The Brits are cock-a-hoop about a recent challenge, champagne vs English sparkling wine. The tasting took place in Paris and the reported results were as follows:
2009 Ridgeview, Bloomsbury, Sussex, England (£28) vs NV Jacquesson, Cuvée No. 78 NV (£38)
The 14 judges were asked which wine they preferred. It was a 7-7 split, but half the tasters thought the English sparkling was the champagne.
2009 Nyetimber, Blanc de Blancs, England (£40) vs NV Billecart-Salmon, Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV (£65)
Nine judges said they preferred the Nyetimber and five the Billecart; 13 of the 14 judges thought the Nyetimber was the champagne.
2011 Gusborne, Rosé, England (£37.99) vs Ayala, Rosé Majeur NV (£30)
Nine judges preferred the Gusborne and five Ayala. Half the judges thought the English was champagne and half got it right.
Sky’s the limit:
Moët-Hennessy and it’s Chinese partner, baijiu consortium VATS, are getting ready to release the first vintage of Aoyun, said to mean “roaming above the clouds”. No messing about with the price, which is reported to be 1600 yuan ($319) a bottle. Production will be limited to 24,000 bottles, but at $319 each the joint venture can afford to limit production.