Tasting Vintage Sparkling Wines From Around The World – 2015
14th April 2020
With every great harvest, a vintage is sure to follow, this new series exclusive to Glass of Bubbly will take you around the world tasting the vintages of different years.
To start our series off, we are going back 5 years to 2015, where we will be trying 4 different Sparkling Wines from 4 different countries, including:
We will find out a little about the wineries, the wine and the country along the way.
But first, What is Vintage Sparkling Wine?
To class your bottle of Sparkling Wine as a 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 normally 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, that bottle of Sparkling Wine was made using only the grapes grown in that year, normally suggesting that the bottle of Sparkling Wine will taste more elegant than a N.V.
Let’s Start Our First Around The World Vintage Sparkling Wine Exploration in the Year 2015
Let’s start our adventure off up in North America.
10 Interesting Facts About Canada.
- The most popular word in Canada is ‘Eh?’ normally used in the way of saying ‘Don’t you think?’.
- Ottawa is the capital of Canada.
- Canada is the second largest country in the world if you include its waters, beating out America by only 1.5%.
- Canadians consume the most doughnuts in the world.
- In 1970 all license plates in the Canadian Northwest Territories started to be shaped like polar bears.
- Canada declared war on Japan before the Americans did after the WW2 Pearl Harbor attack.
- Canada has over half the world’s lakes, with over 31,000.
- Canada is the only country in the world that can automatically be admitted into the U.S.
- America has invaded Canada twice, they lost both times.
- Police officers in Canada will give out Positive Tickets to people they see doing something positive.
Jackson-Triggs – Entourage
The Sparkling Wine Entourage is made by the winery Jackson-Triggs, as you already know this Sparkling Wine is made in Canada, but what you might not know is that they are “Canada’s most awarded winery and have been named ‘Best Canadian Winery’ an unprecedented number of times in international and domestic competitions”.
The winery Jackson-Triggs was established in 1993, it was founded by Allan Jackson and Don Triggs, they both took their last names and put them together to create the most awarded Canadian winery.
Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery Entourage Grand Reserve Brut Tasting Notes
Aroma – “Sweet pear, honeydew melon and citrus on the aromas.”
Taste – “Fruity with pear and apricot flavours and hints of pastry.”
This Canadian Sparkling Wine won a Silver Medal in the Zesty & Zingy Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019.
The rest of our journey for this article will be taking place in Europe, starting with Spain.
10 Interesting Facts About Spain
- Spain is officially called the ‘Kingdom of Spain’.
- The tooth fairy doesn’t exist in Spain, instead, a small mouse called Ratoncito Pérez comes along and collects your teeth and then leaves behind either money or a small gift.
- The annual festival held in Spain, that requires you to throw thousands of tomatoes at each other, is called La Tomatina.
- Another unique festival to Spain is the Running of the Bulls, 6 bulls are released in the streets of Pamplona and your goal is to outrun them, the bull is also Spain’s national animal.
- You can walk around completely naked in Spain because there is no law saying you can’t, but it is still considered inappropriate to be naked in most public areas.
- Spain remained neutral during both WW1 and WW2, but during WW2 a Spanish double agent received both the Iron Cross from the Germans and an MBE from the British.
- The youngest king ever to rule was Alfonso XIII of Spain, he was crowned king the day he was born.
- Britain accidentally invaded Spain for 5 minutes in 2002.
- In Spain, McDonald’s serves beer.
- The Spanish Flu did not originate from Spain.
Pere Ventura Family Wine Estates has three wineries under their name, with one being Pere Ventura, the winery is located in Spain and they make Cavas, they currently have 10 different bottles to choose from on their website, so you definitely aren’t spoilt for choice, they are a family run winery who care deeply about what’s in the bottle and how their vineyard is looked after.
Saying that this winery has a history, may just be a little bit of an understatement, they have a history dating all the way back to 1369.
Pere Ventura has a total of 328 hectares of vineyards and for most of the year, they offer private tours and guided tastings, you can click here to find out more.
Pere Ventura – Tresor Cuvée 2015
Pere Ventura Tresor Cuvée 2015 Tasting Notes
Aroma – “Brioche and marzipan at first, then it opens up further with yellow fruits, toast and butter aromas.”
Taste – “Zesty, brioche, toasty, and yellow stone fruits flavours.”
“A Cava that performs like a Champagne.”
This Cava won a Silver Medal in the Meditation Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019.
From the country that brought you the actor that famously said “I’ll Be Back”.
10 Interesting Facts About Austria
- Austria is completely landlocked, sharing a border with 8 different countries.
- Austria is officially called the ‘Republic of Austria’.
- The official language of Austria is German.
- The capital and largest city in Austria is Vienna.
- In 1938 Austria ceased to exist as an independent country, it wasn’t until 1955 that it officially reclaimed it’s independence again, this was because Austria was incorporated into Nazi Germany.
