom

Caudron style.

Tel.: +33 3 26 52 45 17

E-mail: champagne@domcaudron.fr

Website: http://www.domcaudron.fr

Wine scores

Our tasting notes are scored on a 100 point scale, which gives

enough range to evaluate every characteristic that we taste in a

wine. Below are the different levels that make up this scoring:

95-100/100: an outstanding wine, when a great “terroir” meets

exceptional winemaking expertise.

90-94/100: a superlative wine combining finesse, complexity and

remarkable winemaking.

85-89100: a wine of extremely high standard, which we enjoyed for its

typicity and character.

80-84/100: a quality wine combining balance, structure and neatness for

a pleasurable wine drinking experience.

75-79/100: a wine deemed acceptable.

70-74/100: a wine with defects, unacceptable.

65-69/100: a wine with major defects, inadmissible.

50-64/100: unacceptable wine, not worthy for sale.

Note: wines scoring less than 75/100 are not included in our publications.

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132

WINTER 2021– GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE

WINTER 2021 -


SPAIN - Catalonia

SPAIN

OUR WINTER

SELECTION

An exceptional line-up of Spanish

sparkling wines that can compete with

the best, both for their quality and their

very affordable price tags!

CATALONIA

CAVA D.O.

ALTA ALELLA 91/100

ORG D Brut nature - Mirgin Opus - Paratge

Calificado Vallcirera 2016 : Vibrant pale gold. Racy

nose marrying white-fleshed fruits and subtle toast and

milky notes. Silky attack then an ample, plump and

lively palate showing lovely intensity with citrus and

spice touches and subtle chalky undertones. A beautiful,

genuine wine.

Price: € 16.90

http://www.altaalella.wine

Alta Alella

+34 934 693 720

ALTA ALELLA 90/100

ORG D Brut nature Gran Reserva Laieta 2017 :

Brilliant pale gold. Expressive nose combining citrus,

cooked apple and fern. Fresh, balanced palate flowing

through from the nose. Streamlined style with striking

aromas and well-integrated effervescence. A nicely

crafted Cava.

Price: € 9.50

http://www.altaalella.wine

Alta Alella

+34 934 693 720

LAR DE PLATA 90/100

D Brut Nature : Yellow-gold with brilliant highlights.

Nose of white fruits and small flowers with menthol

touches. This is a beautifully crafted, clean, vinous

Cava with gorgeous flavours showing throughout the

lengthy finish. Serve with an entire summer’s meal.

Big Food & Beverage

+34 649648931

LAR DE PLATA 90/100

D Brut : Bright yellow-gold. The nose shows a young,

fresh style with pastry notes of butter and brioche, along

with ripe white fruits. A stellar Cava that will appeal to

even the most demanding palates. Lots of tension and

substantial minerality on the finish.

Big Food & Beverage

+34 649 648 931

CODORNIU 90/100

D Brut Gran Reserva Ars Collecta Grand Rosé 2015

: Appealing salmon-pink. Stellar quality fruit on the nose

with a ripe strawberry tone coupled with a slightly more

bitter touch recalling almonds. The palate is fairly lively

yet balanced and fleshy. Aroma is nicely enhanced by

freshness.

Price: € 17.00

http://www.grupocodorniu.com

Raventos Codorniu

+34 935 051 551

PROYECTO CU4TRO 90/100

D Brut Nature Premium Reserva 2016 : Light yellow

with brilliant highlights. Ripe nose accented by stewed

white fruits with a resin-like touch. Elegant, mature

palate that is fleshy, fruity and fresh with mouth-coating

maturity. A full-bodied, food-friendly dry sparkling wine

for goat’s cheese and honey.

Price: € 11.72

http://www.closmontblanc.com/

Bodegas Concavins

+34 977 887 030

RAMON CANALS 90/100

ORG D Reserva Organic Rosé 2018 : Brilliant light

salmon. Subtle nose marrying morello cherry and red

fruits. Focused, fresh, light palate where citrus fruits

cosy up to red fruits. Striking aromas supported by

bold exuberance. A harmonious, delicate wine offering

undeniable pleasure.

Price: € 10.00

https://www.ramoncanals.com/en/

Ramon Canals Canals, S.A.

+34 937 755 446

CASTELL SANT ANTONI 89/100

D Brut Nature Rosé Gran Rosat 2012 : Beautiful

hue recalling fading heirloom roses with very fine

bubbles. Promising nose of red fruits coupled with

superb empyreumatic notes. Delicious palate redolent

of redcurrant jam with brioche notes. Excellent sourness

on the finish.

