Marchesi Antinori Franciacorta Cuvée Royale

78% Chardonnay, 12% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Blanc. All steel.

Sweet apple purée on opening, with some pretty raspberry tart and dried peach. It does move up a gear, though, with chocolate croissants and charred clementines completing an alluring, swish kind of nose. It hits with a little fruity paunch up front, with candied fruits and peachy sweetness coloured with smoky charred citrus marmalade. A one act show, but it’s a good one. 16.5


/ Franciacorta, Marchesi Antinori, Other

Recaredo Terrers Brut Nature 2016. Corpinnat, Spain

60% Xarel-lo, 20% Macabeu, 6% Monastrell, 6% Parellada. Stainless steel.

Notes as written blind from The Big Blind Bargain Bubble Tasting.

Very oxidative style, but quite intriguing and with some finesse on the palate. Nuts, quite blowsy florals, pithy and dusty. Nice herby set honey, with nice acidity. A big character. 15.5

/ Other, Recaredo, Spain

 Reichsrat Von Buhl Sekt Reserve, Pfalz, Germany

80% Weissburgunder, 20% Chardonnay. Age not known. 80% Stainless Steel, 20% Oak. 

Notes as written blind from The Big Blind Bargain Bubble Tasting.

This is impressive. Nice ripe pear, almond and yellow grapefruit. There’s some smokiness, and also some attractive creamy sourdough. Some delicacy on the palate, although it is a bit jumpy. Something savoury – oak – here? Good stuff, really well assembled. 16.5

/ Germany, Other, Reichsrat Von Buhl

Raventós I Blanc, Blanc de Blanc 2017, Conca del Riu Anoia, Spain

40% Xarel-lo, 32% Macabeo, 27% Parellada. All steel, zero dosage.

Notes as written blind from The Big Blind Bargain Bubble Tasting.

This is quite classy – tight, dusty chalk and herbs, clean grapefruit/lime and a nice pithy focus on the finish. Bone dry. Youthful and snappy but a proper wine.  16

/ Other, Raventós i Blanc, Spain

Griesel Riesling Brut 2015

100% Riesling. Vinification in large oak.

Notes as written blind from The Big Blind Bargain Bubble Tasting.

A bit different! Bright florals, cooked lime and a sort of poached quality to the fruit. Oxidative. interesting style, maybe a touch developed? 15

/ Germany, Griesel, Other

Langlois-Chateau Crémant de Loire Brut NV, France

60% Chenin Blanc, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Cabernet Franc. All steel, 24 months on lees minimum.

Notes as written blind from The Big Blind Bargain Bubble Tasting.

Pretty white florals with sweet pear. A slightly wooly, damp note – is this the Chenin? It does expand out on the palate nicely. The dosage is quite high in the mix. Simple but solid. 15.5

Recaredo Reserva Particular 2005

52% Xarel-lo, 48% Macabeo. The most extraordinary wine in the portfolio, a conundrum of age, power, openness and persistence. Despite some oxidative characters and quite developed fruit, this powered through with set honey, wild herbs and earth. This was a March 2017 disgorgement; if you caught this wine one or two years ago it would have been even better. Look out for the new vintage and crack it open. 17

/ 2005, Other, Recaredo, Spain

Recaredo Serral dell Vell 2011

Equal parts Xarel-lo and Macabeo. Serral del Vell 2011 offers up intense lime and honey with sweet yellow fruits and great refinement and clarity for its age. Nuts and pith keep you diving back in for more. 16.5

/ 2011, Other, Recaredo, Spain

Recaredo Terrers Reserva Brut Nature 2015

Terrers Gran Reserva 2015 offers the most freshness in the portfolio. The flavours are so engaging and expressive, with creamy yellow apple and herbs, white meadow flowers and edgy, refreshing grapefruit. There are savoury, slightly earthy tones here too, but they seem to just add to the picture. 16

/ 2015, Other, Recaredo, Spain

Mas Del Serral 2007

This is Pepe Raventós’s personal project. A single vineyard in the Conca del Riu Anoia, planted in 1954 with Bastard Negre and Xarel-lo. This ambitious wine wears its sense of development and openness on its chest with intense baked apple and quince, honey and sherry notes enriched with salted nuts and bakery flavours. It did leave me wondering what it would have been like at 8-10 years of age, rather than 12. 16

/ 2007, Mas del Serral, Other, Spain