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English Sparkling producer launches Blanc de Blancs…in Paris

An English Sparkling wine producer has just launched its latest release in an unlikely location: Paris.

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The new Cuvée La Perfide 2016, Blanc de Blancs was showcased at a meeting a fortnight ago by the two founders of the house, Nicholas Coates and Christian Seely, in the gallery of the French designer and interior architect, Christian Liaigre.

Although there was an official launch in London later in the month, the estate decided to use the surprising venue for its first showing of the product. Traditionally, wine professionals use hotel lounges, or a specific room in a restaurant or a renowned cellar. But that was not the case here, because the message the producer wished to spread would lack the originality or the elegance that suited the two owners so well.

The unexpected choice was no coincidence, and we quickly understand why: good taste is everywhere. The Liaigre brand defines itself as follows in its brochure: “No stylistic effect but a luxurious simplicity, an aesthetic of purity which expresses its taste for refined detail.”

This sums up in a few words the thought that the owners wish to convey by presenting their various ranges to us: Brut Reserve, non-vintage Rosé, non-vintage Blanc de Blanc, La Perfide Blanc de Noirs 2014, La Perfide 2014 rose magnum and La Perfide 2016 Blanc de Blancs zero dosage.


Coates & Seely is above all the story of a friendship between Nicholas Coates known as “Nick” and Christian Seely, which began on the benches of the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires School in Fontainebleau, over 30 years ago. “We were two English people, keen on poetry, among financiers and economists. We got along immediately,” recalls Christian Seely with fondness.

Nick Coates would go on to have a brilliant career in investment banking, and Christian Seely in wine, running Axa Millésime, of which he is still president. In 2008, they boldly bought a small vineyard of a few hectares in Hampshire.

“We were able to release our first wine in 2009 by relying on some good quality old vines,” explains Nick Coates. Since then, the estate has grown a lot. It currently covers around 30 hectares, plus 20 others hectares in 2023, on the Isle of Wight. “This is the first vineyard planted on this island. The ground is chalky. It is therefore perfectly suited to the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varieties that we use,” explains Christian Seely.

Although the varieties are similar to Champagne, the label claims a “British Method”, which is a touch of ‘British humour’ from the two owners since they actually use the traditional method of the Champenois.

The quality of the different vintages keeps improving. La Perfide 2016 is definitely proof of this. It seems that the 2018 will be even better according to Nicholas Coates – obviously, the last born is often their parents’ favourite! But we will have to wait a little longer before finding out. Meanwhile, let’s enjoy this Perfidious 2016 with joy and moderation, without any hypocrisy.

Tasting notes

Coates & Seely, la Perfide Blanc de Blancs 2016, zero dosage

This wine benefited from a long ageing in the cellar, since it was released almost 8 years after its harvest. This Blanc de Blancs is made from a single grape variety, Chardonnay, from the 2016 harvest. On the nose, the wine reveals aromas of white fruits such as William pear. The bubbles are fine. They are never abrupt on the palate, but rather soft. The feel in the mouth is elegant and charming. The wine envelops the palate with deliciousness. You would never guess that it is a zero dosage. The finish is balanced with citrus notes and a subtle saline hint.

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