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translation missing: en.ACellars Newsletter 18th November, 2021: ACellars Newsletter 18th November, 2021

Holiday Fizz

Crémant de la Crème 

The keen reader might remember that last week we explored the world of Grower Champagne. Champagne, and indeed the Grower Champagne movement, is very dear to our hearts making any moment just that little bit more special. But with so much cause for celebration this Silly Season (responsibly, we remind you dear reader), let us this week take you to our collections of non-Champagne sparkling wines that, whilst still fine wines, are a lot of fun!

For those who like their grape varietals as traditional as their methode, you don't have to move that far south of Reims to cater to your Champagne taste on a "Burg" budget: Crémant de Bourgogne is generally based on two of Champagne's favourite grapes from a region that certainly knows a thing or two about both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Like all Crémants (ie non-Champagne sparkling wines) across France, strict guide lines for quality are enforced, such as harvesting by hand and whole bunch pressing with a maximum of 100L of juice from 150kg of grapes. Most Crémants are required by appellation laws to spend at least 9 months on lees which, in addition to terroir and style, helps keep the price tag down compared with the longer maturation required for Champagne.

The championing of the Champagne varietals and the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle is echoed again to the east of Burgundy, in the Crémant du Jura. Chardonnay predominantly and sometimes Pinot Noir are occasionally joined by the other fun Jurassian varietals, Trousseau, Poulsard and Savagnin, and some of our favourites have been matured for more than two, even up to three years on lees for added complexity with which to toast.

For those willing to stray a little off the battonaged track, we love the baked apple tart of a sparkling Chenin Blanc, be it a Crémant de Loire or a Sparkling Vouvray.

Of course there's no place like home, and we love what our cool climate new world winemakers are doing to put Australian Sparkling on the map, with their Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs-style wines. But what can be Aussie than a glass of Sparkling Shiraz? A perfect companion to your Christmas turkey, as well as the Christmas pudding if you can carry it across two courses!

And speaking of breaking tradition, non-méthode traditionelle sparklings will always be the poppers of the party. Our Prosecco selection all prove how charming the Charmat method of tank fermentation can be, spritzing joy in your glass and your wallet.

And finally, for those who like to get back to nature and keep it real old school but with twist of "nouvelle vague", the Ancestral Method are all the rage-ing bulles (French for yum, I mean bubbles). The bone dry wines from Paltrinieri will dispel any notion of bad feelings you might still wrongly harbour toward Lambrusco. Our fizzy fridge of wildly fermented, unfined, unfiltered and unconventional Pétillant Naturel (Pét-Nat) is constantly changing as each new release from our favourite producers all fly off our shelves with their flamboyant spectrum of all colours of the rainbow. Taste it.

Find your holiday fizz here.

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Koerner Wines

Koerner Wines

Koerner Wines is the passion project of brothers Damon and Jono Koerner. Damon and Jono's family have strong roots in the Clare Valley - their parents have owned and operated Gullyview vineyard for over 40 years. Gullyview is situated within the Watervale sub-region and supplies the brothers with nearly all the fruit used for their wines, with a few additional parcels sourced from surrounding vineyards.

Their wines exist to reflect the place they come from and the boys offer a reinvigorated take on a region renowned for producing some of Australia's best wines. Vigilance in the vineyard, picking at the right times and careful decisions in the winery guide the wine to bottle. Combining these factors enables them to avoid the use of additives or enzymes to clean up their wines and hide any mishaps. Their understanding of their home block and surrounding sites - farmed organically - mean top quality fruit produced in the vineyards translating to top quality wine in bottle. Only minimal sulphur additions are used during the winemaking process.

A more modern mindset and approach to the traditional wines of the region mean the wines are brighter, fresher and more vibrant than more traditional wines produced in the Clare Valley.

The reds tend to be lighter in style across the board, picked early to retain natural acidity - no heavy hands in the winery to avoid over extraction! - with the ultimate goal being drinkability. The first wine I ever tried from the Koerner's was their Pigato Vermentino and for anybody else who's had the pleasure of trying this wine... you know how good it is. The boys aren't afraid of a bit skin contact either, building texture and mouthfeel to their white wines adding layers of complexity to their focused and typically aromatic whites.

They work with traditional Clare Valley varieties like Cabernet and Riesling whilst also making wines using some rather unconventional varieties for the region like Sciacarello, Vermentino and even some Carignan!

Each release garners more interest in these wines and they tend to fly off our shelves so if you are curious to try these wines click here!

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Staff Pick

Marcoux Raisin de Loup Rouge NV

The name "Raisin de Loup" or "Grape of the Wolf" alludes to the colloquial name for the Black Nightshade that grows around the vines in the Rhône. Fortunately this wine contains only grapes of the vinifera, biodynamically farmed and naturally fermented in cement vats.

You may pick the blend of Grenache and Syrah (with a drop of Caladoc, an obscure cross of Grenache and Malbec for those of you playing at home), but would you think it comes from the edge of Chateauneuf du Pape? Great value Vin de France from the alluvial soils between the Rhône River and the southern reaches of CNDP. Lots of blue berries but really enhanced by the savoury dusty edge. Medium bodied but oh so mouth filling, with fine chalky tannins to end.

Search for the wolf pack here.