Aged To Perfection
7th July 2021
The cultivation and creation of Sparkling Wine is one that requires care and attention, the creation of a vintage requires the finest touch from the most gorgeous lady alive, the earth.
To class your bottle of Sparkling Wine as vintage, the grapes used in that bottle must have all been grown in the same year, a lot of bottles out there are N.V. meaning Non-Vintage, each harvest the wineries will extract the grape juice from the grapes, but will store back some of the juice in case next years harvest doesn’t produce as good of quality as the year before.
If a bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine has a year on the front or back of the label, then you will know that the bottle of Sparkling Wine was made using only the grapes grown in that year.
Through our vertical style tasting here, we will be going from 2017 back to 2013, 5 years of Sparkling Wine from different countries, get to know the winery, how the sparkling wine tastes and a little information relevant to the country.
2017 – Codice Citra – Fenaroli Pecorino 12 months
Citra was founded in 1973 and has 6,000 hectares of vineyards, the name Citra comes from a Latin adverb, name of one of the two regions in which Abruzzo was divided on the maps, going back to the 18th century before the unification of Italy when the land was all part of different kingdoms, the name Citra, identifying the location in which the 9 associated cooperations are located is meaningful to them, it relays the message of the strong link terroir and the accent winemaking knowledge of the Chieti area.
Codice Citra – Fenaroli Pecorino 12 months Tasting Notes
Aroma – “Floral aromas are surrounded by pleasing lemon and candy lemon aromas.”
Flavour – “A calming, smooth sensation, expressing Sweet lemon flavours, with yellow floral and an oily green fruit ending.”
This Italian Sparkling Wine Won A Silver Medal in the Zesty & Zingy Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020.
What Happened in Italy in 2017?
The country’s crappiest museum of cowpats opened in Emilia-Romagna, Italy’s oldest astronaut completed his mission with success, a World War II parachutist celebrated his 96th birthday by jumping out of a plane, and Swedes swapped lives with Italians to find out just why this country’s people live so dang long. All the stories were found and are credited to The Local it.
2016 – Weinbau Menitz – Sekt große Reserve
Menitz is located in Leithaprodersdorf in Austria, their vineyards travel along the slopes of the Pfefferbüchsels which is a foothill of the Leithagebirge. They have two locations in which they grow their vines, from the Vorderberg to Reinischviertel both offering unique wine-growing qualities, meaning they can reach a wider range of taste buds with their wines.
This family-run winery started back in 1981, they hold in high regard the environment as they know that nature is a massive contributing factor in winemaking, they also believe in keeping their customs and traditions alive. If you’re in Austrian or are planning a visit over there, then the whole Menitz family/team will be very pleased to meet you, you’ll be able to enjoy their wines along with some freshly cooked dishes using seasonal ingredients that nature provides them with.
Weinbau Menitz – Sekt große Reserve Tasting Notes
Aroma – “Vegetables, asparagus, green fruits and herbal aromas.”
Flavour – “A mouth-watering expression, crispt tasting, cooking apples and green citrus on the flavour.”
This Austrian Sparkling Wine Won A Silver Medal in the Spring Fling Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020.
Who Was a Famous Austrian?
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most famous composer, he was baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, he is known for blending traditional and contemporary music together thereby creating his own style of music, he was born in Salzburg, in the Holy Roman Empire on the 27 of January 1756, he was a very gifted child, by the age of 5 he could play the piano and violin, he also get an audience with European royalty where he performed which then led to him going on tour.
He sadly died at a rather young age of 35 on the 5th of December 1791, during his time he created over 600 pieces from virtually every genre of his time including operas, concertos, and symphonies. Facts soused from Wikipedia.
2015 – Schlumberger – Grosse Reserve Chardonnay Brut
With a history dating back to 1842, Schlumberger has Austria’s oldest and biggest sparkling wine cellar. In 1850 Schlumberger started to get known for its red wines, so to help with the growing popularity, Robert imported the French grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot into Austria for the very first time. With over 200 years of history, Schlumberger decided to honor Robert, with a limited 5,000 bottle release of their Great Reserve 2015 vintage.
You can learn more about Schlumberger’s interesting history here: Schlumberger was once known as an Austrian Champagne? or perhaps take a trip around the world here: Tasting Vintage Sparkling Wines From Around The World – 2015 and finish with a Strawberry Fizz Cocktail.
Schlumberger – Grosse Reserve Chardonnay Brut Tasting Notes
Aroma – “A marvelous expression of creamy floral, oaky and toasty and ripe fruits on the aroma.”
Flavour – “A classy display of silky butter, yellow fruits and lightly toasted bread.”
The only sad thing about enjoying this bottle is knowing that they only made 5,000, when opening a bottle like this it needs to be remembered and thankfully doing this tasting has provided me with a lasting memory.
This Austrian Sparkling Wine Won A Gold Medal in the Meditation Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020.
Why Did Austria and Hungary End Their Relationship?
The relationship between Austria and Hungary began on the 8th of June 1867, with some people shipping the couple, also creating cute little names like Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy. The relationship came about just after Austria was feeling rather down, after a couple of wars Austria had declined in strength and in power, so needed someone to help pick them back up, but Hungary wasn’t in the best shape either, the Kingdom of Hungary was feeling rather lost after the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, so together they came to help each other rise back up.
During their time together they made up the second geographically largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire, it also housed the 3rd most populous following in 2nd place to the German Empire and 1st place to Russia. Their relationship officially came to an end after they were defeated in the First World War on the 12th of November 1918. Facts sourced from Wikipedia.
