In Champagne, day 3 (part 2): De Sousa and Pierre Paillard

De Sousa is a small Champagne house with a Portuguese name. It’s run by Erick and Michelle Se Sousa, and was established by Erick’s father and mother in the 1950s. Erick’s dad was a Portuguese musician who fell in love with a French girl (her family name was Bonneville), and they decided to establish their [...]

In Champagne, day 3 (part 1): Pierre Peters and Ulysse Collin

Day three began with a brilliant visit with the engaging, smart Rodolphe Péters (above) of Champagne Pierre Peters. He explained that there are three critical elements for him in making his Champagnes: terroir, pressing and reserve wines.

He begins with terroir. He’s not organic or biodynamic, largely because he has 20 hectares spread across 72 parcels, [...]

In Champagne, day 2: Bruno Paillard, Selosse and Gosset

Day two in Champagne began at Bruno Paillard, someone who I have featured on this site before (here and here). Bruno began with an interesting statement: ‘The true richness of Champagne is the poverty of its soils and the poverty of its climate,’ a comment that was prompted by just how freezing it was, even [...]

In Champagne, Day 1: visiting Vergnon and dinner at Bocal

This Champagne trip started gently, with a weekend in Reims that contained just one vineyard visit: JL Vergnon, in Le Mesnil. We were hosted by Christophe Constant (below), who has been running things here for 15 years now. Vergnon have 5.5 hectares in the Côtes des Blancs, with 18 parcels in Grand Crus and 2 [...]

Grower Champagne focus: the remarkable Gimonnet Oenophile 2005

I’m quite a Gimonnet fan, so I was delighted to find this in a wine shop in Reims at a sensible price. It’s just beautiful. 2005 isn’t the best ever Champagne vintage (it was actually quite tricky), but this wine has developed really nicely and is now at something approaching peak drinking I reckon, although [...]

In Reims, buying Champagne

I’ve been here in Reims since Friday, drawn here by my growing love of Champagne. It has been nice to explore the town a bit, and my self-imposed rule is that while I’m here, I’ll be drinking nothing but fizz. So I have been on the lookout for places to buy good Champagne. There are [...]

Video: drinking Champagne Dom Pérignon 2004 and talking fizz

So, I open a bottle of Champagne Dom Pérignon with brother in law William Beavington, and we drink it, talk about it, and have a broad-ranging discussion about Champagne more generally. The film is here.

Benoît Gouez introduces Moët et Chandon MCIII, the new prestige cuvée

On Wednesday, I met with Benoît Gouez, chef de cave of Champagne Moët et Chandon, to try their recently introduced prestige cuvée, MCIII. ‘Since the mid-1990s we’ve been thinking of creating something special,’ he says. ‘Different ideas had been offered. Then in 2000 we released 323 magnums of ‘Esprit du Siécle.’ The idea here was [...]

Champagne under £8? I review Tesco's Pol Aimé Champagne NV on camera

Tesco are currently running a 25% off 6 bottles or more of wine. This offer includes their Pol Aimé Champagne, which is currently listed at £9.95. So with the multi-bottle discount, this brings the price down to £7.46. This makes it the cheapest Champagne I’ve seen for sale in the UK for practically ever. Champagne [...]

Champagne Dom Perignon P2 1998

It’s hard to taste a famous wine with a completely clear mind. Sometimes you are wary about giving too high a score: would you have liked it as much if it was tasted blind? Or you might knock it back a bit, just because it’s a celebrity wine. It was nice to drink this a [...]