It’s always a good time for sparkling wine and Champagne. Christmas gives me that extra prompt to open bottles though, and to seek out the company of those who also like to bring out the bubbles. Here are some fizz highlights of the last few days.
First, a couple of Christmas day quotes. I was at my sister’s, with my parents.
Mum: ‘The thing with Champagne is that you never get drunk. I’ve been drinking this since 11 o’clock.’ (It was 16.30 at this stage.)
An hour later, my sister Hester begins to carve the turkey, which she has just taken from her Aga.
Hester: ‘There’s not much breast meat on a turkey, is there?’ (She had put the turkey into the oven upside down; no worries, it still tasted superb.)
Champagne Perrier Jouët Cuvée Belle Epoque 2002
Fine, fresh and toasty on the nose, showing white peach and citrus fruit. The palate is crisp, taut and focued with finesse and lovely fruit. Exuberantly fruity but fine, with nice subtle toastiness. 93/100
Jacques Selosse Initial Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV
From Avize, Cramant and Oger, disgorged May 2012. A striking Champagne with notes of cider, apple and herbs on the nose. The palate is tight and intense with zippy acidity and complex citrus notes. Such a powerful, linear wine of great intensity. Oxidative notes are initially off-putting, but this should age fabulously. 94/100
Chapel Down The Three Graces 2008 English Sparkling Wine
55% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay and 8% Pinot Meunier, with full malolactic and 3 years on the lees. Tight, fresh, crisp and citrussy. Lovely precision here, with notes of apple, citrus pith and lemon. Zippy, precise and intense with great acidity, and also subtle brioche notes. 91/100
Champagne Thiénot Vintage 2005
Warm, inviting toasty nose, with some berry fruits and citrus, as well as a hint of honey. The palate is rich and quite structured; broad and toasty with some finesse. Peach, pear, citrus, brioche notes. Broad and balanced. 92/100