The joy of Squerryes’ magnums
In our latest blog, Squerryes owner Henry Warde talks about his love for our larger-size bottles, which are just the wine for your celebrations this Christmas.
Read on to find out why they’re ‘a thing of beauty’, including our award-winning 2016 vintage Brut, which was named National Champion, the ultimate award for an English brand, at the 2021 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships…
So, Henry, for readers who may not know, what exactly is a magnum?
The magnum by size is the equivalent of two single bottles, so one and a half litres. On one hand, it’s very similar to a single bottle, with the same blend and essentially the same juice; on the other, the wine will be on the lees for a much longer time compared to that of a single bottle. Some may think that a magnum is just a replacement of two bottles, when in reality, a magnum will be quite a different wine, over time.
And what’s so special about them?
A magnum ‘magnifies’ the characteristics of the wine. It’s like turning the volume from about seven to nine in terms of the fruit characteristics, and yeasty, nutty, brioche, and biscuit notes from the lees ageing – they’re just better defined. Things tend to take more time in a magnum, which is why we release them later than our other bottle sizes, resulting in a wonderful expression of that vintage.
As a larger size, magnums must really come into their own for celebrations…
If I’m entertaining over 6 people, I’d say it’s around a couple of glasses each, so around 12 glasses in total. The dilemma, though, is if you should open another or not!
If my children are going to get married, I’ll always go for magnums because of the flavour, and also the theatre of a larger bottle. It’s something for a really special occasion, and a thing of beauty to look at.
Tell us about your 2016 vintage Brut’s win at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships…
Originally, post-harvest we thought the 2016 didn’t have as much ageing potential as other vintages. However, after tasting and enjoying the 2016 vintage, our opinion completely changed, to think of it as a wine with plenty of longevity, and one that expresses our terroir so perfectly.
I was originally planning on entering the 2014 vintage Blanc de Blancs in magnum, but changed my mind at the last minute; when the 2016 vintage was awarded the title of ‘National Champion’ last week I was thrilled and convinced of the strength of the magnum format.
It’s the second time in five years that we’ve been awarded the title of National Champion - it’s a real honour, as well as a real testament to the quality of our terroir and winemaking here at Squerryes.