With summer upon us (just!) and plenty of you asking us for a good value party or wedding Champagne, we decided it would be interesting to invite staff nominations for wines that would fall into the category of ‘You wouldn’t know it wasn’t Champagne’!
We received hundreds of nominations from which we drew up a shortlist of the top 5. These were then voted on to determine the overall winner of the Golden Grape Award. We’re very please to announce the winner of the second Golden Grape Award….
The clear winner with 33% of the overall vote.
“Anderson Valley in Northern California is capable of weather as bleak as Champagne, and it was this seemingly ignominious climate that attracted Roederer during their search for a suitable outpost in the New World. Almost yellow gold in colour, Quartet throws plumes of fine bubbles reminiscent of its older Grand Marque brother. On the nose, lemon and citrus dominate, backed by notes of hot buttered brioche. The palate reflects this with pear characteristics and impressive depth of flavour; a creamy, nutty finish and elegant mousse bely the considerable weight of this fizz. All in all, Roederer’s search was well rewarded and this luxurious sparkler represents incredible value for money in comparison to its Old World siblings.”
James Carey, Manager, Majestic Stratford
Runner-up positions for this category were fiercely fought but this was the end result:
The runner-up with 22% of the vote
“When we were asked to nominate the sparkling that we thought could be most likely mistaken for Champagne, the decision at Majestic Wine Berkhamsted was unanimous: Cloudy Bay Pelorus vintage. The reason being, it is simply delicious! It will rise to every occasion with or without food! It has an elegance, crispness and complexity inherent in a quality sparkling wine. Pelorus Vintage is a complex blend of the classic champagne varieties; pinot noir and chardonnay. Released at four years of age, the style is generous and full-bodied, brimming with richly concentrated fruit and a creamy mousse.”
Rachel Love, Manager, Majestic Berkhamsted
A close third with 19% of staff voting this as their favourite
“Champagne in all but name. Well okay, region too but don’t let that put you off. Try this stunning Aussie sparkler brimming with lots of juicy fruit and plenty of good toasty brioche flavours but with a lightness and delicateness to it that makes it quite refreshing on the palate. This is made by the stellar Champagne house Moët et Chandon and it shows in the level of finesse and quality.”
Ed Liddell, Assistant Manager, Market Harborough
13% for the second Cloudy Bay Sparkling on the list!!
“This excellent sparkling wine, from hugely influential producer Cloudy Bay, really provides you with a lot of bang for your buck! Chardonnay is predominant in the blend, as in some of the best Champagnes, which explains the apple aromas on the nose. The palate, as you’d expect from a sparkling wine with 2 years maturation on yeast lees, is a delightful balance of crisp fresh apple and nutty yeast characters. While amazing with salmon, for pure indulgence, you can’t beat matching this with fish and chips.”
Owen May, Manager, Majestic Bristol
A relative newcomer to the Majestic sparkling stable so a very creditable joint 4th place with another 13% of the votes!
“Have too many movie premiers and Michelin starred restaurant openings left you fed up of the sight of the same old Champagnes? It’s a common problem but the Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir NV from California will put the sparkle back in your eye. This lightly blushed Pinot Noir fizz is laden with strawberry and cherry fruit, whilst brioche and vanilla mingle in the background. The whole wine is tied together by a creamy mouthfeel and a rich, long finish.”
Lawrence Bowden, Manager, Majestic Leith Walk
If you would like to find out more about the Winner and the runners-up for the sparkling wine that you wouldn’t believe wasn’t Champagne, go to our Golden Grape Awards page.