Price: € 16.95

https://castellsantantoni.com/

Castell Sant Antoni

+34 93 818 3099

ROVELLATS 89/100

D Brut rosé Imperial Reserva 2017 : Intense pink

with salmon highlights. Pleasant nose melding cherry,

red fruits, spicy and floral touches. Harmonious, ample,

refreshing palate with pure, intense aromas. Everything

is in place. Sense of fulfilment. Serve with cold meats.

Price: € 12.70

http://www.cavasrovellats.com

Rovellats

+34 934 880 575

No, this is not Champagne but the cellars of a winery producing Cava!

LAR DE PLATA 88/100

D : Shimmering salmon-pink with pale blush

highlights. Very refined nose of raspberries and

redcurrants. Clean, free-flowing attack. This is a freshlystyled,

crisp wine with great grip on the palate. Serve

as an aperitif or with fruit desserts.

Big Food & Beverage

+34 649 648 931

PROYECTO CU4TRO 88/100

D Brut Bubbles 2019 : Pale gold with silvery

highlights. The nose is driven by citrus, white fruits,

raisins and a floral touch. Thirst-quenching palate

with simple, satisfying fruit supported by invigorating

freshness that stays fairly elegant. Share with friends.

Price: € 7.50

http://www.closmontblanc.com/

Bodegas Concavins

+34 977 887 030

GRAN SELLO 87/100

D Brut rosé : Brilliant salmon-pink. Pleasant nose of

redcurrant and rhubarb with a floral touch. Beautiful

perfumed attack offering up some finely spiced notes.

Delicious, fleshy, clean palate with abundant, wellintegrated

effervescence. An enjoyable, beautifully

crafted cava.

https://www.araex.com/es/

Araex

+34 945 150 589

MONT PARAL 87/100

ORG D Brut Vintage Rosé 2017 : Salmon-pink with

blush highlights and fine bubbles. Nose of redcurrant

and raspberry with sweet spice touches. The attack is

tense, firm and crisp, it mimics the nose and is enhanced

by a faint sourness. Enjoy with fruit-based desserts.

Price: € 10.00

https://www.ramoncanals.com/en/

Ramon Canals Canals, S.A.

+34 937 755 446

WINTER 2021– GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 133


SPAIN - Valence

MONT PARAL 87/100

ORG D Brut Vintage - Organic Farming - Rosé

2018 : Clear pale pink. The nose shows very distinctive

candy and floral aromas (violet, primrose) with a red

berry fruit note. The palate is soft, slender and refreshing

with pared down bubbles, delicate effervescence and

silky fruit. Bringing softness to the world of fizz.

Price: € 13.00

https://www.ramoncanals.com/en/

Ramon Canals Canals, S.A.

+34 937 755 446

PROYECTO CU4TRO 87/100

D Brut Bubbles Rosé 2019 : Orangy-pink. Nose

of strawberry and raspberry coulis. Soft palate with

delicate fruitiness revolving around a silky mouthfeel.

The finish stays fresh and inviting. A dry rosé sparkling

wine pairing with red fruit soup.

Price: € 8.00

http://www.closmontblanc.com/

Bodegas Concavins

+34 977 887 030

CASTELL SANT ANTONI 86/100

D Brut rosé Jazz Nature 2018 : Beautiful orangy

pink with light blush highlights and very fine bubbles.

Nose of red fruits with fine herbal notes. Lively and

expressive on the attack, enhanced by mild tobacco

touches. Freshness marks the mid-palate and finish.

Drink as an aperitif.

Price: € 12.95

https://castellsantantoni.com/

Castell Sant Antoni

+34 93 818 3099

Walls of bottles of Cava spend time maturing in a cellar near Barcelona

VILLA CONCHI 85/100

D Brut Rosé : Fairly deep orangy-pink. The nose

opens up after airing to red fruit in syrup notes. The

palate is mouth-filling, indulgent and generous yet fresh

with pleasant fruit expression. Serve preferably as a

pudding wine with red fruit tart.

https://www.araex.com/es/

Araex

+34 945 150 589

COSTERS DEL SEGRE D.O.

SIÓS 90/100

D Brut rosé 2017 : Light orangy-pink. Subtle

grapefruit, red fruit and spring flower notes on the nose.

Crystalline palate with very palatable vinosity. The fruit

is satisfying though not effusive but shows real fleshy

softness. Indulgent pleasure.

