I tasted this blind and got as far as French chardonnay. I knew it wasn’t champagne, though it could have passed for it on the nose, if not appearance (mousse rather faint) and taste. Not Loire or Rhone – so what’s left? Alsace possibly. Or Jura – although it didn’t remind me of the only other sparking Jura I’ve tasted (the much praised one from Aldi). Geoff was confident I wouldn’t get it, which made me think it was even more obscure. But it was a Jura, 100% chardonnay with some vin jaune added later which gave a floral perfumed nose and added some complexity to the taste. From Worth Brothers in Lichfield, about £16. A very interesting and enjoyable wine which I’d certainly buy on my next visit to the shop.
[Geoff: I call this a short-cut to a vintage champagne. The vin jaune addition is seven years old and has the same oxidised notes as sherry owing to the flor yeast it evolves under. The result is a rich sparkling wine akin to a much more expensive vintage champagne. I drank some more about two hours later and the flavour had developed even deeper notes. I’m afraid it put the Aldi sparkling Jura well in the shade, for another £8 it’s well worth buying the Bethanie.]