We have come across a few Southern Hemisphere sparkling wines but never anything on this level of excellence. While the name may be slightly pompous, No.1 does make the absolute best sparkling wine in New Zealand. Daniel Le Brun, a 12th generation Champagne native who upon visiting the vineyards of Marlborough, was struck with the impression that the terroir would be perfect for world-class sparkling wines. Daniel, whose relatives still make Champagne to this day, believes that Marlborough is only second to Champagne for sparkling wines. Daniel implements sustainable viticulture as well as Methode Traditionelle in the production of his Champagne as well as technology and equipment that one would expect to see in Champagne, not New Zealand. The No. 1 Cuvee was the first sparkling wine that Daniel produced in New Zealand and since then has been a mainstay among the Kiwis and sparkling wine world. No. 1 is 100% Chardonnay displaying characteristic notes of citrus, green apple, nuts, brioche, and a touch of minerality. While the dosage is at 7 grams, it has beautiful balance with focused acidity and a creamy finish. The No. 1 Cuvee is impressive, and its providence could almost fool one into thinking it is from Champagne. Daniel Le Brun brought twelve generations of Champenois experience to New Zealand. With his son set to take over soon, the No. 1 name will continue to keep its position as the top sparkling house that New Zealand has to offer.