Tasting Vintage Sparkling Wines From Around The World – 2016
29th January 2021
With every great harvest, a vintage is sure to follow, welcome back to the third article of this exclusive series to Glass of Bubbly, where will take you around the world tasting the vintages of different years.
We will be trying 4 different Sparkling Wines from 4 different countries, including:
- Czech Republic
But first, What is Vintage Sparkling Wine?
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 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 the bottle of Sparkling Wine was made using only the grapes grown in that year.
Let’s Start Our Vintage Tasting Journey Around The World – 2016 Edition
The country of Caves, Trees and Wine.
10 Interesting Facts About Slovenia
- 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.
- Slovenians celebrate a festival called Kurentovanje which has people dress up in traditional masks and costumes to scare away winter, this has been happening for over 50 years.
- It’s claimed there’s a vineyard for every 70 people in Slovenia, whether this is true or not, Slovenia does produce a wide range of amazing Sparkling Wines.
- Slovenia has just 30 miles of coastline.
- Slovenia is home to some of the most stunning caves, with over 10,000 caves discovered so far, that number keeps rising.
- Both Andrej and Marija Štremfelj on the 7th October 1990 became the first married couple to reach the top of Mount Everest, starting from the South Col.
- The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana and translates into ‘The Loved One’.
- Around 54% of the total land area in Slovenia is covered in forests with over 500 brown bears living there.
- Fancy spending a night in a prison cell, Hostel Celica allows you to stay overnight in a renovated cell that still keeps its prison cell appearance.
- There are 46 different dialects in the Slovenian language
Istenič – Slovenian Sparkling Wine
Istenič has one of those stories that inspires 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 – Gourmet Rose 2016 Tasting Notes
Aromas – “Strawberries, raspberries and pink floral aromas.”
Flavours – “Red berries and pink floral flavours.”
This Slovenian Sparkling Wine Won the Trophy for the Spring Fling Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020.
Home to Prosecco, the Roman Empire and Pizza.
10 Interesting Facts About Italy
- All three of Europe’s active volcanoes are in Italy
- Italians invented Pizza in the Campania region of Naples in 1860
- Italy is home to the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with 50.
- In 2008, the people in the city of Marino, Italy, had their tap water turned into Wine for a short time, this was thanks to a technical error during a grape festival.
- There is a fountain in Italy that flows out free red wine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- In 1964, a man had a platform built off the coast of Italy which housed multiple buildings including a bar, night club and radio station, a couple of years later on the 24th of June 1968 the man declared independence from Italy and became President of Rose Island, it didn’t last long though, that same year the Italian government sent in troops to crush the rebellion and then navy blew up the platform.
- Italians have eaten pasta since the 4th century B.C. historians found paintings in a pre-Roman Italian tomb thought to depict pasta-making equipment.
- Italians love coffee, they consume 14 billion espressos each year and have employed over 20,000 Italians who work as baristas in Italy.
- In 2018 Italy produced 54,800 hectolitres of wine and they exported over $7.3 billion worth of wine.
- The Italians have over 2,500 types of cheese and are the third-largest cheese producing country in Europe.
Maso Martis – Italian Sparkling Wine
The story of Maso Martis began in 1990, a few years before the birth of their two daughters Alessandra and Maddalena, when they bought their farm, they started producing their Sparkling Wine before the TrentoDOC brand had really taken off.
They live in a house located in the heart of their vineyards, and for over 30 years the family has been putting their love and passion into making their Sparkling Wines, with 6 bottles to choose from, your sure to find one that you like.
Maso Martis – Rosé Extra Brut 2016 Tasting Notes
Aromas – “Toasty, burnt toast and yeasty aromas.”
Flavours – “Dry toasty and savoury flavours.”
This Italian Sparkling Wine Won a Silver Medal in the Spring Fling Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020.
Home to Castles, Beer Drinkers and the Robot.
10 Interesting Facts About the Czech Republic
- The largest ancient castle in the world is located in the Czech Republic, the Prague Castle is 570m long and 128m wide.
- The Czech Republic is the castle capital of the world, with over 2,000 castles remaining in the country today, making it the highest density of castles in the world.
