Boxing Day Battle of the Bubbles

Gibbston Valley Rose Methode

Boxing Day 2020 brought on a battle of the bubbles – two New Zealand Methode Traditionelle versus a French version.. a Vitteaut-Alberti Cremant de Bourgogne. The two kiwis were a 2013 Rosé Methode from Gibbston Valley, and a 2014 Rockferry Rosé Methode. These are all Methode Traditionelle wines, made in the same way as a Champagne. The occasion was a gathering round a table laden with a platter of prosciutto, cheeses, hot-smoked salmon and olives, on a warm post-Christmas evening.

The Gibbston Valley was vibrantly aromatic – raspberry and redcurrant with yeasty notes. Fine bubbles with a tang of crisp acidity. Red apple, apricot and shortbread flavours. A slightly savoury, chalkiness gives a nice balance to the wine – with a delicious long finish. 93pts.

Our Rockferry Rosé showed a softer side, perfumed with pomegranate, strawberry and lemon blossom florals. Also with tiny mousse bubbles, and a delicate balance between a mineral line and sweeter flavours of red cherry, yellow plum and a little zesty lime as more acidity comes towards the back of the palate. 92pts.


Rockferry Rose
Vitteaut Cremant

The French Cremant was the non-rosé option, and was brimming with brioche, almond and elderflower aromas. Bone dry, but sweet tasting on the palate with peach, citrus and crisp pear. Elegant and with a silken texture. The sourdough baking note returns at the finish, which is dry and long, but with a hint of nutty nougat at the end. 92pts.

Overall, I thought the Cremant fared well against the New Zealand counterparts. It’s a taste we’re in tune with – made from Pinot Noir, and has that authentic champagne style that we are now becoming accustomed to, with the best of our kiwi Methodes showing style, finesse and some real ’wow’ in the glass. An interesting taste-off and just underlines, I think, the potential for top-class sparkling wines to take on the big name wines with that special “champagne” word on the label.

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