Price: € 9.70

http://www.costersio.com

Costers del Sio

+34 973 424 062

SIÓS BRUT BLANC DE NOIRS 88/100

D Brut Blanc de noirs Reserva 2015 : Glistening

gold. Nose of orange blossom and white-fleshed fruits

with pastry and hazelnut notes. Powerful, vinous palate

with fruit aromas and a very fleshy finish. A lush, easydrinking

wine for a generously laden table.

Price: € 9.70

http://www.costersio.com

Costers del Sio

+34 973 424 062

VALENCE

ALICANTE D.O.

BODEGAS BOCOPA 88/100

D Marina Espumante Rosado - Seleccion Monastrell

: Deep pink with brilliant highlights and very fine

bubbles. Nose of red berry fruits, menthol and brioche.

Crisp attack driven by fresh fruits. Raspberry-flavoured

boiled sweet accents drive the middle palate of this

wine for pleasure.

Price: € 5.48

http://www.bocopa.com

Bodegas Bocopa

+34 966 950 489

BODEGAS BOCOPA 87/100

D Brut Marina Espumante 10 ° : Brilliant light yellow

with coppery tints and very fine bubbles. The nose shows

fresh grape entwined with brioche notes. Precise, tense

palate developing abundant saline freshness. A thirstquenching

wine for pleasure that makes a great aperitif.

Price: € 5.00

http://www.bocopa.com

Bodegas Bocopa

+34 966 950 489

BODEGAS BOCOPA 86/100

D Marina Espumante 7° : Superb, brilliant pale

yellow with silvery tints and fine bubbles. Crisp fresh

grapes coupled with menthol notes on the nose. An

espumante with a light, free-flowing palate where

sweetness is perfectly counterbalanced by freshness.

Serve at the end of the meal.

Price: € 5.48

http://www.bocopa.com

Bodegas Bocopa

+34 966 950 489

CAVA D.O.

MURVIEDRO 86/100

D Brut Organic Arts de Luna : Salmon-pink with

brilliant highlights and fine bubbles. A mix of floral and

roasted coffee notes on the nose with toast touches.

Lively, crisp attack. The palate mirrors the nose and the

finish is marked by faint sourness which adds freshness.

Price: € 6.00

http://www.murviedro.es/

Murviedro Bodegas

+34 962 329 003

UTIEL-REQUENA D.O.

FINCA SAN BLAS 87/100

D Brut Aguja Ancestral : Brilliant yellow-gold. The

nose offers up a pleasant mix of citrus fruits, wild

flowers and cut herbs. The attack is driven by very lively

bubbles which gradually meld with fruit expression.

Balance and presence. Ideal for an afternoon party.

Price: € 12.00

https://fincasanblas.com/

Finca San Blas

+34 657 192 703

VALENCIA D.O.

PIQUITOS 86/100

D Moscato 2019 : Pale yellow-gold with light green

reflections and very subtle bubbles. Nose of fresh grape

and citrus fruits. Very fruity, savoury palate framed by

softness. Delicate effervescence adds thirst-quenching

freshness. Drink when the summer is at its hottest.

Price: € 7.00

http://www.hammekencellars.com

Hammeken Cellars

+34 96 579 19 67

134

WINTER 2021 – GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


ITALY - Venetian

ITALY

OUR WINTER

SELECTION

The very young Prosecco Rosé

appellation, whose quality has now

been tried and tested, certainly deserved

to be put in the spotlight. This is the

perfect opportunity to discover the 38

finest examples we tasted this year.

FRIULI - VENEZIA GIULIA

PROSECCO D.O.C.

CANTI 91/100

D 2019 : Beautiful pale pink. Very pure, pleasant

nose with floral and candy tones. The palate clearly

focuses on ripe strawberry aromas and is soft yet very

well-balanced. Lovely focus and a very accessible

edge.

http://www.fratellimartini.it/

Fratelli Martini Secondo Luigi

+39 0141 83 7211

LA GIOIOSA 90/100

D Brut 2019 : Beautiful light pink. Pleasant nose

marrying fresh grape tones and red berry fruit aromas.

The same aromatic style carries over to the palate which

shows seductive freshness, fruit and a faint peppery

touch on the finish. A great wine with chiselled aromas.

http://www.villasandi.it

Villa Sandi

+39 0423 665 033

LA MARCA 90/100

D Extra dry Rosé 2019 : Pale pink. Intense nose of

strawberry candy. The palate is fresh and conjures up

the same lifted aromatics. An easy-drinking, lifted style

for the aperitif or fruit-based desserts.

http://www.lamarca.it

La Marca Vini E Spumanti

+39 0422 814 681

REGUTA 90/100

D Extra dry 2020 : Pale salmon with orangy

highlights. Savoury nose intermixing morello cherry,

bread crumb and a floral touch. Consistent palate

suffused with copious, velvety effervescence. Lovely

lightness, delicacy and red fruit and spice notes.