- Czech Republicans drink the most beer in the world (per capita), drinking 142.4 litres (37.6 gallons) each year.
- The word ‘Robot’ was first used in Czech Republican writer Karel Čapek’s book R.U.R. standing for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum’s Universal Robots) it released on January 25th, 1921, but it is his brother Josef Čapek who is credited for creating the word.
- The Czech Republic is home to some of the best female tennis players.
- Prague is the only major city in Europe to not be extensively bombed during WWII, because of this you will find many buildings in the historic centre standing as originally built, some even dating to the Middle Ages!
- The Czech Republic has protected 25 landscaped areas and four national parks and has 12 UNESCO monuments.
- During WWII Germany occupied the Czech Republic, the United States and the Soviet Union liberated them in 1945, during this time most of the country’s German-speaking people were removed from the country.
- Shortly after in 1946 the country came under the control of the Communist Soviet Union until in 1989 with the Velvet Revolution the communist regime collapsed and by June of 1993, Czechoslovakia had been peacefully dissolved into two independent states: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
- The Czech Republic is a country that is completely landlocked in Europe, it has borders with Slovakia, Germany, Austria, and Poland.
Spielberg – Czech Republic Sparkling Wine
A Sparkling Wine from Czech Republic, this is my first time trying a bottle from this country, and with this brand having an amazing name for anyone who is a fan of some of the best classic films out there, including Indiana Jones, Jaws, E.T, Jurrasic Park and Saving Private Ryan, I’m of course talking about the famous director Steven Spielberg, although there is no connection between the Czech Republic Sparkling Wine and the Director it’s not a bad idea to enjoy a glass while watching one of these films.
Spielberg – Crémant de Spielberg Brut 2016 Tasting Notes
Aromas – “Mango and apricot along with soft zesty aromas.”
Flavours – “Soft but zesty taste with nutty flavours.”
This Czech Republic Sparkling Wine Won a Silver Medal in the Zesty & Zingy Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020.
The country of Ice Caves, Religion and an Emerald.
10 Interesting Facts About Austria
- Austria is officially called the ‘Republic of Austria’.
- 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 colour combination you see today on Austria’s flag, so the story goes, and when the government flies the flag, it also includes an eagle and a coat of arms in the centre.
- The capital of Austria is Vienna, it is home to almost one-quarter of the entire population of the country.
- Tourism brings in around one billion dollars for Austria each year, with most of their 17 million visitors coming from Europe.
- The world’s largest emerald, at 2,860 carats, is on display in Vienna, at the Imperial Treasury.
- When Austrian men turn 18 it is compulsory for them to do military training.
- Austria is very open for their people to choose their own religion, with the state paying for religious education for every child, regardless of their faith.
- When making a toast with an Austrian, make sure to maintain eye contact, not doing so is considered bad luck and the price is seven years of bad sex.
- The Werfen’s ‘Eisriesenwelt’ [world of ice giants] is the largest Ice Cave in the world and it sits beneath Austria’s borders, it extends for over 26 miles.
Weingut Jurtschitsch – Austrian Sparkling Wine
Weingut Jurtschitsch is situated in Langenlois, Austria, with Alwin and Stefanie Jurtschitsch leading the family estate, before taking over the winery, Alwin and Stefanie travelled the wine world and came to the conclusion that the conversion to organic farming was essential with biological farming, healthy soils and minimal interventions in the cellar, they’ve also planted peach trees and vineyard garlic to help.
Weingut Jurtschitsch – Brut Nature Grosse Reserve 2016 Tasting Notes
Aromas – “Creamy green fruit aromas.”
Flavours – “A light zest flavour with an almost creaminess on the palate, the experience finishes with green apple skin.”
This Austrian Sparkling Wine Won a Silver Medal in the Zesty & Zingy Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020.
A Final Note
Well, this concludes our adventure into the world of 2016 Vintage Sparkling Wines, there are many more Vintages to try from around the world, and there are still plenty of 2016 Vintages that we can still explore, stay tuned for the next Glass of Bubbly exclusive article on Around The World Vintage Sparkling Wines.
WSET 2 Journalist focused on sharing Champagne and Sparkling Wine reviews and cocktails to the world.