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 [...]

Some reflections on ProWein 2016: bubbly Brits, grower Champagne, Canada, Provence and Grenache

ProWein is a massive wine and spirits fair, held each year in Dusseldorf, Germany. It’s enormous. 6200 exhibitors, and 55 000 trade visitors. I’ve just returned, and these are some of my impressions. But it’s impossible for any one person to be able to give anything more than a personal perspective gained by merely scratching [...]

Grower Champagne focus: Gimonnet Cuvée Fleuron 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs 2006

Had this at lunch on Thursday at the excellent Prospect restaurant in San Francisco, where sommelier Josh Thomas has put together a stunning and well priced list of fizz. I’m a big fan of the Gimonnet Cuis 1er Cru, but this is a real step up. Concentrated and lovely.

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet Cuvée Fleuron 1er Cru [...]

Hold the front page: Taittinger's Comtes 2006 is pretty good

I know this is a bit boring to report, but the Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2006 is actually pretty good. Stunning really. The 2005 is currently drinking brilliantly (and 2005 was a difficult vintage in Champagne), but 2006 has everything there for it to be a classic. Now most of the top 2006s have [...]

The Ruinart Lighthouse: a tasting of Champagne and Chardonnay with Frédéric Panaïotis

Yesterday I visited the Ruinart Lighthouse, which is an exhibition and tasting being held at the Violin Factory near London’s South Bank. The focus of the three-storey exhibition space is on Chardonnay, with various exhibits and art works beautifully displayed.

The Lighthouse is open to consumers and tickets are still available for the next two days [...]

Champagne Krug 2002 and friends

Krug 2002 has finally been launched. On Tuesday evening a group of us gathered in a studio in Shoreditch which had, for a week, been turned into the home of Krug. It was quite pretty. Eric Lebel (above left), who’s been chef de cave here for 18 years was presenting, along with Olivier Krug and [...]

Video: New Year's Blind Champagne Tasting (lite)

For the last few years, a feature of new year’s eve has been a blind Champagne tasting with my brother in law Beavington. This year we couldn’t meet up, but anxious not to break the continuity I did a slimmed-down, sawn-off version with three Champagnes. So here it is!

Christmas Grower Champagne: Legras Presidence 2007, Savart L'Ouverture and Selosse Initial

Three Christmas grower Champagnes. Quite lovely.

Champagne R&L Legras Présidence Vieilles Vignes Brut Grand Cru Chouilly 2007 France
Low dosage of 5 g/l, Blanc de Blancs. Very stylish, fresh, lemony and creamy with subtle toast. Very fine and linear with a bit of depth but also lovely purity and complexity. Fabulous stuff. 94/100 (Lea & Sandeman stock [...]

Champagne Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV

Perrier-Jouët is a medium-sized Champagne house with an annual production of around 3 million bottles a year, dating back to 1811. They have just under 180 hectares of their own vineyards, which is quite a high proportion. Bought by Mumm in the late 1950s, they are now part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio. I was [...]

Champagne Pierre Péters Rosé for Albane

Had this at lunch yesterday, off the list at the excellent Kensington Wine Rooms. It was stunning. Champagne Pierre Péters is a Blanc de Blancs specialist located in Le Mesnil sur Oger, in the heart of the Côte des Blancs. Under the direction of Rodolphe Péters since 2008, this sixth generation family firm just makes wines [...]