Coates & Seely is the joint venture of ex London financier Nicholas Coates and Christian Seely, MD of AXA Millésimes, the French insurance giant’s wine division that includes such notable names as Château Suduiraut, Château Petit-Village & Noval Port.
The 20 hectares or so of vineyards are sited on the North Hampshire Downs whose chalk soils are ideal for vine cultivation being the northern extension of the geology that forms the vineyard areas of the Champagne region of northern France. The three classic grape varieties of Champagne, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier are grown and the winery has only the finest of equipment imported mainly from France.
“Britagne”, a generic name coined by Coates & Seely to indicate top quality English sparkling wine, can only be made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes, where the second fermentation takes place in bottles. Just as top French sparkling wines are made by the Méthode Traditionnelle, so their English counterparts are made under the ‘Méthode Britannique’.
65% Chardonnay 35% Pinot Noir
Pale gold in appearance with a fine mousse of tiny bubbles. The nose is fresh with green apple and citrus zest notes. The palate is full and rounded without being overblown, flavours of apple and elderflower lead to a long and elegant finish balanced with fine acidity.
This estate makes some of Italy’s finest sparkling wines from its 200 hectares of vineyard situated in the western part of the Franciacorta zone in a natural amphitheatre. Here the glacial soil is full of stones, so providing the ideal environment for the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes used in the production of Bellavista’s Franciacorta.
All work in the vineyards is carried out manually. The grapes (72% Chardonnay & 28% Pinot Noir) are from vines with an average age of over 25 years.
Individual parcels are specially selected for the blend. Made in the ‘traditional method’, 30% of the wines that make up this Vintage Brut are fermented and matured for at least seven months in small oak barrels, the remaining 70% is vinfied in stainless steel. The wine is then blended and bottled and the yeast and sugar for the tirage are added to set off the second fermentation. The wines are aged on lees for a minimum of 5 years after which remuage is carried out by a team of five riddlers. The elegant bottles are designed by the Murano glass factory in Venice.
Bellavista Vintage Brut is a vibrant green gold colour with an exuberant yet fine mousse. The nose has finesse and complexity. Crisp floral notes of hawthorn and bay leaf support ripe white fruits. Dry and elegant on the palate, with ripe fruit and touches of incense. The silky texture and firm backbone are balanced perfectly with fresh acidity. Floral hints and white fruits linger on the finish.
Copyright 2014 | Richard Granger Fine Wine Merchants