If you're planning to stock up on festive bubbles, you're in good company.
Our in store tastings of great bubblies have left us with such a great taste in our mouths that we are sating our thirst this week with Nautilus Brut NV (among other great bubbles from New Zealand, France and Italy).
Nautilus Brut NV is a member of Methode Marlborough - a group of like minded Marlborough sparkling winemakers. The group is devoted to making top quality sparkling wine in the traditional method - another way of saying that they are using traditional winemaking techniques from the Champagne region in north east France. They can't use the word champagne for their wines because the generic sparkling wine that we call champagne (small 'c' for the wine) can only use this name if it comes from the Champagne region (big 'C' for the regional name). French winemakers had great foresight when they fought to win the exclusive international legal naming rights to the word champagne, in 1958.
Marlborough winemakers can, however, emulate the winemaking methods that go into making these complex sparkling wines. Namely, they use only the three main champagne grapes - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. They make a light still wine from their chosen combo of these grapes and then they bottle it under a crown seal with a little yeast and sweet addition to kickstart its second fermentation. In the Champagne region, the sparkling wines must legally spend 18 months aging prior to being sold. This extended aging gives the wines lots of flavour because the yeast lees break down after fermentation, releasing proteins and flavour, which integrate into and become part of the wine's yeasty character, adding body and texture as they do so.
Nautilus winemaker Clive Jones models this bubbly on Bollinger, giving it an even longer aging time - three years - before it is disgorged (that's the ejection of yeast sediment from the wine to make it clear and vibrant in appearance).
Like Bollinger, Nautilus Brut Cuvee is also made mostly from Pinot Noir.
This gives it a recognisably toasty, savoury flavour and full body.
No wonder it's a multi award winning wine - 5 stars and top 10 sparkling wine in Cuisine magazine 2017, 96 points, best New Zealand sparkling wine in Decanter magazine in August 2017, among many other accolades.
But don't just take our word for it.
Come in and buy a bottle of this modestly priced, very nice Nautilus Brut Cuvee. Talk about amazing value for money.
Merry festive season from the team at Regional.