Delicious.

Price: € 6.00

http://www.reguta.it

Reguta

+39 0432 779 157

VILLA SANDI 88/100

D Brut Il Fresco 2019 : Pale pink. Very crisp nose

of red berry fruits. Creamy effervescence on the palate,

softness and red fruit candy overtones. Delightful.

http://www.villasandi.it

Villa Sandi

+39 0423 665 033

CANTINA DI BERTIOLO 86/100

D Extra dry Cabert 2019 : Pale orangy-pink. Nose

of red berry fruits with citrus zest and a confectionery

note. Very supple, very soft palate with delicate, fresh,

layered fruits. A wine for simple enjoyment pairing with

fruit tarts.

Price: € 9.00

Cantina di Bertiolo

+39 0432 917 434

VENETIAN

PROSECCO D.O.C.

ABBAZIA 91/100

D Extra dry Rosé 2020 : Pale salmon with orangy

highlights. Charming nose marrying redcurrant,

strawberry and floral tones. A lively attack ushers in an

airy, well-structured palate displaying deliciously lifted

intensity. Exudes a welcome harmonious and enjoyable

feel throughout.

Price: € 6.50

http://www.abbazia.com

Abbazia di San Gaudenzio

+39 01 41 84 08 08

CLAR DE LUNE 91/100

D Brut Nature 2020 : Pale coppery pink with fine

mousse. Promising nose revealing redcurrant, cherry

and acacia blossom. Ethereal palate with exquisite

perfumes. The style is pared down and very delicate

with nothing that shouldn’t be there. Harmonious

effervescence. Great job.

Price: € 22.00

http://www.pieramartellozzo.com

Piera Martellozzo S.p.A.

+39 0434 963 100

Valdobbiadene, in the heart of the Prosecco appellation

VILLA SANDI 91/100

D Brut 2020 : Light salmon-pink with golden tints.

A combination of stone fruits, strawberry and floral

scents on the nose. Perfumed attack opening up to a

harmonious, lively, light palate with fine, well-integrated

effervescence. Persistent finish driven by red fruits.

Delicious.

Price: € 23.00

http://www.villasandi.it

Villa Sandi

+39 0423 665 033

ANNA SPINATO 90/100

D Brut rosé 2020 : Salmon-pink with brilliant

highlights and very fine bubbles. Suggestions of wild

strawberries and raspberries on the nose with a lick

of toasted brioche. The palate mirrors the nose and is

well-balanced, delivering great freshness on the finish.

Price: € 8.70

http://www.spinato.it

Anna Spinato Azienda Vinicola

+39 0422 857 927

BLU GIOVELLO 90/100

D 2019 : Light pink with copper highlights. Pleasant

nose marrying red fruits and morello cherry with floral

notes and a trace of spice. Aromatic attack followed by

a light palate displaying lovely intensity and harmonious

effervescence. Lots of delicious flavours throughout.

Very enjoyable.

Price: € 15.00

http://www.pieramartellozzo.com

Piera Martellozzo S.p.A.

+39 0434 963 100

BRILLA 90/100

D Extra Dry rosé 2020 : Beautiful pale pink. Focused

nose of red berry fruits. The palate is light and flavourful

with more of the same fruit aromatics and a slightly

sweet, moreish finish. A festive, accessible rosé in a

crowd-pleasing style.

http://www.botter.it

Botter Carlo & C.S.p.A. Casa Vinicola

+39 0421 67 194

WINTER 2021– GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 135


ITALY - Venetian

BS_CUVEES_G&G_N°46_Mise en page 1 04/12/2021 10:50 Page 6

LA MARCA

90/100

■ Extra dry Rosé 2020

D Pale salmon-pink with very fine bubbles. Lovely

nose revealing morello cherry, red fruits and white

flowers. Light, smooth, ample palate enveloping its

elegant aromas in a gorgeous touch of softness. A

very harmonious wine for a summer aperitif.

Price: € 10.90

LA JARA 90/100

ORG D Brut 2020 : Light salmon-pink with fine

bubbles. Inviting nose marrying cherries and red berry

fruits. Ethereal palate suffused with copious, smooth

effervescence. Chiselled, precise fruit flavours and a

harmonious feel in this wine for pleasure.

