Another lovely Champagne: Gatinois Aÿ Grand Cru NV

Gatinois, based in Aÿ, have 7.5 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards spread across 29 plots. They sell half their grapes to Bollinger and other grand marques, but father and son team Pierre and Louis Cheval-Gatinois also make their own wine, including this NV, which is 90% Pinot Noir with the balance Chardonnay. This spends at [...]

Champagne Michel Arnould Grand Cru Brut Réserve NV France

Continuing my exploration of well priced and delicious grower Champagnes, here’s another, from Michel Arnould. They have 12 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards in Verzenay. It’s Pinot Noir: although I’m at heart a Blanc de Blancs fan, there are times when some Pinot character is welcome.

Champagne Michel Arnould Grand Cru Brut Réserve NV France
From Verzenay, [...]

Ulysse Collin Les Maillons Blanc de Noirs - a sensational Champagne

I was blown away by this rich, distinctive Blanc de Noirs from Ulysse Collin. It’s sensational, and it has a good back story.

Olivier Collin’s family had been farming vineyards from their base in Congy since 1812, but were renting out their 8.7 hectares of vineyards to a negociant. But Olivier wanted these vineyards back: he [...]

Champagne Pierre Péters Cuvée du Réserve Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru NV France

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 from their own grapes. Fortunately they have sizeable holdings: 19 hectares of Chardonnay, most of which [...]

On Champagne bubbles

I was reminded last night about how bubbles aren’t really a property of a Champagne (or sparkling wine). I poured the same Champagne into two different glasses. In one, the bubbles were fine – a steady stream. In the other, they were big and clumsy looking. The same wine.

It’s common to hear wine professionals comment [...]

Champagne R&L Legras Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru

I’m getting into grower Champagne at the moment. Some stunning wines, often at very good prices. This lovely: it’s from R&L Legras in Chouilly, the most northerly village in the Cotes des Blancs, and it’s the same price as a Grand Marque NV. Which is nuts. I’ve reviewed wines before from them here, here, here [...]

Champagne Bérêche et Fils Campania Remensis Extra Brut Rosé

Today I lunched with some good friends. We kicked off with a rather special grower Champagne, that I reckon is one of the best rosé Champagnes that I’ve had. It’s so beautiful.

Champagne Bérêche et Fils Campania Remensis Extra Brut Rosé NV
Pink/orange colour. Lovely focused apple and cherry fruit, with lemon and grapefruit freshness. Dry but [...]

A great lunch at Social Wine and Tapas, with Savart and Pignan

Charles Spence, the noted red-trousered Professor of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University wrote one of my favourite books of late, titled The Perfect Meal. I think I had a lunch today that would get pretty close, at Social Wine and Tapas with Dan Keeling of Noble Rot.

Of course, I was primed to like it. Our [...]

Champagne Lallier's new R.012

I was intrigued by this new wine. It’s a non-vintage Champagne from Lallier, but it’s particularly honest about its component parts. Francis Tribaut, the owner/winemaker at Lallier has decided to label it R.012, indicating that it’s mostly from the 2012 vintage. But by using reserve wines – in this case 19% of the blend is [...]

Why Rosé is like Champagne

I am just on my way back from a Champagne tasting, hosted by on-trade specialists Matthew Clark. Running from 4 pm onwards it was titled a ‘social’, rather than a ‘tasting’, and I figured it was therefore best to get there early before it got too social. It was a useful time, though, offering me [...]