If the latest results from the International Wine Challenge 2018 are anything to go by, UK supermarket aisles have been nominated the wine lovers’ red carpet – and if you have a taste for champagne, own-label brands offer fantastic value.
In the race for branded gold medals, Marks & Spencer were one of three supermarkets to triumph and secure four golds for its own label wines, as well as 68 silvers and 89 bronzes. And with their shiny new champagne label Delacourt hitting the shelves, come the first fruits of some world-class fizz to tap into.
Especially when you consider the wines are made by one of the world’s top winemakers: Elisabeth Sarcelet, winner of Champagne Cellar Master of the Year 2017. Under the umbrella of Castelnau, a multi-award winning champagne house founded in 1916, she has access to some of the very best grapes in the region.
“After a lengthy search in champagne for the perfect partners, I was so impressed by cellar master Scarlet and the direct relationship their house (Castelnau) has with a large number of local growers,” says Sue Daniels, M&S champagne winemaker. “This means they have fantastic access to a wide variety of cuvees (blends) which I can use with Elisabeth to blend the perfect champagne for M&S.
“I’m really excited about the new wines. It’s a classic champagne with long cellar ageing which gives an elegant, rich and complex style – a style one would usually only find in the much more expensive champagne brands, which I think our customers are going to love,” elaborates Daniels.
The name Delacourt – meaning champagne of the court – rolls off the tongue as easily as the wines flow, and is inspired by the royal courts of Europe and French Kings.
The range comprises five styles and we’ve picked three of Marks & Spencer‘s notable cuvees to crown a celebration…
1. Champagne Delacourt Brut NV, £30.00 (£25.00 introductory offer until the end of May)
A style that’s distinguished by its appealing aromas of brioche, vanilla and crisp, citrusy fruits, it’s a classic champagne blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier. The seductive palate of white peach and sweet spice is further enhanced by reserve wines to give the final wine an extra richness and creaminess. Utterly delicious and available in magnum.
2. Delacourt Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2008, £35.00 (£30.00 introductory offer until the end of May)
The vintage cuvee is really special and offers outstanding value. Made from 100% chardonnay, the wine has a powerful toasty nose combined with fruity aromatics and enticing flavours such as grilled nuts, tart au citron and buttered toast. Supported by an elegant, complex finish, it’s full bodied and creamy and comes with the flourish of a gold gift box.
3. Delacourt Rosé NV, £32.00 (£27.00 introductory offer until the end of May)
Again, the salmon pink rosé has delicious depth of flavour with subtle hints of wild strawberries, raspberry and cherry with a delicate note of spice to create a fruity, yet savoury champagne. Fresh and elegant with good intensity, the tiny beads of bubbles glide along beautifully and have real charm.