Exploring perception at the Champagne assembly

Today was the Champagne Mumm/Perrier Jouet Champagne Assembly, held in the fabulous surroundings of the Marriott Renaissance Hotel at St Pancras.

Peter Barham (in waistcoat) presenting his session

I attended three of the five sessions, and they were pretty thought provoking. Physicist and food science geek Professor Peter Barham led a session looking at the effect [...]

Funniest label of the year, so far

Caught a glimpse of this new wine label from D’Arenberg, for a celebratory sparkling wine they are releasing.

It’s very funny indeed. (For those who don’t get the joke, see this link.) I hope Pernod Ricard, who own Champagne Mumm, can see the funny side too.

The third New Year Great Blind Champagne Tasting video!

So here it is. The third installment of the Great Blind Champagne Tasting, which is – by tradition – held on new year’s eve. This years’ was bigger (16 wines) and longer than ever. But I hope you’ll find it gripping viewing.

Some real surprises here. There were three ringers: a top Cava, a famous English [...]

Christmas bottles

OK, a round-up of some of the memorable wines we’ve had this holiday. Pictured above: the Man O’War Chardonnay 2009, with its characteristic matchstick reduction adding some Burgundian-style complexity. This is a superb wine with real interest. And I’m pleased to say I spotted it when served blind!

Totally different, and thoroughly enjoyable. La Morandina Moscato [...]

The mechanics of the £20 Taittinger offer

This is the time of year when the supermarkets try t0 outdo each other with special offers on well-known fizz.

I was surprised when I popped into my local Asda and found Champagne Taittinger NV for sale at £20 per bottle, with a maximum of three bottles per customer. I’ve heard from others that Sainsbury’s and [...]

A lovely wine dinner focusing on Champagne and Bordeaux

Headed over to brother-in-law Beavington’s place for a joint birthday celebration (ours are 6 days apart, but he is a year older than me). We had some fabulous wines.

Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 2000
12% alcohol. From a south-facing, steeply sloped vineyard of 5.5 hecatres, this is a blend of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay, [...]

Champagne Roederer Vintage 2005

Unsurprisingly, Roederer’s Vintage 2005 is a tasty Champagne indeed. Here’s my note on the bottle consumed this evening:

Champagne Louis Roederer Vintage 2005
12% alcohol. Very youthful, fine and taut on the nose. Crisp with focused, complex citrus fruit and some fine toasty notes on the nose. The palate is fruity and precise with nice structure adding [...]

At the sparkling wine symposium

Just back from day 1 of the 2011 instalment of the International Sparkling Wine Symposium, held at Denbies wine estate in Dorking, Surrey.

I’m one of the organizing committee, so it was a day on duty, hoping things went well. Did they? Yes, absolutely. It was a great day.

I can’t hope to summarize proceedings adequately here (I’m tired, [...]

More Rugby and some very nice Gosset

A big day yesterday. It began with a stroll down to the waterfront for some beers with Nick Stock and Iain Riggs (of Brokenwood in Australia’s Hunter Valley), but this morphed into lunch when Stocky successfully got us a table in a crowded restaurant by slipping a member of staff some $$$. His view is [...]

Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004 and Vintage Rose 2004

A chance to taste the new releases from Veuve Clicquot, both of which are really impressive. Caveat: these bottles had been open for a while.

The Vintage 2004 is quite deep coloured, and has lovely concentration of citrus fruit with some richer, toasty notes. Really great balance here, with quite powerful flavours. Lovely intensity. 93/100

The Vintage [...]