Price: € 9.90

http://www.terredeibuth.it

Azienda Agricola La Jara

+39 0438 488 290

LA JARA 89/100

ORG D Brut 2019 : Pale pink. The nose marries

floral and boiled sweet notes. The palate is soft and

clearly displays a fruity edge. This is an easy-drinking,

user-friendly style that works best in cocktails or as a

pudding wine.

Price: € 11.90

http://www.terredeibuth.it

Azienda Agricola La Jara

+39 0438 488 290

MONTELLIANA 89/100

D Brut Cornaro : Light pink. Delicate nose of

strawberry candy. Fleshy, indulgent and very fruity

palate which is quite persistent and shows a faint spice

touch on the finish. Charming.

Price: € 5.50

http://www.montelliana.it/

Cantina Sociale Montelliana e dei Colli Asolani sca

+39 0423 22 661

SALATIN 89/100

D Brut rosé 2020 : Pale pink with brilliant highlights

and fine bubbles. Nose of red berry fruits with

menthol touches. Pleasant, lively and refreshing attack.

Harmonious balance and great minerality on the finish.

A Prosecco that shows well as an aperitif.

Price: € 7.10

http://www.salatinvini.com/

Salatin SRL

+39 0438 995 928

SAVIAN BIOWINEMAKER 89/100

ORG D Extra dry 2019 : Pale orange with salmon

highlights. Focused nose recalling red berry fruits and

pear. Invigorating attack leading into an ethereal palate

showing seductive delicacy, generous, well-integrated

effervescence and a lingering finish. A refined Prosecco

for a gourmet aperitif.

Price: € 6

http://www.savianvini.it

Savian Vini - Le Contrade

+39 0422 864 068

BOTTER SPA 88/100

ORG D 2020 : Pale salmon-pink. Pleasurable nose

marrying strawberry, morello cherry and floral perfumes.

Invigorating attack leading into a well-balanced palate

offering a delicate rendition of the nose aromas in an

ethereal style that would be best enjoyed on casual

occasions.

http://www.botter.it

Botter Carlo & C.S.p.A. Casa Vinicola

+39 0421 67 194

IL PONTE 88/100

D Brut rosé 2019 : Pale pink. Delicate, pleasant

nose suggestive of ripe strawberry. More of the same

compelling, festive aromas on the palate. This is a

tense rosé offering up seductive freshness and focused

aromatics which works as an aperitif.

Price: € 10

http://www.viticoltoriponte.it

Viticoltori Ponte

+39 0422 85 82 11

MONTELLIANA 88/100

D Brut Meliora : Light orangy-pink. Nose of red fruit

candy, watermelon and peach. Supple palate with

harmoniously layered although slightly rectilinear fruit.

Delicate bubbles and overall freshness. A simple Brut

rosé for savouring like you would candy.

http://www.montelliana.it/

Cantina Sociale Montelliana e dei Colli Asolani sca

+39 0423 22 661

PRESENTATION : Founded in 1968, La Marca is a

second-level cooperative, which represents about

5000 winegrowers who tend around 15,000

hectares of vineyards, owing to the Group’s 8

wineries all located in the province of Treviso.

Knowledge handed down the years, experience and

professionalism, competence in the field and

commercial strategies are requisites that makes La

Marca a reference point and one of the most

representatives companies in the Prosecco’s field.

Territoriality, cooperation and sustainability are the main

values of the company’s philosophy, which includes

several meanings: environmental, economic, social

and ethic.

Tel.: +39 0422 814 681

E-mail: lamarca@lamarca.it

Website:http://www.lamarca.it

The Glera grape variety, specific to Prosecco, lends it its unique characters

136

WINTER 2021 – GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


1 06/12/2021 10:00 Page 2

ITALY - Venetian

SOLIGO 88/100 VAL D’OCA 87/100

D Brut rosé 2019 : Brilliant salmon-pink. Focused D Extra Dry 2019 : Pale pink. Very pleasant nose of

nose combining apple, strawberry and hawthorn.

TOP WINES ripe strawberry coupled with a peppermint tone. Fleshy

Supple entry then a light, energetic palate. The

structure and beautiful ripe fruit flavours on the palate

aromatic spectrum stays slightly backward but the style

with a more saline touch on the finish adding character.

is elegant and harmonious. Exactly what is needed for

http://www.valdoca.com

family reunions.

