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 [...]

Champagne Thiénot Cuvée Stanislas Blanc de Blancs 2006 France

This is from a relatively new Champagne house, established in 1985 by Alain Thiénot. This wine is dedicated by Alain to his son, Stanislas, and it is made from Chardonnay, sourced from the Côte des Blancs. Stanislas and his sister Garance are now running things here at Thiénot, who also own Canard-Duchêne, and who have [...]

Taittinger becomes the first Champagne house to buy vineyards in England

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, Patrick McGrath and Westminster Abbey archivist Tony Trowles at today’s press conference

English sparkling wine has been a talking point for a while now. There’s no doubting that there is some very good English fizz being made, as the recent Noble Rot tasting showed. But today there was a further boost to the [...]

Champagne Taittinger 2008

2008 is looking like a very good vintage in Champagne. The summer was a cool one, and the season was saved by beautiful sunny days just before and during harvest. The result? A healthy crop with high levels of acidity, which is usually good for producing ageworthy fizz, even if they can be a bit [...]