Monthly Archives: March 2017

Julien and Maxime

Posted by [email protected] on March 21, 2017

There has been more than a soupçon of French-ness in the winery recently thanks to Maxime Gerlier and Julien Pernet, two young champagne makers who are visiting us from France. Julien comes from Mancy, a village just 5 minutes from Daniel’s hometown of Monthelon. His grandmother was a Le Brun and he makes his champagne with his father at Pernet-Lebrun. Maxime is a champagne maker at Vincent Gerlier and has plans to open his own champagne house.

They are visiting us at No. 1 Family Estate to experience a NZ vintage under Daniel’s watchful eye.

“It’s the same but different in NZ,” says Maxime. “In the winery, we do things the same way as we do in France but there are differences in the vineyard.”

“We have no birds eating our grapes” he says, “so we never have to put nets on our vines”. Instead, because the canes in Champagne grow lower to the ground than they do in NZ, the problem is rabbits. They are also eager to see first hand the different pruning methods used in NZ and are enjoying our better weather which is not just good for the grapes but for winemakers avoiding a northern hemisphere winter! 

Not surprisingly, many of the words that we use to describe Méthode Traditionelle are French  - liqueur de tirage, dégorgement,  remuage are just a few -  so Julien and Maxime feel right at home. It’s a different story with our Kiwi accents though. The Kiwi pronunciation of French words makes them smile and our fast-paced Kiwi English leaves them scratching their heads.

Obviously proud of their Champagne heritage, Maxime and Julien are eager to learn as much as they can from the innovations Daniel has made in his 40 year career as a wine maker in NZ. It’s about holding on to traditions but being open to innovation, they say.

For these Frenchmen who, like Daniel, have champagne running in their veins, it’s always about the bubbles and, like true gentlemen, they would not be drawn on which they prefer.” They are all good,” they say and we couldn’t agree more.

Always time for Bubbles

Posted by [email protected] on March 13, 2017

Cameron Douglas, New Zealand's first and only master sommelier, wine judge, commentator and educator has awarded four of No. 1 Family Estate Méthode Traditionnelle wines top scores in his recent sparkling wine feature article "Always time for bubbles" (FMCG Business, April 2017) and we are delighted.

Here's what Cameron had to say:

No. 1 Family Estate Cuvée Virginie Méthode Traditionnelle 2009, 97/100 points

Sophisticated bouquet with a great vintage and bottle age offering aromas of complexity, elegance and total charm. Baked goods, Portuguese lemon tart and stone fruits, old rose. On the palate - a finely beaded mousse cushions flavours of citrus and peach, fine autolysis development and crisp lengthy finish. A delightful wine wither several years of pleasure yet to be discovered. Order yours HERE.

No. 1 Family Estate Rosé Méthode Traditionnelle NV, 96/100 points

Attractive, fresh, lively and precise bouquet. Aromas of flowers, light red fruits, cherry and just picked strawberry, mild to moderate autolysis and a touch of intrigue. On the palate - crisp, fresh, dry and packed with a gentle charm. The mousse is silky and fine, flavours balanced and elegant with a brioche and lightly toasted autolysis charm; very long finish. Order yours HERE.

No. 1 Family Estate Assemblé Méthode Traditionnelle NV, 96/100 points

Alluring and intense bouquet, aromas of bread and brioche, peach and citrus, a light white flower note adds charm and depth, quite complex overall. On the palate - generous, full, rich in flavour and presence, flavours of roasted stone fruits and baked lemon, butter brioche and Arnott's Round Wine biscuit. Fine persistent mousse and lengthy finish. Order yours HERE.

No. 1 Family Estate No. 1 Cuvée  Méthode Traditionnelle NV, 95/100 points

Very attractive bouquet, complex and sophisticated without being pushy, aromas of brioche and toasty autolysis set against a background of citrus and white strawberry. On the palate - fresh, crisp and delicious; flavours of grapefruit and apple, some lemons and plenty of autolysis undertones, fine mousse and lengthy finish. What's not to like? Order yours HERE.

Cameron also writes about the evolution of New Zealand's Méthode Traditionnelle : "New Zealand's sparkling wine production has been built on the foundation of understanding the Méthode Traditionelle technique and growing ripe fruit with naturally high acid to make base wines suitable for secondary fermentation in bottle or tank." 

He adds, "The key advantages for New Zealand sparkling wine in a global economy are high quality at lower volumes, freshness and clear flavour profiles, rarity and competitive price points."

Read the full article here.


Bubbles for Mum

Posted by [email protected] on March 08, 2017

We’re sure you show your Mum how much you love and appreciate her every day… But that one day of the year that all Mums deserve to be truly revered is fast approaching, Mother’s Day in the U.K. is on March 26th.

Mums come in many forms… So whether you are spoiling your Gran, your sister, the mother of your children, your best friend, or your actual Mum we have the perfect bottle of bubbles to treat them to a sparkling Sunday.

No.1 Cuvée  – If your Mum loves an afternoon curling up in front of a classic movie then she’ll love a classic bottle of bubbles to make it even more relaxing. No.1 Cuvée is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded Methode Traditionelle wines. The wine is 100% chardonnay (blanc de blancs) – A perfect balance between ripe, fresh fruit and toasty yet creamy yeast.  It displays a fine, consistent bead and firm mousse resulting in a complex character. The palate is smooth and seamless with a wonderful balance of acidity, giving a wine of elegance and style.
We suggest An Affair to Remember, a simple afternoon tea with smoked salmon sandwiches and a glass of No.1 Cuvée. Buy yours HERE.

No.1 Rosé – If your Mum enjoys the great outdoors, then after your Sunday stroll enjoy a bottle of No.1 Rosé. The delicate salmon-pink wine celebrates the superb climate of Marlborough. The wine offers a seamless balance of subtle cherry and almond hints combined with a fresh acidity. Dry, yet fresh and elegant, this wine leaves a lasting impression of opulence and splendour.
We suggest a morning jaunt to enjoy the spring flowers, a lovingly prepared Sunday lunch of roast lamb to refuel and a glass of No.1 Rosé. Buy yours HERE.

No.1 Assemblé – For all the young Mums out there, who spend their days chasing their tales and multi-tasking, we recommend our latest release, No. 1 Assemblé, fresh and inviting with sophisticated and typical characters and intense flavours.
We suggest breakfast in bed, bagels and bubbles are the way to go! Buy your No.1 Assemblé HERE.