Nautilus Estate ‘Cuvee Marlborough’ and No. 1 Family Estate ‘Cuvee Remy’
The potential for New Zealand to produce sparkling wine to rival Champagne has been recognised for well over three decades. Such as been the possibility that a number of Champagne houses have investigated and invested in the development of such wines. The most significant involvement has been that of Champagne Deutz who in partnership with Montana created the very highly regarded and consistent Deutz ‘Marlborough Cuvee’ range of wines. Earlier, human expertise came from the Champagne region in 1980, in the form of Daniel Le Brun, setting up the first dedicated and commercially viable sparkling winegrowing operation in Marlborough.
While successful Champagne look-alike wines are made an many regions of the country, it is Marlborough where production is most prolific, and arguably the most successful in terms of quality. In September, the ‘Methode Marlborough’ society was established to communicate the quality and story of methode traditionnelle wines from the Marlborough region. Members must have wines which are 100% grown and made in Marlborough, employ the traditional method of production, use only the three traditional varieties of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, and age the wines for a minimum of 18 months on lees. The 11 founding members are Allan Sott, Brancott Estate, Cloudy Bay Vineyards, Hunter’s Wines, Johanneshof Cellars. Lion (Daniel Le Brun), Nautilus Estate, No. 1 Family Estate, Spy Valley, Summerhouse and Tohu Wines. www.methodemarlborough.com
Star Sparklers from Nautilus Estate and No. 1 Family Estate
Two Marlborough sparkling wine labels have stood out to me recently. Attending the Marlborough Wine Weekend at the start of November (click here to see my report), the Nautilus Estate ‘Cuvee Marlborough’ and No. 1 Family Estate ‘Cuvee Remy’ 2007 were my two most highly rated wines in the ‘Marlborough Methode Discovery’ seminar. World sparkling wine authority Tom Stevenson who was in attendance drew attention to the remarkable achievements of Daniel Le Brun, and the privilege of the region to have Daniel working there. His No. 1 Family Estate ‘Cuvee Remy’ 2007 was a fitting example of the level of quality he has reached. www.no1familyestate.co.nz Since then, the Nautilus ‘Cuvee Marlborough’ Methode NV has gone on to win gold medal and trophies for Champion Sparkling and Champion Wine of the Show at the 2013 Air N.Z. Wine Awards. This is a fitting result for a wine that was first released in1991; it has performed consistently at the top level at wine shows. www.nautilusestate.com I have the opportunity of tasting these two wines again, side by side, and just before the New Year. Here are my reviews.
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
No. 1 Family Estate ‘Cuvee Remy’ Methode Traditionnelle 2007Sparkling Wine from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 26-Dec-2013A cuvee created and released by Daniel Le Brun released on January 2010 to celebrate his son Remy’s 21st birthday. 80% clone 5 Pinot Noir and 20% Mendoza Chardonnay, hand-picked and WBP, fermented to 12.5% alc. and 6 g/L dosage, the wine spending 2 years on lees and disgorged December 2009. Full straw-yellow with golden hues at heart, lighter on edge, with a strong and persistent bead, the bubbles medium fine. This has a full, bold and voluminous bouquet of rich, broad complex aromas of ripe and savoury yellow stonefruits along with aldehyde and gunflint, unfolding layers of yeast extract and toastiness, showing bottle-age development. Dry to taste and full-bodied, densely packed flavours of yellow stonefruits, yeast, toast and flint form a complex melange and open out tofill the palate. The mousse is open and soft, and the acidity restrained, adding to the breadth and fullness. The flavours bloom and show waves of toasted nuts and brioche, and ripe fruits that carry through to a dry, textured and very long, lingering finish. This is a full, bold and complex method traditionnelle with toasty development. Match with antipasto and grilled white meats over the next 3-4 years. 19.0-/20 Dec 2013 RRP $N/A