2014 – Fox & Fox – Inspiration Blanc de Gris 2014
Jonica Fox and her husband Gerard Fox planted their first vine in 2004, it was Gerard that inspired Jonica to get into the fizz business after he tasted some English Sparkling Wine at an event in London in 2003 and by 2009 they had started producing their own Sparkling Wine.
As well as offering enjoyable Sparkling Wine, Fox & Fox also offer bespoke wine tastings, either hosted by Jonica or Gerard, it’s perfect for any group of friends or even a birthday party, if you would like to find out more, just click here.
Fox & Fox – Inspiration Blanc de Gris 2014 Tasting Notes
Aroma – “Garden nettles, English country Garden and gooseberry aromas.”
Flavour – “A gorgeous array of pastry, brioche, touch of citrus, a pastry dessert, garden nettles and green fruit flavours.”
This English Sparkling Wine Won A Silver Medal in the Zesty & Zingy Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020.
When Did The English Invent That?
When it comes to the history of the world, there are few that come close to the number of accomplishments and the history that the British have made over the centuries. Along with a vast history, we’ve also been pretty good at inventing things, here are a few widely used items that we English folk have made.
- The toothbrush you use every day (hopefully) was invented between 1770 and 1780 by William Addis who was born in London in 1734 and died in 1808.
- It is thanks to Thomas Savery that the Steam Engine came to life, he filed the first practical patent for an atmospheric pressure steam engine in 1698, it took over 100 years till 1901 and more like-minded individuals like Thomas Newcomen, James Watt and Richard Trevithick to perfect the design and allow it to fit in locomotives.
- The Tin Can was created by Peter Durand in around 1810, 2 years later he sold the patent to Bryan Donkin and John Hall.
- Robert Whitehead in 1866 built the first self-propelled, modern torpedo.
- Christopher Cockerell in 1953 built the first Hovercraft, otherwise known as air-cushioned vehicle.
I could go on and on about what the English have created, but that would take up this whole article, so I’ll just list a couple more items quickly and then leave you with the link I got all this information from.
- The Whittle Turbo-jet Engine – 1929-1937
- The First Patented Pneumatic Tire – 1847-1888
- The Thermos Flask – 1892
- The Chocolate Bar – 1847
- The Modern Fire Extinguisher – 1818
- ATM, Engineered by Shepard-Baron – 1967
- The World Wide Web, the First Website, and the First Web Browser – 1989
All this information was found on Interesting Engineering.
2013 – Istenič – Prestige 2013
Istenič has one of those stories that inspire you to try, back in 1968 the family bought an abandoned farmhouse along with 0.1 hectares of vineyard, they produced their first Sparkling Wine using the traditional method, naming it after their daughter Barbara.
Fast forward to today, they now have an annual production of 200,000 bottles, Istenič is a highly respected and leading house in Bizeljsko in terms of both volume and quality, they’ve also taken home many awards including some medals from the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020 and with 11 bottles of Sparkling Wine to choose from, you’ll definitely find one that you love, you can also still buy a bottle of their Barbara Sparkling Wine that they started all those years ago.
Istenič – Prestige 2013 Tasting Notes
Aroma – “A magnificent arrangement of floral, blossom and exotic fruits on the aroma.”
Flavour – “Floral flavours, yellow blossom, and exotic fruits on the palate.”
This Slovenian Sparkling Wine Won A Gold Medal in the Meditation Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020.
Where There’s LOVE, There’s SLOVEnia
Where’s The Best Place To Get Married in Slovenia?
You can’t spell Slovenia without love and don’t they know it, Slovenia promotes love in a lot of different ways, because if it’s in your name, why not, it’s perfect, they try and get people to fall in love with the beauty of Slovenian with this marketing, and once you know a little about Slovenia it’s hard not to fall under that spell.
When you’ve found that special someone and you’ve both agreed you want a magical wedding, you need to find a magical venue, so here are some places you might want to look into:
- Lake Bled Castle, it is one of Slovenia’s oldest castles and is situated over the stunningly beautiful Lake Bled.
- Ljubljana Castle, located in the romantic capital of Slovenia, meaning there is a lot more to see and do outside the castle walls.
- Otočec Castle, from the 13th century, it sits on an island in the middle of the river Krka.
- Kempinski Palace Hotel in Portorož, located near the seaside and is surrounded by casinos and restaurants, it was built in 1910.
Thanks to Wedding Lake Bled for putting all these beautiful locations in one place, check it out, they have some lovely pictures.
Slovenia is the only country that has the word love in its name.
Let’s talk about the population, when you have so much love to give to one person, you usually want to seal that love with a marriage, in Slovenia in 2020, 5,214 couples were married, in 2019, 6,672 couples were married and in 2018, 7,256 couples were married, the average marriage number in Slovenia seems to be around 6,000, with looking back to 2017 at 6,481 couples married and 2016, 6,667 couples married.
2018 was a high and 2020 was the lowest marriage rate since the record began on the Republic of Slovenia Statistical Office, but that was in part with Covid restrictions and lockdowns.
Divorce numbers have also dropped, in 2018, 2,347 were divorced, in 2019, 2,476 were divorced and in 2020, 1,774 were divorced.
The End of an Era
There we have it, 5 glorious vintages each offering their own unique tasting experiences, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this article, maybe you learned something new and maybe you’ll feel like trying one of these vintages Sparkling Wines, till next time, Enjoy The Bubbles!
WSET 2 Journalist focused on sharing Champagne and Sparkling Wine reviews and cocktails to the world.