Luxury Wine & Champagne
Favourite Picks FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON
Christmas and New Year is a time for bringing out the Wine and Fizz connoisseur within you. So we’ve included our best bottles picks, and where to shop, this festive season. You better hurry though!
The UK is filled with wine merchants housing the best selection of wines and spirits. One favourite spot when Christmas shopping in Mayfair is Hedonism Wines on Davies Street, W1. Their expert team are always on hand in store or over the phone to talk about wines, the regions, down to everything oenological or spirituous! It’s always a treat to stop by, and however many bottles or cases you leave with there is always a sense of knowledge learnt by the passionate experts at Hedonism.
Hashtag Life has curated for this gift guide one exceptional Champagne, and a beautiful and bold red wine, both of which are still available online and in store.
Maison Champagne Bruno Paillard – NPU 2004
Champagne Bruno Paillard was founded in Reims in 1981 by Bruno Paillard, who had worked as a Champagne broker before founding his own domaine. His family have grown grapes and sold Champagne in the region since the 18th century, so his leap into Champagne production was no great surprise. Today Paillard owns 75 acres, about 30 of which are in Grand Cru appellations. The maison makes vintage and non-vintage Champagne and receives highly complimentary reviews for its wines, with certain vintages going for thousand at Christie’s. Although a relatively new house by Champagne’s standards, Paillard’s wines have a timeless classicism about them that is highly appealing.
Nec Plus Ultra “NPU” is only produced in the greatest vintages from the finest fruit of 4 Grands Crus. One of only seven vintages in Champagne Bruno Paillard’s Nec Plus Ultra range, this 2004-vintage is a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. Matured in barriques for 10 months before assemblage, it is then allowed to matured on the lees for at least 10 years.
According to the experts at Hedonism: “At first there is tart apple but the aroma opens up to reveal chalk, honey and a buttery creaminess. Spiciness lifts the palate whilst the sinuous texture ensures everything is just so. Beautiful.”
Champagne Bruno Paillard, NPU 2004, £190.00.
Available online at www.hedonism.co.uk
Estate La Florita, Brunello di Montalcino
We are particularly drawn to Fiore di NO, 2015, which was made available in the market in Autumn 2020.
The La Fiorita estate was founded in 1992, and has always sought to perfect the taste, longevity and aromatic complexity of its Brunello offerings, and this release is no exception. It has the magical union of the Sangiovese grape with the unique terroires that surround Montalcino. “NO” are the initials of Natalie Olivero, the estate’s owner and thumbprint on La Fiorita. Natalie has selected for this reserve the soil parcel of 2 of her estate vineyards – Pian Bassolino (360m elevation) and Poggio al Sole (180m). The wine is aged for 24 months in oak barrels. The tasting notes indicate a spicy nose with pepperoncino freshness, opening up to the floral intensity of peonies leading to blackberry and huckleberry. The palate has soft elegant, peppery structure with nice savouriness of cherry and raspberry fruit. Well crafted, balanced with the right acidity potential for aging. Rating 94+.
Estate La Florita, Brunello di Montalcino – £128.00
Available online at www.hedonism.co.uk
BEAU JOIE launched in the UK earlier this year and specialises in zero dosage (no added sugar) Champagnes. The brand was founded in 2010 by President & CEO Jon Deitelbaum and his wife, who spent two years in the Champagne region of France laying the groundwork for the concept and partnering with a winery that shared their values. BEAU is an innovative brand that appeals to today’s health conscious consumer who still appreciates a good time. Zero dosage allows the purity of the fruit shine through without being masked by the addition of sugar.
BEAU’s Global Creative Director and investor, Tiësto, is the internationally recognized DJ and Grammy-winning producer. BEAU JOIE bottles are tastefully encased in a stunning suit of armour made from second generation scrap copper – a functional design element that’s made to help cool the champagne quicker (ideal for impromptu celebrations) and keep it colder for longer without the need for an ice bucket, which, it turns out, not everyone has at home.
