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 […]

Champagne Gosset Grande Réserve Brut NV France

This is a multivintage blend, bringing together wines from three vintages, and it’s aged on lees for four years, adding extra complexity. This is a bold, powerful, gastronomic Champagne. There’s no malolactic fermentation, which keeps the acidity brisk and keen. Lots of interest here, and I also love the distinctive bottle shape, which is really […]

Grower Champagne: Roses de Jeanne Côte de Val Vilaine Blanc de Noirs

Cedric Bouchard is one of the new generation of star growers in Champagne. Based in the Côte des Bar in the Aube, in the south of Champagne, he only began making wine in 2000, from 1.4 hectares of vines, but has since added his father’s 1.5 hectares to this holding. Initially the wines he made […]

Champagne Dom Pérignon: the extreme years, with Richard Geoffroy

Richard Geoffroy introduces Dom Pérignon vintages 2003, 2006 and 2009, underlines why each is an extreme wine, tells us which is his favourite vintage ever, and explains why vision is more important than vineyards.

‘It has been such an exhilarating period,’ began Richard Geffroy, Chef de Cave of Dom Pérignon, referring to the string of releases […]

Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal 2006

It’s so nice when legends live up to expectations. I had six bottles of this, as payment for judging the Roederer awards a few years ago. But my teenage kids broke into a locked wine cupboard and had necked four bottles with their friends before I discovered the loss! So just two bottles left, and […]