Val d’Oca

http://www.collisoligo.com

Cantina Colli Del Soligo Societa Agricola Cooperativa +39 0423 982 070

+39 043 884 00 OUR 92 SELECTION

ZARDETTO 87/100

AMPAGNE VOGA - CAVA - PROSECCO ROSÉ 88/100 - SPARKLING D Extra WINES dry rosé : Pale - HUNGARY salmon-pink. Nose — of candy,

D Extra Dry 2019 : Pale pink. Suggestions of

confectionery, sugared almonds, red fruit and tangerine

red berry fruits, a rose petal note and watermelon. The

palate echoes the delicious nose aromatics with very

notes on the nose. Charming, fleshy palate displaying vibrant fruit, freshness and crispness. A fruit-laden wine

great fruit-driven length. Tangy, moreish finish with

for sharing.

delicate bubbles. A festive wine that works well for any

Price: € 12.95

occasion.

http://www.zardettoprosecco.com

Price: € 10.00

Zardetto Spumanti

http://www.enoitalia.it

Enoitalia - Gruppo Pizzolo

+39 0438 394 969

The best of WINTER 2021

1 selection, tasted and rated by our tasting panel, is featured on pages 126 to 138. As usual,

n to present wines by region (CHAMPAGNE, PROSECCO..), then by appellation in each region,

pany or chateau listed in alphabetical order, and finally by tasting scores in descending order.

aillard

+39 0458 876 200

Pages 126 to 138

MASOTTINA 87/100

D 2019 : Pale pink. Nose of rose petal and red

berry fruits. Very soft, supple palate with compelling,

THE TASTING PANEL

candy-dominant flavours. A youthful style well-suited to

casual occasions for sharing with others.

http://www.masottina.it

Masottina FRANCE

+39 0438 400 775

MONTELVINI 87/100

D 2019 : Pale pink. Nose of red berry fruits recalling

Schenk Italia

strawberry. Matthieu The Gaillard palate is pleasant with freshness François Bezuidenhout

+39 0471 803 311

supporting the fruit and a finish that is not undermined

by sweetness. A harmonious and refreshing wine.

Price: € 5.90

http://www.montelvini.it

Wine scores

tes are scored Montelvini

a 100 point scale, which gives ■ RED WINE

to evaluate +39 0423 every 8777 characteristic that we taste in a

■ DRY WHITE WINE

re the different SERENA levels WINES that 1881 make up this scoring: 87/100

■ SWEET WHITE WINE

D Extra dry Costaross 2020 : Light salmon hue. The

an outstanding nose shows wine, a pleasant when mix a of great blood “terroir” citrus fruits meets and red

ORG: Organic Wine.

emaking expertise. berry fruits. The palate is supple and refreshing with no

great aromatic complexity. A satisfying, easy-drinking

superlative Prosecco, wine combining made a crowd-pleasing finesse, complexity style. and

emaking. Price: € 11.90

http://www.vinicolaserena.com

ine of extremely Serena Wines high standard, 1881 which we enjoyed for its

racter. +39 0438 201 187

uality wine SERENA combining WINES balance, 1881 structure and neatness 87/100 for

D Brut rosé 2020 : Light salmon hue. Nose of red

ine drinking

forest

experience.

fruits and juicy citrus fruits. Fairly rounded, fleshy

ine deemed palate acceptable. which is clean and supported by ripe fruit. The

finish displays the same character. This is a serious wine

ine with defects, unacceptable.

that works well as an aperitif or with a variety of hors

ine with major d’oeuvres. defects, inadmissible.

cceptable Price: wine, € 13.90 not worthy for sale.

http://www.vinicolaserena.com

ss than 75/100 are Serena not included Wines in 1881 our publications.

+39 0438 201 187

ANNA SPINATO 86/100

D Brut 2019 : Pale salmon-pink. Nose of strawberry

candy with a floral edge. Delicate palate opening up

to compelling fruitiness and displaying a more vinous

side laced with savoury sourness. Not really effusive but

pleasantly balanced.

Price: € 12.00

FRANCE

http://www.spinato.it

Anna Spinato Azienda Vinicola

MONTELLIANA 87/100

+39 0422 857 927

D Brut Meliora : Light pink. Soft, enticing nose of red

fruit candy and marshmallow. The palate replicates this BACIO DELLA LUNA François Gilbert 86/100

style precisely Olivier Delorme with lovely tension and lifted yet perhaps James Turnbull D Extra dry 2019 : Very pale pink. Compelling

slightly monolithic aromatics. A compelling rosé. nose of ripe strawberry. The palate is richly styled yet

Price: € 5.50

http://www.montelliana.it/

SOUTH AFRICA

SOUTH balanced AFRICA and offers up seductive aromatic intensity

Cantina Sociale Montelliana e dei Colli Asolani sca

+39 0423 22 661

FRANCE

Sylvain Patard

with fairly pronounced red fruit aromas. Equally suitable

as a pudding wine or in cocktails.

