Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Wines of the week... three top bubblies

It's called the silly season for a reason and here are three faves that stand the test of time. And, yes, all have been retasted this week, purely for verification purposes. Tough job and all that jazz.

Hunter's Marlborough MiruMiru NV RRP $29 to $30

Bubbly in name and in nature, MiruMiru is the Maori word for sparkling and this méthode traditional is modelled on the world's best because it's made the same way as champagne - using the same grape varieties and with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle. These factors provide depth of flavour from the fresh acidity from the Chardonnay grape (66%) with toasty body and taste from Pinot Noir (30%) and a touch of 4% Pinot Meunier for body. It tastes dry and is super fresh as a new batch has just poured onto the market, which was disgorged in September this year. It contains 10 grams of residual sugar per litre. The grapes from the both the Omaka and Rapaura sub regions of Marlborough. 

Hunter's Wines is a member of Méthode Marlborough; a like minded group who stipulate that their wines must contain 100% Marlborough grown grapes and that their wines must age for at least 18 months in the bottle for multi vintage blends, such as this one, and for at least three years for vintage wines. 

No 1 Reserve Méthode Marlborough RRP $96

Here's a good reason to push the bubbly boat out because the Le Brun family gave this full bodied Chardonnay bubbly a lengthy eight years of bottle ageing prior to disgorgement, which makes this wine one of New Zealand’s most complex sparkling wines with a delicious X factor from the first sip. This is an impressively long time to age any wine pre release and the process contributes depth of flavour as well as length on every succulent sip.

Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee RRP $110

Pinot Noir is the cornerstone of Champagne Bollinger and makes up 60% of this wine as well as its rich toasty dry flavours and full body while 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier add crisp fresh citrusy acidity, driving every sip to a long finish with complex savoury flavours of fresh mushrooms and sourdough. What a delicious wine. Always commanding and always has the wow factor.