This is a masterpiece in design and taste, and perfect for that health savvy or sustainability-conscious friend you want to impress!
BEAU JOIE Brut – £150.00
The Brut is the brand’s signature product, with a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The Champagne is finely balanced, having been aged for 6 years, with a crisp clean taste through to the finish with a purity of fruit. The lack of any added sugars means it pairs wonderfully with food.
Available at: Harvey Nichols, Gerry’s Soho
BEAU JOIE Rose – £180.00
Beau Joie Rosé is a fresh and fruity Champagne that’s won awards throughout the world. A blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, this is crisp with a gentle sweetness.
Available at: Harvey Nichols, Gerry’s Soho
Champagnes and Châteaux
Champagnes and Châteaux are a UK leading specialist wine merchant, founded by Christophe Galez in 1989. Over the last three decades C&C have introduced many family-owned wineries and boutique producers into the UK market.
In fact, Christophe Galez was the first to bring back from his native Champagne region the wonderful Champagne Thiénot, founded by Alian Thiénot in 1985.
Champagne Thiénot & Speedy No3
This Christmas, you can impress your loved one with the limited edition and recently launched Champagne Thiénot and renowned French street artist Speedy Graphito. This magnum bottle is known as Champagne Thiénot & Speedy No3, available online at Champagnes & Chateaux. It is the third collaboration with the House since 2016. Speedy’s impactful bottle design centres around the triumphant and full of life nature represented by the colour green. The collaboration brings together urban painting and champagne in a story of friendship between Speedy Graphito and Garance Thiénot, daughter of Champagne Thiénot founder Alain Thiénot. It is a true one of the kind!
Château Belgrave 5ème Grand Cru Classé 2012, Haut-Médoc – £34.95
Category: France, BORDEAUX, Château Belgrave, 2012
Château Belgrave is one of the oldest Cru vineyards in the Médoc. Initially velvety on the palate, the wine gains in body, with the very delicate and silky tannins adding structure. The wine is well-balanced and fresh throughout the tasting, and elegant until the lingering finish. The complex bouquet reveals dark fruit aromas of blackberry and cassis, precious woods and mint, enhanced with a subtle mocha note. Available online.
El Jardin De La Emperatriz Rioja Tinto, Rioja Alta 2017, Hermanos Hernáiz – £15.95
Category: Spain, Rioja Alta, Finca La Emperatriz, 2017
The soil of Finca La Emperatriz is unique in La Rioja. A poor, extremely hard soil, which provides the wines with a exquisite and distinctive elegance and minerality, with great ageing potential. The wine has a deep ruby colour. It is a medium-bodied, juicy red that combines sweet fruit and freshness with rich spicy notes that notably lift the palate. The supple tannins ensure an agile mouthfeel with pleasant toasty hints on the finish. Available online.
After all, Christmas is about good food, good drink, and good gatherings (well, we can keep hopeful on that last one). So whether you’re planning your Christmas Day menu or the entire holiday’s food and drink based on this Gift Guide, then you will be pleased to read about Perfect Cellar. They are an online wine company that believes great wines should be an affordable luxury made accessible to everyone.
Perfect Cellars are committed to delivering award winning high quality and artisan wines straight to your door. You will find Michelin Star and 90+ points wines from exclusive domaines and châteauxs’ in France. There is a Perfect Cellars wine to match every price point, there is a case of Perfect Cellar wines to match. From a mix of delectable reds to an opulent selection of Champagnes, everyone can enjoy the products of exceptional winemakers.
You can tailor make your order if you’re confident about your wines. Alternatively, Perfect Cellars are currently offering gift sets in trios, 6, or 12. You can opt for a mixed box of one of each White, Red and Prosecco (as pictured above) in The Perfect Mixed Gift Box.
There are plenty of gift boxes to view online, and their dedicated team of wine advisors are only a phone call away, 0203 131 0012 should you wish to discuss or ask any questions about the available selection.