Champion Sparkling Wine – New World Wine Awards 2018
45% Chardonnay, 43% Pinot Noir & 12% Pinot Meunier
18/20 Raymond Chan, December 2018 (NV)
"Bright, pale golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the rim, the bubbles very fine and persistent. The bouquet is finely proportioned with tightly bound aromas of yellow and white stonefruits harmoniously melded with a soft, savoury amalgam of bready-brioche and yeasty autolysis notes and subtle nutty aldehyde suggestions. The aromatics are integrated in expression. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in presentation with restrained flavours of yellow stonefruits with some citrus fruit notes entwined with savoury bready autolysis and a hint of nutty aldehyde. The flavours form a well-bound core with some concentration, and the mouthfeel enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity with the fine mousse adding creaminess. The wine carries along a very light-textured line leading to an elegant finish. This is an elegant, restrained method traditionnelle with yellow stonefruits, savoury autolysis and nutty elements on a fresh, creamy palate. Serve as an aperitif, and with white meat dishes over the next 3 years. A blend of 45% Chardonnay, 43% Pinot Noir and 12% Pinot Meunier from Hawke’s Bay, fermented to 12.0% alc. undergoing MLF, and aged 4 years on lees in bottle with a dosage of 9 g/L."
96/100 NWWA 2018
"Pale yellow with a fine bubble and bread crust aromas. The palate is fresh with lemon curd notes and toasty biscuit. Beautiful fine acidity balances the palate fruit weight and ends in a long fresh finish. It is said that James Bond's favourite Champagne was vintage Taittinger Brut, but I think only because he hadn't tried this Champion."
4 Stars Michael Cooper (NV)
"The non-vintage wine I tasted in late 2018 was produced from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, grown in Hawke's Bay and Marlborough. Pale straw, it is fresh, yeasty, crisp and dry, with strong, biscuity, toasty flavours, showing good complexity, and a sustained finish. Fine value."