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Featured Reviews

No. 1 Family Estate Rosé and No. 1 Reserve Methodes

05 January,2018

Daniel and Adele Le Brun are pioneers of Marlborough sparkling wine, and arguably remain the best method traditionnelle producers in the region to date. What makes No. 1 Family Estate a superlative label is the diversity of styles allied to exceptional character and quality. There are wines that are right down the line which are impeccably made, as well as cuvees that are impressive in their depth, distinctiveness and complexity. The expertise and passion are clear to see in the wines, and the branding and marketing is sophisticated and stylish, matching the wines. One of the Le Brun’s catch-phrases is "Hearts in Marlborough since 1980, roots in Champagne since 1684”. This reflects the family expertise in Daniel’s background in making Champagne, and the belief in the terroir and quality of fruit that emanates from Marlborough. Here, I review two current releases from the No. 1 Family portfolio that demonstrate what the Le Bruns are all about, the ‘No. 1’ Rosé NV and .’Reserve’ ’Cuvee No 1’ NV.


No. 1 Family Estate ‘Cuvee No. 1 Rosé’ Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, salmon peach-pink colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim, the bubbles very fine, with a moderately persistent bead. The nose is soft with gently full aromas of strawberry fruit entwined with savoury red berry fruit and a fine thread of bready autolysis in the background. The nose has an elegantly deep core with a steely, minerally freshness. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has restrained flavours of mouthwatering red berry and floral notes, savoury strawberries, and a fine, delicate underlay of bready autolysis. The mouthfeel is fresh with creamy effervescence and zesty acidity, and the wine carries with good tension along a refined textured line leading to a delicate, red berry-=fruited finish. This is an elegant, restrained, mouthwatering rosé method traditionnelle with red floral, berry and strawberry flavours and fine background autolysis notes. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 3 years. Clone 10/5 Pinot Noir fruit from Rapaura, hand-picked and fermented in tank undergoing MLF and spending 9 months on lees before tirage, then a further 20 months on lees in bottle. This is 13.0% alc. and has 5.2 g/L dosage. Lot L15275. 17.5+/20 Jan 2018 RRP $45.00

No. 1 Family Estate ‘Reserve’ ‘Cuvee No. 1’ Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright straw-yellow colour with light golden hues and some depth, lighter edged, the bubbles moderately fine with good persistence. The bouquet has intensely concentrated and deeply packed aromas of white stonefruits layered with a complex amalgam of nutty notes along with brioche and yeasty autolysis and subtle aldehyde detail. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has very intense and deeply concentrated flavours of white stonefruits entwined with a complex amalgam of brioche and yeast, along with nutty notes and a delicate aldehyde nuance adding to the interest. The palate is lively with fresh acidity enhancing the mousse, and the wine possesses a fine-textured line, leading to a mouth-watering, savoury finish. This is an intensely concentrated Blanc de Blanc method traditionnelle with complex flavours of stonefruits, bread and yeast with nutty notes on a lively palate. Serve with white meat dishes over the next 3-4 years. 100% Mendoza clone Chardonnay, fermented to 12.5% alc. with 7 g/L dosage, aged 66 months on lees. 700 bottles produced for this release.Disgorged in May 2017. 19.0/20 Jan 2018 RRP $96.00

Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim, with very persistent, moderately fine bubble. The bouquet is powerfully packed and concentrated with deep aromas of white and yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits, harmoniously melded with layers of nuts and bready, yeasty autolysis. The core unfolds toast and smoky detail, with subtle aldehyde interest, and the nose blossoms in volume with the complex autolytic characters. Dry to taste, medium-bodied but with wonderful concentration, rich and lusciously concentrated flavours of citrus, white and yellow stonefruits are melded with seamlessly integrated bready and yeast autolysis flavours. The most refine aldehyde and nutty elements add a layer of detail and complexity. The fruit sweetness and Chardonnay lift are enriched by the dosage and the wine flows with underlying poer and concentration. The effervescence is refined and integrated, with a very fine phenolic thread and lacy acidity leading the palate to a bright, citrus, stonefruit and yeasty flavoured finish of very good and sustained length. This is a superbly concentrated, harmoniously melded, rich and seamlessly layered Blanc de Blancs methode with refined autolytic, bready complexity, fresh mouthfeel and linearity. Serve as an aperitif, with seafood and antipasto over the next 3+ years. 100% Mendoza clone Chardonnay, fermented to 12.5% alc. with 7 g/L dosage, aged 66 months on lees. 500 bottles produced for this second release. 19.0+/20 Jan 2016 RRP $89.95

Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on rim, the fine bead with moderate persistence. This has a softly packed and dense bouquet with complex aromas of bread, yeast extract and an array of nutty notes that reveal secondary development. This has a subtle floral finesse that shows the Chardonnay influence. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the mouthfeel is soft and very finely presented in textures. This is beautifully integrated and harmonious. The flavours are softly concentrated with excellent depth and packed with rich and refined bread, yeast extract and toast flavours. The integrated detail is a feature. The wine flows smoothly with some acid liveliness and energy leading to a poised, mouthwatering, lingering finish with toast and bready elements. This is a rich, and refined, softly integrated and complex, detailed Blanc de Blancs methode. 100% Mendoza clone Chardonnay, fermented to 12.5% alc. with 7 g/L dosage, aged 66 months on lees. 1,000 bottles produced for this release. Serve as an aperitif and with white meat dishes over the next 3+ years. 19.0-/20 Dec 2014 RRP $89.95

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