Champagne highlights (2)

These bottles were all drunk on the trip. Some great discoveries here – these are all from smaller growers.

Champagne Emmanuel Brochet Le Mont Benoit Extra Brut NV France
Emmanuel Brochet farms 2.5 hectares with an average vine age of 35 years, working organically. He began in 1997, and all his wines are pressed with a […]

Some Champagne highlights (1)

So four and a bit days in Champagne, many wines tasted, quite a few drunk. Here are just a few of my highlights from a few of the producers I visited.

Champagne Leclerc Briant La Croisette Brut Zéro 2014 France
This is a new producer to me. We had a great visit. It’s a reborn biodynamic domaine […]

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2012

Nice to try the new Grand Vintage from Moët. Last release was 2009 in 2017, so there’s been quite a jump to 2012. It’s really good, despite the slightly up and down growing season.

Champagne Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2012 France
12.5% alcohol. 41% Chardonnay, 26% Pinot Meunier, 33% Pinot Noir. Dosage 5 g/litre. Disgorged February 2018. […]

Champagne Castelnau Réserve NV

This is an impressive Champagne for the price. Made by the CRVC ( a cooperative, this spends six years on lees, which is a long time for an NV Champagne.

Champagne Castelnau Réserve NV France
£28 The Wine Society
12.5% alcohol
40% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier, one-fifth reserve wines. 8 g/litre dosage. This is unusual for […]

Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois NV France

This is an interesting Champagne, marketed on the basis that fermentation is entirely in oak barrels, something that’s very rare for larger Champagne houses. It’s made of Premier and Grand Cru Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs; Premier and Grand Cru Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims, Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ; and Pinot Meunier from the […]

Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs

Very impressed with this, the current release of the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. It’s immediately accessible, and obviously delicious, but it also has a serious side to it. Very skilful blending and winemaking here. Not cheap, at around £50 street price, but really fine and beautifully packaged, too (in clear glass, so preferably try to […]

Champagne Salon 1985

A real treat to drink this tonight after a lovely boat ride and swim in Muskoka cottage country. It’s mature and delicious. Thank you Steven Campbell for opening this.

Champagne Salon Le Mesnil 1985 France
Golden colour. Lovely aromas of toast, nuts, honey and apples with a faint cheesiness. The palate is intense and concentrated with a […]

Grower Champagne: Larmandier-Bernier Latitude Blanc de Blancs

Larmandier-Bernier is one of the leading lights of grower Champagne. The domaine, which consists of 15 hectares of vines in the Côtes des Blancs, is farmed by Sophie and Pierre Larmandier, who took over in 1988. In 1992 they began farming organically, and in 1999 they started working with biodynamics. The old vines (average age […]

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2007

Lovely to be able to taste this – a pre-release bottle of the new vintage of Comtes de Champagne (read more about Taittinger’s Comtes here). It’s a really cracking vintage of this prestige cuvée.

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2007 France
This is quite beautiful. There’s lovely concentration of citrus fruit with some subtle hazelnut and toast, as […]

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve NV

This is one of the best NV blends out there. It’s made from 60 different crus, with 40% reserve wines (a very high proportion), and bottled in 2011 before disgorgement in 2017. There is no oak in the cellar here. Average age of reserve wines is 10 years: most are there to iron out inconsistencies […]