Price: € 7.49

http://www.schenkitalia.it/

Wine characteristics

■ SPARKLING BRUT

■ SPARKLING EXTRA-BRUT

■ SPARKLING BRUT ROSE

CONV: In the process of converting to organic

production.

CR: This statement refers to sensible farming methods

where use of inputs or agri-chemicals are restricted.

These include fertilisers or other crop protection

products, the aim being to limit their impact on the

environment to a minimum.

HVE: This French endorsement guarantees that all of the

agricultural practices used across the farm safeguard the

natural ecosystem and reduce environmental pressure –

on the soils, water and biodiversity, for example – to a

minimum.

AGEABILITY

D= DRINK NOW D= DRINK NOW OR KEEP D= KEEP

CANTINE CLARA C 86/100

D Brut Fiori di Prosecco 2020 : Beautiful light

salmon-pink. Nose of red berry fruits augmented by

citrus tones after airing. The palate is perfumed and

very energetic in a very fresh style. Shows well on its

own or in a cocktail.

Price: € 9.90

http://www.clarac.it

Cantine Clara C

+39 0438 18 99 995

CANTINA PRODUTTORI VALDOBBIANE 85/100

D Extra Dry 2019 : Pale pink. Very soft nose of

red berry fruits accented by ripe strawberry. More of

the same rounded style on the palate with pleasant

freshness and recurring strawberry aromas. Set aside

for red fruit puddings.

http://www.valdoca.com

Val d’Oca

+39 0423 982 070

PROSECCO D.O.C. TREVISO

BOSCO DEL MERLOT 89/100

D Brut rosé 2020 : Brilliant salmon hue. Charming

nose combining cherry, red fruits and floral scents.

Sleek palate that beguiles with its delicacy and unfurls

generous, moreish flavours. Impeccably integrated

bubbles. An invitation for sharing.

Price: € 8.90

http://www.paladin.it/

Paladin

+39 0422 76 8167

PALADIN 89/100

D Brut rosé 2020 : Light salmon-pink with fine

bubbles. Rich nose combining red fruits like morello

cherry with a trace of flowers. Airy, concentrated palate

suffused with generous effervescence. Enjoyable lifted

intensity and aromatic persistency. Delicious.

Price: € 8.20

http://www.paladin.it/

Paladin

+39 0422 76 8167

RONFINI 88/100

D Brut rosé 2020 : Pale pink. Delicate nose of

zippy red berry fruits (raspberry, strawberry) with floral

aromatics. Elegant pink bubbles with very smooth,

saline fruit that stays very clean. This is a very earnest

sparkling wine for some delicate pleasure.

Price: € 5.00

http://www.ronfini.com

Cantina Ronfini Leonardo

+39 0438 989 614

GIOL 87/100

ORG D Brut rosé 2020 : Pale pink. On the nose

are aromas of strawberry and boiled sweets which

carry through to the palate where simplicity and red

fruit aromas are the main theme. Enjoy well-chilled as

an aperitif or in cocktails.

Price: € 8.00

http://www.giolitalia.it

Giol

+39 0422 855 032

WINTER 2021 - GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 125

WINTER 2021– GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 137


HUNGARY - Pannon

HUNGARY

OUR WINTER

SELECTION

We round off this issue with a cherrypicked

selection of Hungarian wines,

including some remarkable Tokaji whose

style has undergone a sea-change over

the past few years.

PANNON

SZEKSZARD

HETÉNYI PINCÉSZET 88/100

D Tabornok 2017 : Deep garnet with bricking.

Generous nose combining black fruits, fine spices,

liquorice and subtle oak. Robust, rich palate displaying

lovely nascent depth. Spicy, saline, firm mid-palate.

Perfect for game in a few years\’ time.

Price: € 9.70

https://hetenyipince.hu/en/

Hetényi Pincészet

+36 20 222 8481

HETÉNYI PINCÉSZET 87/100

D Merlot 2017 : Deep garnet with bricking.

Endearing nose exuding black stone fruits, raspberry

and truffle. The palate reveals a robust wine, still firm

and marked by oak influence. The same aromas flow

through with a trace of toast. Keep for a little while

longer.

