It is the King in our portfolio of wine - the size of it is impressive and stands out, there is a theatre and ceremony that goes with opening one, and it is noticed by everyone. But it isn’t just the novelty of the size that means that we here at Squerryes love a Magnum - although the Joy (our raison d’être) is reason enough in our books.
There is a slight unknown when it comes to the technicalities of a traditional method sparkling wine ageing in a Magnum and why it adds another layer to the complexities in the wine, but it can’t be denied that there is something magical that does happen when Squerryes is aged in a larger bottle.
Those of you familiar with the process of making a Traditional method sparkling wine will be aware of the 2 fermentation process, and it is this second fermentation in the bottle that makes the difference to the development of secondary notes in the wine. By this, we’re talking about the savoury, biscuit, brioche notes many of us love in an aged champagne.
While the wine is ageing on the lees (yeast), in a Magnum there is a lower surface area to volume ratio, which means that the ageing process takes a little longer, and much like slow cooking a meal, this means the flavours and notes on the wine become more refined, subtle, elegant and regal. We release our Magnums a few years later than the single bottle vintages to allow these notes to develop. There is an added benefit however to purchasing a Magnum and ageing it at home ‘on the cork’ with a school of thought that wine benefits from cork time which allows the flavours to really integrate and develop.
An interesting statistic highlighted by Tom Stevenson MW ahead of the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships judging this year is that whilst Magnums account for 17% of the CSWWC entries, they take 50% of the medals.
A single bottle that wins Silver is more likely to win Gold if it is in a Magnum. Proof indeed that Magnums are King. Indeed our 2016 Brut Magnum won National Champion at the CSWWC 2021 - meaning of all of the English Sparkling wines entered that year - single bottles to Jeroboams, Blanc de Blancs to Rosé, Vintage and Non-Vintage - ours was the best wine of them all and crowned accordingly.
And if you need convincing further, if Henry Warde is entertaining a group larger than six, the only wine to open in his eyes is a Magnum, most likely the Blanc de Blancs 2014. We also asked our members Adam and Rupert, known as ‘The Magnum Boys’, for their thoughts on their favourite wine of ours and here’s what they had to say:
‘…more efficient (why open two bottles when you can just open one), they are a showstopper and conversation starter, more environmentally friendly (only one cork used!), and they make excellent gifts for dinner parties and special occasions’.
So if you are going to be marking the coronation with friends and family this May, and want to make an occasion of it and one to remember, do consider opening a Magnum of Squerryes. This will be a real moment to mark and one many of us have never witnessed before and what better way than to celebrate with our Majestic Magnums.
View the range of Squerryes Wines in our shop.