The wines of Champagne Taittinger revisited

With an annual production of 6.5 million bottles, Taittinger is the sixth largest Champagne house. It’s family owned (with help from Credit Agricole Bank) and run, and they have 712 acres of their own vineyards, enough to cover half their production, which is a big advantage in an age where there is fierce competition for […]

Lunch with Paillard, Solaia and Biondi-Santi

Had a nice lunch in the garden with Robin and Nikolai. I brought Champagne, and they stepped things up a notch with two famous Italians.

Champagne Bruno Paillard Assemblage 2009 France
50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir, 20% barrel fermented. Aged seven years on lees, then 18 months in bottle (disgorged September 2017) before release. Dosage 5 g/litre. […]

Grower Champagne focus: Marie Courtin Résonance Extra Brut

Champagne Marie-Courtin Résonance Extra Brut NV (2014) France
12% alcohol. Dominique Moreau runs the estate – her grandmother was Marie-Courtin. It’s 2 ha in the Aube, and all of the Champagnes are non-vintage, but she doesn’t use reserve wine. This wine is 2014. It’s from the village of Polisot in the south of the Aube, and […]

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 […]