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Featured Reviews

No. 1 Family Estate ‘Cuvee Adele’ Methode Traditionnelle 2013

23 November,2018

Daniel and Adele Le Brun are the pioneers of Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle wines, Daniel bringing his experience and expertise from being raised in the Champagne region where his family has made wine for generations, and Adele bringing a sense of sheer class to the style and, presentation and marketing of the wines Daniel makes. They are a true ‘tour de force’ of the region, and have led from the front to ensure the region’s wines are recognised around the world.

After selling their initial business, Daniel and Adele set up No. 1 Family Estate in 1999 as their own venture again, and instantly hit success with their ‘Cuvee No. 1’ sparklings (click here for my reviews of the latest excellent releases). However, the Le Bruns specialise in unique cuvees that are individually expressive, these bottlings named after the family members, these wines receiving the appropriate time on lees in bottle for greater autolytic complexity. The ‘Cuvee Virginie’ is a Chardonnay-dominant wine and the ‘Cuvee Remy’ a Pinot Noir-dominant wine, initially created to celebrate their daughter and son’s 21st birthdays. The ‘Cuvee 70 Calibre’ a non-dosage Pinot Noir-dominant method created and blended by assistant winemaker Lee Dobson to celebrate Daniels’s 35 years in Marlborough.

The ‘jewel in the crown’ of these special bottlings is arguably the ‘Cuvee Adele’ first released with the 2009 vintage in 2012 to celebrate Adele’s 60th birthday. It is a Chardonnay-dominant wine with over 3 years on lees, and the 2009 tasted then was a wine of glamour and elegance, as is Adele the person. Here, I review the new 2013 vintage of ‘Cuvee Adele’. The bottle is encrusted with Swarovski crystals, which makes it one of the most beautifully presented sparkling wines in New Zealand. The packaging is incredible; when one opens the black box in which the bottle is housed, lighting from above and inside the box turns on to illuminate the crystals. The effect is simply stunning.


No. 1 Family Estate ‘Cuvee Adele’ Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle 2013

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, pale golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter edged, the bubbles moderately fine and persistent. The bouquet is elegantly concentrated with gentle layers of white stonefruits and white florals, along with subtle citrus fruit notes melded with refined bready-yeasty autolysis, unfolding soft mineral elements. The componentry is harmoniously interwoven and integrated with subtle detail, and the aromatics exude finesse and purity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has vibrant and lively, piquant flavours of white stonefruits and florals with delicate citrus fruit notes, harmoniously entwined with soft and gentle bready-yeasty autolysis. This is beautifully pure in expression. The mouthfeel is refined with very fine textures and is enlivened by creamy effervescence and mousse, with crisp, mouthwatering acidity. The fruit and autolysis forms an elegant line which carries the wine to an elegant, nuanced and sustained finish. This is an elegant and refined Chardonnay-expressive method traditionnelle with white stonefruit and floral flavours complexed by pure bready-yeasty autolysis in a creamy, but refreshing palate. Serve as an aperitif over the next 4 years. A blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, the fruit hand-picked and WBP, fermented to 12.5% alc. with a dosage of 8 g/L, the wine aged over 36 months on lees in bottle. Lot L10011. 19.0+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $240.00

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