The bubbly types – Jancis Robinson’s top recommendations

by Patrick Sandeman

BUBBLY TREATS for the festive season.

Jancis Robinson聽recommended 25 ‘bubblys’ in the first of her ‘Top 100 festive wines’ series, in Saturday’s FT Weekend聽Magazine.

Many of them were highlighted as stocked by Lea & Sandeman (indeed some are direct imports of ours), and here is聽that聽selection together with her tasting notes. Jancis quoted only the single bottle prices in her piece, but we also show the case* prices.

JEAN-LOUIS DENOIS M茅thode Traditionelle Chardonnay-Pinot Noir Brut 拢13.95 bottle.聽聽拢12.95 by the case.
Jean-Louis Denois is also from Limoux, and highly skilled at making great-value, characterful fizz. Just a little fruitier, more opulent and less obviously lees-aged than the best champagnes but infinitely better than cheap champagne. His delicate Classique Brut NV is also excellent.

BENEDICK Grande R茅serve Brut 拢19.95 bottle.聽拢18.95 by the case.
Savoury nose suggests bone-dry ine. Mouth-filling fizz. Perfectly respectable and quite an impact on the palate. Quite long for the price.

BARNAUT Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru NV 拢24.95 bottle.拢22.50 by the case.
Much more refined than the Aube Blanc de Noirs with which the UK (mass) market is flooded. Very appetising and great value.

LAURENT PERRIER NV 拢28.50 bottle. 拢24.50 by the case.
At the special price this may be the best value grande-marque champagne on the UK market. The current cuv茅e is particularly fresh and zesty. Racy and well-balanced.

LARMANDIER BERNIER Extra Brut Blanc de Blacns Non Dos茅, Premier Cru NV 拢31.95 bottle. 拢29.95 by the case.
This grower does not put a foot wrong. This is their most delicate wine, balanced on a tightrope admittedly but with no sign of any wobble. Lovely. But I also admire their slightly more rustic Tradition Extra Brut Premier Cru NV (拢28.50 by the case) and their very dry and demanding Terre de Vertus Blancs de Blancs Non Dos茅 Premier Cru NV (拢34.50 by the case).

EGLY-OURIET Tradition Grand Cru NV 拢42.50 bottle. 拢35.00 by the case.
Long-aged ‘Natural’ apple peel aromas. Very pure and unadorned. All top Montagne de Reims villages. Extreme champagne with a very dry finish. Lots of potential.

GOSSET Grande R茅serve NV 拢35.95 bottle.聽拢37.95 by the case.
Beautifully balanced blend based on 2005. I preferred it to Gosset’s current vintage champagne. Very nervy and muscular. Not too sweet, not too tart.

POL ROGER 2000 拢44.95 bottle. 拢38.95 by the case.
Great energy on the nose, still very youthful with lots of potential. Explosive, and drier than some Pol blends.

BOLLINGER聽La Grande Ann茅e 2002 拢74.95 bottle. 拢69.95 by the case.
Good old fashioned Bollinger pioneered giving useful information on the back label. This wine, made from the produce of 16 Premier, and, especially, Grand Cru villages is intense and savoury.

DOM PERIGNON 2002 拢119.95 bottle. 拢109.95 by the case (limited)
I can’t remember a vintage of this famous wine that showed better on release. Sumptuous. (Lea & Sandeman also have a limited supply in very smart Dom Perignon gift packs with two flutes at only a small premium).

CRISTAL Louis Roederer 2004 拢161.95 bottle. 拢151.50 by the case.
Intellectual and dense, but playful and dancing too. You can enjoy this already, although it has potential. Grows on the finish. Very luxurious.

*Case prices apply to all web orders for a total聽12 bottles or more, and which can be mixed聽across champagnes and other聽wines.

*Champagne special offer prices also apply in store for a minimum order of only聽6 bottles of champagne, when collected from the store.

We now offer FREE DELIVERY on all orders over 拢100* (see our terms and conditions)

Last orders for guaranteed nationwide Christmas delivery 鈥 Sunday 18th December (although we will do our very best to deliver orders received after this date, especially in the Greater London area).