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    Bollinger Special Cuvee is undoubtedly one of the finest non vintage champagnes available. The house of Bollinger is family owned with the current owners being direct descendents of the original Jacques Bollinger.

    It is Bollingers unique practises in the making of their champagne that make all the difference, they still use treasured old oak casks to ferment their reserve wines as well as a proportion of the cuvees that make it into Special Cuvee. Two thirds of the grapes come from Bollingers own vineyards. This allows them to keep close control over the quality of the fruit that makes the wine.

    The reserve wines that are added to the non vintage blend are aged in magnums under cork and have to be disgorged by hand. It is practices such as this that ensure the quality but also restrict production so that whilst rightly famous Bollinger remains a relatively small producer.

    Now there are many fine times to enjoy champagne and many fine foods that it will accompany but for me the best match for Bollinger Special Cuvee is good Fish & Chips! Its the ying and yang of an expensive wine with a relatively inexpensive dish or maybe it’s simply that both are real treats. But I do know that if you can find a good spot on a sea wall to eat your fish and chips whilst drinking your ‘Bolly’ you will not be able to wipe the smile from your face.

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    If you are in any doubt about this Champagne then be reassured that it is owned by the Bollinger group and in wine maker Caroline Latrive has one of the rising stars of the industry. Chef Gordon Ramsey likes it so much that for many years it has been his House Champagne in his Michelin star restaurants.  Ayala was one of the first houses to get behind the current vogue for low dosage champagnes with this wine only having a dosage of 7 grams per litre about half the dosage used by the big commercial brands. This low dosage means you must have immaculate fruit and good wine making skills because sugar is the make up used to cover minor flaws in bigger blends.

    Ayala are based in the village of Ay near Epernay as are Bollinger they source much of their fruit from Grand Cru vineyards, they also age their wines for a minimum of three years before release meaning that the flavours are well balanced and the acidity integrated into the wine.

    So if you are looking for an excellent Champagne that won’t break the bank but will deliver real pleasure then this wine is perfect.

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    This is a multi vintage blend of  single varietal Champagne from a small family producer in the South of the region.  They specialise in Pinot Noir and practise organic production as much as possible. The use of Pinot Noir gives this wine considerable backbone but as the wine undergoes Malolactic fermentation this results in a soft creamy mouthfeel. Fluteau may not be a familiar name but the Champagne is quite excellent and well worth discovering.

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    the cuvée presents precious green-gold glints. The effervescence is abundant and the thin and fast bubbles flow into an attractive white cord.
    The first nose brings out a floral and vegetal bouquet. Citrus and cereal notes come gradually out in addition to the fresh and elegant
    flavours. The nose is fine and delicate, with youthfulness and temperance.
    the attack is fresh and harmonious with a gentle, enticing acidity. The effervescence reinforces the freshness and galvanizes the taste
    As the wine temperature rises it develops a soft, almost velvety texture. Added to all of these tastes are hints of marshmallow and almond that
    give the cuvée a real distinctness. A signature cuvée from Janisson & Fils, an essential champagne for your aperitifs with friends
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    A small family producer from the village of Ay.  They are neighbours to Bollinger and like Bollinger produce Champagnes with Pinot Noir dominated blends. The grapes for this wine come only from Grand Cru vineyards which are the very best vineyards in the region. It has a lovely full vinous style thanks to the Pinot Noir and a long complex finish. It has become our ‘House Champagne’ and I cant recommend it enough as a great value, consistent wine.

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    Charles Heidsieck have proven themselves one of the most consisitent of houses over the last few years winning award after award.  Having spent 10 years working for Bollinger I have a certain allegiance to them but even I have to admit to a growing love of this house and its excellent wines.

    Tasting Notes

    Radiant pale gold with fine, persistent bubbles. Complex pastry aromas, with an opulent combination of ripe apricot, mango and greengages, dried fruits, pistachio and almond. The palate begins with a silky smooth sensation, developing into ripe fleshy apricot, melon and enticing plum pastry notes and delicate spice. A perfect balance of freshness and generosity.

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    La Dolce Colline Rose Spumante

    This is Pink Prosecco by any other name as it is made with the Prosecco grape (Glera) and gets its colour from the addition of a little sweet red wine called Brachetto D’Acqui. But legally it can only be called Spumante which is the Italian word for sparkling.

    Ignore all this boring legal stuff and concentrate on a truly fun and refreshing drink that is just perfect for sharing with friends in the sunshine. There is a fragrant burst of summer fruit on the nose that carries through into the mouth along with a delicate sweetness. The fizz is lively and the wine is well balanced and very more-ish!

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    This is one of our best selling wines in the entire shop. Now Prosecco is currently tremendously popular but there are quite a wide variety of quality levels out there. La Dolce Colline is so popular because it is incredibly consistent at delivering vibrant fresh lemon scented bubbles with a soft easy going sherbet dab palate.  The mousse is good and tight so it keeps the whole thing refreshing.

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    This is a sparkling wine made by the Traditional method unsurprising as the founders of the company are both Champagne producers in their own right and this expertise shines through in the quality of this wine. It is a delicious blend of white grapes to give a wine of creamy intensity that is very drinkable on its own and far better value than some cheap supermarket Champagne.

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    If you love a drop of Fizz then this is the event for you.  We ran it very successfully for the first time last year and such is the demand we have had to find new larger premises for this years event.  The plan is to put on a very special Sunday afternoon event there will be 24 different sparklers available to taste and buy, the ticket price also includes a delicious two course lunch. We will also run a bus service from the most popular local villages and Howden to get you out to Laxton and back.

    We request that all our guests on the day make an effort to dress up a little more smartly than normal not collar and tie but very much smart casual with the ladies encouraged to get out their summer dresses. We are aiming for a kind of smart garden party feel and dressing up is all part of the vibe.

    When you arrive you will be handed a glass of Prosecco and a tasting sheet, the tasting is informal just come to the tasting stations at your own pace and try all the different wines. If you find one you particularly like you can buy a glass or a bottle to share with friends. The room will be laid out with tables of ten.  If you have a party that fits let me know and I will reserve a table for your group otherwise we will encourage you to sit with other people and make some new friends.

    It’s intended to be a pleasant relaxed Sunday afternoon with food being served table by table at a relaxed pace. Lunch will be Staal Smokehouse Hot Smoked Salmon Steaks, warm new potatoes and a green salad followed by Strawberries and Cream. Alternatives for vegetarians and non fish eaters can be arranged by advance notice.

    Last year’s event was much enjoyed by all who attended and we have lots of interest for this year so if you fancy spending a few pleasant hours with good company, delicious food and lots of fizz then make sure to book your tickets early as we are sure to sell out quickly.  Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.

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    This is a really well made sparkling wine from Argentina that over delivers on quality for the money which is why so many of our retail customers love it.  It uses the classic Champagne grapes and the same method of production as Champagne but as it does not come from there it is a lot more affordable.


    The grapes for this sparking wine were vinified in the purpose-built, sparkling wine facility constructed by Bianchi outside San Rafael. The wine is made according to the ‘Traditional Method’ of sparkling wine production. The must is fermented between 16° and 18°C. After fermentation it is aged on its lees for a further 12 months before disgorgement and release.

    Tasting Notes

    Bianchi Brut is an excellent value sparkling wine with an intense biscuit and fruit character on the nose and good richness on the palate. Fresh and clean, it finishes dry.