- The Austrian flag is one of the oldest national flags in the world, dating all the way back to 1191, in the battle of the Third Crusade, the tunic of Duke Leopold V of Austria became covered in blood, upon removing his wide belt/sash, a big white line was revealed, showing the red-white-red color combination you see today on Austria’s flag, so the story goes.
- Austria is home to the world’s oldest zoo, called Tiergarten Schönbrunn, located in Vienna and established in 1752.
- Austrians have magic words for ordering wine, they just have to say ‘ein Achtel’, this translates to an eighth but when said in Austria it means an eighth of a litre, which is the most popular serving size in Vienna.
- Just over 62% of Austria is covered in mountains, it’s called the Austrian Alps
- Austria has 13 peaks which exceed 3,000 meters high and 34 peaks that exceed 2,000 meters.
With a history dating back to 1842, Schlumberger has Austria’s oldest and biggest sparkling wine cellar, which, if you are ever in Austria, you can visit, they offer a 90 minute guided tour from only €11 per person, if you are interested you can find out more here.
The Schlumberger story all started with the birth of Robert Alwin Schlumberger in France 1814, Robert started working in the wine industry when he got a job at Champagne Ruinart, he worked his way up to cellar master and production manager, but a chance meeting would change the Austrian Wine Industry forever, in 1941 on a boat trip on the Rhine he met his future wife, Viennese Sophie Kirchner.
Her family wasn’t too happy with her living in France, so she had to move back to Austria, but Robert wasn’t prepared to lose her, so he decided to leave his job and life behind and go with her.
The next year, he founded Schlumberger, with the aim of creating the highest quality of sparkling wines in Austria using the Champagne method.
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.
We don’t have the Great Reserve bottle with us here but we do have a vintage from the same year, if you want to find out more about Schlumberger, then stay tuned to Glass of Bubbly for an article dedicated to Schlumberger.
Schlumberger – Chardonnay Brut Reserve 2015
Schlumberger Chardonnay Brut Reserve 2015 Tasting Notes
Aroma – “Sweet red apple and other orchard fruits on the aroma.”
Taste – “A lovely splash of orchard fruits on the palate with floral notes and a nice creaminess.”
This Austrian Sparkling Wine won a Gold Medal in the Classic & Elegant Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019.
Now to our final country for this article, a country full of wine lovers.
10 Interesting Facts About Slovenia
1. Slovenia covers less than 0.004% of the Earth’s surface but it homes more than 1% of all living creatures on this planet.
2. Slovenia is home to the world’s oldest vine, it is believed to be around 400 years old and it still produces grapes to this day.
3. It’s claimed that there is approximately one vineyard for every 75 people in Slovenia.
4. If you have ever wanted to spend a night in a prison cell without committing a crime, then the Hostel Celica in Slovenia is the place for you to go, you can spend a night locked inside a real prison.
5. With a population of about 2 million people in Slovenia, they have over 10,000 beekeepers.
6. Around 54% of the total land area in Slovenia is covered in forests.
7. There are more than 10,000 caves in Slovenia, with this number rising year on year
8. The Slovenian War of Independence, fought in 1991 claimed 75 lives, the Slovenians fought for independence against Yugoslavia, this was the first war to be fought after WW2 and is also known as the Ten-Day War, I don’t think I need to explain why, but for those of you who have had a little too much to drink, it’s because it lasted for 10 days.
9. The Capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana, pronounced lub-lee-yana.
10. Ljubljana translates into ‘The Loved One’.
Set within the Posavska Wine Region of Slovenia, Vinarstvo Kerin produces a Sparkling Wine ‘Maria’ along with a selection of still wines.
The current owners were handed the winery by their grandfather, they grew up in the winery, so they say that their wines have a youthful sparkle and playfulness to them, as they only produce one Sparkling Wine, they have more time to gift to it, to make sure that the wine is up to the standard they wish it to be.
Vinarstvo Kerin – Penina Maria Brut 2015
Vinarstvo Kerin Penina Maria Brut 2015 Tasting Notes
Aroma – “Toasty, brioche, green apples and honey aromas.”
Taste – “A light, sweet and tangy experience in the mouth, filled with brioche and yellow fruits.”
This Slovenian Sparkling Wine won a Gold Medal in the Gastronomic Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019.
A Final Note
Well, this concludes our first adventure into the world of Vintage Sparkling Wines, there are many, many more Vintages to try from around the world, and there are still plenty of 2015 Vintages that we can still explore, stay tuned for the next Glass of Bubbly exclusive article on Around The World Vintage Sparkling Wines.
Thanks to Factslides for helping me source out the facts.
WSET 2 Journalist focused on sharing Champagne and Sparkling Wine reviews and cocktails to the world.