Bring on the razzle dazzle and add some festive cheer to your Christmas and New Year with these champagnes and other sparkling wines.
If you’re anything like us, there’s only one question on our minds as we approach the final stretch of 2023. And that is, what bottles to pop open this festive season! But the best ways to usher in the proper celebratory spirit is with some sparkle, so elevate your year-end Christmas and New Year revelry by serving up these recommendations – ranging from exquisite champagnes to captivating cavas and other sparkling wines – at your festive dining table.
[Main cover photo by Pavel Danilyuk]
Telmont Réserve Brut
When it comes to winemaking, we do love a good sustainability story. And in this respect Damery-based Champagne Telmont delivers in spades. From preserving diversity in its vineyards to greening its entire supply chain, Telmont’s respect for Mother Earth is worth supporting alone. That, and the fact their champagnes are great! The Telmont Réserve Brut, for example, may be their entry-level expression, but its harmonious balance of fruit and freshness is a classic expression of what Champagne has to offer. Pair this with Christmas ham or mince pies.
The Telmont Reserve Brut is available from Oak & Barrel at a recommended retail price of S$99.
Louis Roederer Collection 244 Cuvée
The Louis Roederer Collection 244 Cuvée may not be a Cristal, but when we tasted the latest release of this multi-vintage cuvée earlier this year we were blown away. We absolutely loved its barely-restrained power and intensity. But there’s also an assertive acidity and minerality that hints at its cellaring potential, not that we’d let this beaut hang around in our wine fridge for too long. To date we’ve yet to find another champagne that delivers as much at that price point, making it a sparkling gem in our books that deserve a spot on the dining table any day this festive season.
The Louis Roederer Collection 244 is available from Grand Vin at the recommended retail price of S$88.
Champagne Lombard Brut Nature Verzenay Grand Cru Lieu Dit ‘Les Corettes’
Speaking of terroir – for the champagne lovers for whom specific provenance is important, Champagne Lombard offers a ‘Terroir’ range among which the Champagne Lombard Brut Nature Verzenay Grand Cru Lieu Dit ‘Les Corettes’ resides. But don’t let its long tongue-twisting name scare you off. Technically a Blanc de Noir, this is simply a Brut Nature – that is, sans dosage – vinified with grapes from the maison’s Grand Cru ‘Les Corettes’ plot. The plot faces west and gets excellent exposure, resulting in a cuvée with structure and fruit intensity. You’ll want Christmas turkey or roast pork with this.
The Champagne Lombard Brut Nature Verzenay Grand Cru Lieu Dit ‘Les Corettes’ is available from Bottles & Bottles at the recommended retail price of S$156.
Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois NV
Most champagne fans are familiar with Billcart-Salmon’s regular Brut Reserve – seeing that it’s poured at quite a few champagne brunches across town – but the Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois NV is a quite a different animal altogether. Composed of grapes from some of the best Premier and Grand Crus from the Montagne de Reims and Côte des Blancs, what makes this cuvée unique is that it is vinified entirely by oak. This means this champagne is incredibly rich and layered, and can hold up to the richest dishes you can throw at it, like mac and cheese or lasagne.
The Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois NV is available from Angra Wine & Spirit at the recommended retail price of S$140.
Champagne Collery NV Rosé Brut Grand Cru
Champagne Collery may not be as well known as its peers, but Aÿ-based producer makes some stunning, precise wines with grapes sourced from Champagne’s top 17 Grand Cru villages. We’re most enamoured by the Collery Rosé Brut Grand Cru NV, an elegant yet opulent Pinot Noir-led blended rosé. Red flowers and red fruit dominate the nose and palate, making this a fantastic accompaniment to prime rib and roast suckling pig, but also desserts such as pavlova and cheesecake. We’d be most happy drinking this on its own too, to usher in the New Year!
The Collery Rosé Brut Grand Cru NV is available direct from Maison Collery Singapore at a retail price of S$145.
Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018
It might surprise some that the United Kingdom makes some excellent traditional method sparkling wines. Gusbourne, a boutique winery in Kent, is a notable example, producing some of the most awarded British Fizz in recent years. Its signature Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 is a classic expression of Chardonnay, and an example of how the British Isles can go toe-to-toe with the best traditional method sparklings from around the world. Fresh and lively, this age-worthy wine offers luscious red and citrus fruits with some creaminess on the palate balanced by some granite minerality. This makes a fabulous pairing with oysters and poached salmon, but should also work very well with scones if you fancy a bit of fizz during high tea on New Year’s Eve.
The Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 is available from Ewineasia.com at a recommended retail price of S$128.
Familia Ferrer Cava Vinyes de Can Sala Brut Nature 2015
Then there’s cava. In our opinion Spanish traditional method sparkling is wholly underrated, particularly Cava de Paraje, its top classification recognising those produced in exceptional terroir that offers specific attributes. Such as the Familia Ferrer Cava Vinyes de Can Sala Brut Nature 2015 – here Penedès-based biodynamic producer Familia Ferrer makes a tiny batch of fabulous Cava de Paraje in its Can Sala winery with Parellada and Xarel·lo grown on its own estate in Mediona that’s then aged for a minimum of 10 years. What you get is a sparkling bursting with flavours of ripe stone fruit and intoxicating Herbs de Provence, coupled with a flinty mineral backbone and sensual acidity that keeps you salivating for more. If Famila Ferrer cava is good enough to be listed on Michelin-starred Celler Can Roca’s wine list, it’s plenty good enough for us.
The Familia Ferrer Cava Vinyes de Can Sala Brut Nature 2015 is available from One Cellar at a recommended retail price of S$75.
Jansz Premium Cuvee NV
You don’t automatically think of Australia when it comes to sparkling wines, but the New World wine powerhouse is garnering a fine reputation for producing bubbly from Swan Valley in Western Australia all the way to Macedon Ranges and Yarra Valley in Victoria. But the key region to watch? Tasmania. And particularly in the Tamar Valley where Jansz Tasmania is based. The Jansz Premium Cuvee NV, produced from high-quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, is one stellar example from a winery that only makes traditional method sparkling wines (though they cheekily call their approach Méthode Tasmanoise). Ripe red berries, zesty citrus and creamy vanilla fudge on the nose and palate makes this a delight with seafood such as fresh oysters, baked lobster, or fish and chips.
The Jansz Premium Cuvee NV is available from Vintage Fine Wines at a recommended retail price of S$69.
BK Wines Petillant Natural 2021 Pinot Noir
And if you lean into wines of a more natural bent? South Australia’s highly lauded boutique winemaker BK Wines – which sits as part of a veritable hub of organic winemaking that is Basket Range located in Adelaide Hills, to be exact – make some exceptional organic wine bursting with verve and character. The BK Wines Petillant Natural 2021 Pinot Noir is a lightly sparkling wine, for example, that follows their precise yet minimal intervention approach that allows the fruit to shine. This pet nat is bright, fresh, and indulgently juicy, perfect for drinking any time of the day. By which we mean the whole of this coming Christmas Day.
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