Price: € 10.00

https://hetenyipince.hu/en/

Hetényi Pincészet

+36 20 222 8481

HETÉNYI PINCÉSZET 86/100

D Kadarka 2020 : Pale red. Subtle nose of red fruits

with a trace of flowers. Ethereal palate showing lovely

freshness and opening up to slightly more open aromas

with notes of raspberry and redcurrant and a crisp

edge. Serve slightly chilled with cold meats.

Price: € 9.00

https://hetenyipince.hu/en/

Hetényi Pincészet

+36 20 222 8481

VILLANY

JAMMERTAL WINE ESTATE 92/100

D Koh-I-Noor Cabernet Franc - Ultimate Selection

2011 : Concentrated colour tinged with garnet-brown.

Nose of mocha, tar, stewed black fruits and generous

forest floor aromas of leaves, mushrooms and leather.

Generous, mouth-coating palate with moderate rustic

characters. Composed tannins and ripe flavours. Pairs

with slow, oven-cooked leg of lamb.

Price: € 65.00

http://jbb.hu/

Jammertal Wine Estate

+36 23 502 110

JAMMERTAL WINE ESTATE 91/100

D Koh-I-Noor 105.6 - Ultimate Selection 2012 : The

colour shows medium concentration with orangy-brick

tints. Nose of mature wine, leather and stewed red and

black fruits with forest floor overtones. The palate stays

nicely austere with ripe fruit, composed tannins and

lovely freshness on the finish leading the way.

Price: € 65.00

http://jbb.hu/

Jammertal Wine Estate

+36 23 502 110

JAMMERTAL WINE ESTATE 90/100

D Cassiopeia Merlot - Grande Sélection 2012

: Light red with orangy tints. Delicate vanilla and

menthol-like nose flowing into forest floor and jammy

black berries. The palate is supported by freshness and

suppleness with a gorgeous fruit and oak core. Smooth

finish with crunchy tannins.

Price: € 28.00

http://jbb.hu/

Jammertal Wine Estate

+36 23 502 110

JAMMERTAL WINE ESTATE 89/100

D Cassiopeia Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 : Light red

with brown reflections. Nose of mocha, liquorice, notes

of undergrowth and stewed berries. Dense palate with

Zsófia Kövesdi and Zsolt Nagy in the vineyards belonging to Jammertal Wine Estate

powerful tannins and ripe, assertive fruitiness. The finish

is nicely warm in a woodland style. A wine for lovers

of muscular reds.

Price: € 28.00

http://jbb.hu/

Jammertal Wine Estate

+36 23 502 110

JAMMERTAL WINE ESTATE 89/100

D Ars Poetica Pinot Noir 2017 : Light red with

garnet reflections. Nose of jammy cherries and wild

strawberries with a sweet spice feel. Supple palate

with moderate tannins, nicely ripe flavours and a spicedominant

finish. A Pinot noir with trademark aromatics.

Price: € 32.00

http://jbb.hu/

Jammertal Wine Estate

+36 23 502 110

TOKAJ

TOKAJ

HOLDVOLGY 97/100

CR D Culture 2013 : Beautiful glistening golden

hue. Intense nose of roast grape and candied fruits

steeped in abundant freshness. The palate offers up a

seamless fusion of concentration, richness and tension.

The finish is clean and explosive with more of a tropical

fruit slant.

Price: € 90.00

https://holdvolgy.com/en/

Holdvölgy

+36 70 419 3059

HOLDVOLGY 91/100

CR D Eloquence 2011 : Bright yellow-gold.

Focused fruity nose recalling pineapple and mango

with a honeyed touch. Concentrated, balanced palate

supported by stellar freshness. A fairly accessible wine

for the aperitif or with foie gras.

Price: € 25.00

https://holdvolgy.com/en/

Holdvölgy

+36 70 419 3059

HOLDVOLGY 90/100

CR D Hold and Hollo Dry 2018 : Clear, light

gold. Delicate nose of almond with a mineral touch.

The same, distinctively mineral aromatics flow through

to the palate which stays sappy and fresh. Hallmark

personality for a food-friendly wine that would show

well with white meats.

Price: € 18.00

https://holdvolgy.com/en/

Holdvölgy

+36 70 419 3059

HOLDVOLGY 90/100

CR D Méditation 2018 : Very bright, beautiful light

gold. Intense fruity nose recalling fresh almond with

a subtle herbal touch. More upfront oakiness on the

palate but also lots of freshness and elegance. A racy,

all-round wine for fish or shellfish.

Price: € 30.00

https://holdvolgy.com/en/

Holdvölgy

+36 70 419 3059

138

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