Sparkling wines are an entity unto themselves. They are not as easy to make as still wines yet often do not get the love or attention they deserve. They are held up as poster children or brought out to do their special dance, but these unicorns are definitely to appreciate for everyday.
Here in New Zealand, we have a winery that specialises in this very special category and makes some of the best Méthode Traditionelle examples in New Zealand and internationally. This special stable, the No 1 Family Estate, offers up a collection to choose from, unicorn show ponies, as we may say, that suit almost everyone, from the novice to the experienced bubbly guru.
Based in Marlborough, their roots and heritage come from Champagne, France. With passed down wisdom and tradition we are able to experience what Champagne is to New Zealand with their sparkling bottlings.
Made with care and experience, all of their wines are 100% Méthode Traditionelle, which is a complete labour of love. Find out more about their story here.
It takes a special winery that focuses just on this magical brew and we are here to show you this spectacular line up!
No 1 Family Estate Assemblé NV | $32
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier
This wine means to bring together and it does exactly that with the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes that are blended together in this bubbly concoction. Fresh, fruity and festive, creaminess adds layers to your palate with hints of the blushest peach.
Fairy dust sprinkles develop into supple and round flavours of lemony peach, candied honey and toasty wood accents.
No 1 Family Estate Cuvée NV | $36
This sparkling offers the longest history of the No 1 Family Estate, with its grand arrival being the first on offer in the New Zealand market. Produced from 100% Chardonnay, this blanc de blanc offers the best of all worlds.
Not too serious, yet not too frivolous, it has a fresh fruity perspective with the depth and creaminess of someone interesting that you would definitely like to know better.
No 1 Family Estate Rosé NV | $45
100% Pinot Noir
This is the pink beauty of the bunch with its shining salmon colour. Like a festive spring ball, it is opulent yet light and feathery with approachable strawberry glacée kissed with sun ripened cherries and toasted nuts.
Vibrant, persistent and a general festivity maker, you always want to have a pink pony in your stable!
No 1 Family Estate Reserve NV | $96
This noble Blanc de blanc, 100% Chardonnay sparkler, shines brightly with some long-term ageing on its lees. One to hunt for, it is a very limited edition with only 700 bottles of this beautiful unicorn available.
Deep golden-yellow in colour, it glitters with pure Chardonnay accents, shining through like a sunlit meadow to a surprisingly soulful mid to back palate of peach, honey, toast and confit orange.
No 1 Family Estate Cuvée Virginie NV 2009 | $85
80% Chardonnay & 20% Pinot Noir
This is one of the more rare sightings for this royal stable, only brought out to see the limelight in the best years. A tribute from Daniel Le Brun to his daughter Virginie, it is both beautiful on the outside with a label profiling crystals from Swarovski, to the inside with generations of bubble whisperers giving their wisdom to this age-old art form. This unicorn bubbles spends a whopping 4 years on its lees to develop its ultra elegance and beauty. The smooth structure belies its intense flavour compounds that are both reserved yet so lovely.
It features the fruit and fullness of the Chardonnay on the mouth with the undertones and structure of Pinot Noir.