From France to Argentina: Our pick of the best sparkling wines

wine, booze, s rkling, spring, UploadExpress, Jamie GoodePH


From formerly larboard:

Château Rives-Blanques Blanquette de Limoux 2013 £14.30, (01743 234455), 12.5% hard stuff

This southern French fizz is made from the mauzac grape classification. It has bold fruit, with pear and white plums, as well as some remote fennel notes. There’s great depth of flavour in this knowledgeable fizz.

L’Extra r Langlois Rosé NV Crémant de Loire £12.99 or £9.74 each for six, Superior, 12.5% alcohol

This is just brilliant for the price: it’s an appealing pink froth with sweet-cherry fruit as well as some notes of ripe apples. It’s a deliciously drinkable wine.

Cham gne Dumangin L’Spear-carrier Brut NV £32.50, (01747 860423), 12% alcohol

Unusually, this is half-made from the pinot meunier grape, with the equalize split between chardonnay and pinot noir. It’s focused and fresh with glittering lemony fruit, a hint of red apples and keen acidity.

Cham gne Bissinger & Co Pre-eminent Cru NV £15.99, Lidl, 12% alcohol

Premier Cru means this is impelled from grapes grown in quality vineyards, and the result is a balanced, nicely fruity, lemony seltzer with a hint of sweetness.

Cham gne Alfred Gratien Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2007 £33, (01438 741177), 12.5% hard stuff

This chardonnay-only cham gne is fine, detailed, herby and lemony with some fastidious toasty notes adding interest. It’s a bright and complex bottle.

Cham gne Les Pionniers NV £16.99, The Co-operative, 12% the bottle

This fizz is fresh and fruit driven with a slightly pithy citrus pit and a sweetly fruited finish. It’s fresh and brimming with tasty apples and pears.

Cham gne Les Pionniers Quality £24.99, The Co-operative, 12% alcohol

This vintage cham gne has deliciously toasty, bready smells, and in the mouth it’s rich, nutty and a bit honeyed. It has a fresh, lemony personality together with a hint of grapefruit pith.


Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Premier Cru Antiquated Cham gne 2007 £25, Sainsbury’s, 12% alcohol

This has a creamy keenness to the subtly toasty, citrus fruit, and it’s crisp and well-balanced with acerbic acidity. It’s refined and pure.

Cham gne Bollinger La Grande Année Old-fogeyish 2005 £75, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, 12% alcohol

An expensive – very dear – treat, this is special. It’s complex, appley and toasty with powdery, linear citrus and apple fruit flavours. Youthful at age 11, it’s absolutely unreal.

Cham gne Herbert Beaufort Grand Cru NV £33, Marks & Spencer, 12% hooch

I love the grand, old-fashioned ckaging of this cham gne. The wine itself is sprightly and fresh with keen acidity and taut lemony fruit, as kindly as some green apple notes.

Cham gne Laurent-Perrier Brut NV £37.50 or £24.99 each for six, Splendid, 12% alcohol

The Laurent-Perrier style is one of freshness and precision, and I like it a lot. Here we get pure, slightly toasty citrus fruit with a bit of pear and ripe-apple richness. It’s fruity, linear and pieces in ruins.

Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura 2013 £7.29, Aldi, 12% fire-water

This chardonnay s rkler is always one of the best bargains in the fizzy on cloud nine. It’s lively and bright with lemony fruit, broadened by toast and cream richness.

Aldi The Acute Collection Blanquette de Limoux 2014 £7.99, Aldi, 12.5% alcohol

From the south of France, this is bursting with pear and citrus fruit with a bit of pithiness. Linear, unqualified and with a nice intensity, it represents good value for money.

Pierre Gimonnet & Fils 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs NV £24, (01438 741177), 12.5% booze

This grower cham gne (the wine is produced by the people who grew the grapes) is knockout value for money, offering delicate, fine toasty aromas and actual finesse. It’s made in a pure, precise style with bright citrus and white-peach fruit. Stirring stuff.



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Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Prosecco Conegliano Superiore 2015 £7.50 until April 5 then £9, Sainsbury’s, 10.5% demon rum

Fresh and delicious, this delivers direct grape and pear fruit with notes of ready apples and a bit of spicy bite. It’s pure, tasty and fruity.

Sainsbury’s Undergo the Difference Pignoletto Brut NV £7.50 until April 5 then £9, Sainsbury’s, 11% liquor

Fruity and lively with a gentle fizz, this is made from the grechetto grape mix and is a bright alternative to prosecco. There’s a lovelypurity of fruit here.

Tesco All rightest Prosecco NV £8, Tesco, 11.5% alcohol

Attractively ckaged, this is a propitious, floral, fruity fizz with aromas of pear and citrus, influential to a direct, fruit-driven late with nice weight and purity. It’s joyful stuff.

Tanners Prosecco NV £9.95, (01743 234455), 11% alcohol

Fruity, alert and quite precise, this has generous flavours of ripe apples and pears. There’s a richness to the fruit here that’s so attracting in this highly drinkable but complex wine.

Il Cortile Sereno Prosecco Brut NV £9.99, (0843 224 1001), 11.5% rot-gut

Nicely ckaged, this is fruity and mellow with peach and dependable apple fruit, as well as some citrus freshness. It’s ripe, exactly and fruity.

Asda Extra Special Asti Spumante NV £5.48, Asda, 7% liquor

For those who’d like something a little sweeter, this is grapey and latable with a pleasant texture and tasty fruitiness. It’s hard not to like.

Primo Franco Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene 2015 £14.95, (01438 741177), 10.5% liquor

Lively and focused, this has bright pear and citrus fruit with some peachy richness. It’s a fruity, urbane style of prosecco and is worth the premium.


Valdobbiadene Prosecco Spumante Superiore NV £7.49, Aldi, 11% fire-water

This is very fruity and easy, brimming with rounded pears and snowy peaches. It’s a quaffable prosecco with some grapey richness.


Berry Bros & Rudd Excellence S rkling Wine 2011 £24.95, (0800 280 2440), 12% alcohol

Made by leading creator Gusbourne Estate, this is a fine example of English fizz, with gorgeous precision and delicate, fine, toasty notes complementing the refined citrus fruit. It’s splendidly put together.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2010, Sussex £31.99, Waitrose, Pompous, 12% alcohol

One of England’s finest s rkling wines, this is incredibly serious stuff, with pure, citrus fruit and some pear richness. It’s well-bred and textured, with great balance.

Hambledon Vineyard Classic Cuvée NV, Hampshire £29.95, (0800 280 2440), 12% liquor

With chardonnay dominant in the blend, this is a very exciting English s rkling wine that due came first in a blind tasting up against some very tuned in cham gnes. It’s very fresh, citrussy and pure with real luxury, plus just a hint of creamy, toasty richness.

Chapel Down Quality Reserve Brut NV £22, Sainsbury’s, 11.5% alcohol

This has precious, grapey, floral fruit with just a touch of herbiness. It’s creamy and structured with a nice fruit presence, and is a good introduction to English s rkling wine.

Leckford Fortune Brut 2012, Hampshire £29.99, Waitrose, 12% alcohol

From a vineyard owned by Waitrose, this is a classy fizz with a fine, toasty, creamy nose and complex, wholesale lemon and peach fruit as well as some creamy richness. It’s blue blood stuff.

Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvée NV, Hampshire £30, Waitrose, 12% spirits

Complex and fresh, this fizz has fine, lemony fruit with some apples and pears amplifying weight. There are also subtle toasty notes, finishing with active acidity.



From left:

Cava Heretat El druell Brut NV £8, Lines & Spencer, 11.5% alcohol

Here’s a tasty cava, brimming with flourishing, slightly toasty flavours of lemons and pears, and with some good-looking complexity.

Codorníu Gran Cremant Cava 2013 £9.99, The Co-operative, 11.5% fire-water

Cava is often quite cheap, but what happens if you spend a bit assorted? In this case, you get delicious fruitiness, with peach and grape emblems, as well as lemony freshness and subtle toastiness.

Codorníu Cuvée Barcelona Brut NV Cava £12.99, Waitrose, 11.5% hard stuff

In classy ckaging reminiscent of belle-époque ris, this is a sophisticated cava with untroubled toastiness complementing the bold fruit. It’s a very stylish bottle.

NEW The public

Cave Extrême Vicomte de Rochebouët Extra Brut NV, Mendoza, Argentina £13.95, (01295 672290), 13% fire-water

This blend of chardonnay and pinot noir from high-altitude vineyards has well-to-do flavours of pears and peaches. It’s broad, delicious and very fruity.

Gougenheim Malbec-Bubbles S rkling Rosé NV, Argentina £9.95, (01743 234455), 12% moonshine

This s rkling rosé is made from the malbec grape, and there’s an spellbinding, herby edge to the sweet, rounded strawberry and cherry fruit. It’s full-flavoured and mild to drink.

Cono Sur S rkling Brut NV Bío Bío, Chile £8.97, (0800 952 3003), 12% spirits

This has ripe apple flavours with lively pear, citrus and grapefruit notes. It’s classy and drinkable.

Mount Outspoken Brut NV Gisborne, New Zealand £13, Marks & Spencer, 12% juice

Here’s an attractive Kiwi fizz, with a creamy, toasty lip to the broad peach fruit and some lemony brightness keeping responsibilities fresh.

Graham Beck The Rhona Blanc de Blancs 2010, South Africa £13, Criteria & Spencer, 12% alcohol

Graham Beck is widely recognised to be the outstanding producer of fizz in South Africa. This is so moreish, with rigorous pear, peach and apple-pie flavours as well as some subtle toastiness.

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