Champagne Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006

Just released: the new vintage of Veuve Clicquot’s flagship Champagne, La Grande Dame. It’s the 2006, and this year it is 53% Pinot Noir (Grand Cru: Ay, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy and Verzenay) and 47% Chardonnay (Grand Cru: Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger).

Champagne Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006 France
Disgorged January 2014. Yellow/gold colour. Fine, rich, [...]

English sparkling wine versus Champagne - the Noble Rot tasting - my results

I mentioned a while back that I’d taken part in a tasting of English sparkling wine versus Champagne. Organized by counter-culture wine publication Noble Rot, it pitted a carefully selected quartet of English fizz against four very good grower Champagnes, and four very good Grand Marque Champagnes. It was a fair fight: all three quartets [...]

Champagne Dom Pérignon 2006

New release of a classic. And it’s lovely. A really good vintage for Dom P. [Aside, I never realized before that Dom stood for Dominus, and was a title for monks. I always thought it was like some bad-ass 18th century French mafia-equivalent thing.] I was lucky enough to drink this, not just taste it, [...]

Champagne Vilmart et Cie Grand Cellier d'Or Premier Cru 2010

I recently reviewed Vilmat’s Grand Cellier NV Cuvee, and really liked it. Now it’s the turn of its elder sibling, the Grand Cellier D’Or 2010. This is a remarkable wine that’s still very much in its first flush of youth. I’d age this for a bit. It’s remarkable.

Champagne Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier d’Or Premier [...]

Champagne Agrapart Avizoise Extra Brut Grand Cru 2008

Enjoyed this last night at The Glue Pot in Reims, which has a lovely list of grower Champagnes and craft beers. This was 94 Euros on the list. It’s really tight and youthful, and could probably do with quite a bit of time to show its best. But it’s superb.

Champagne Agrapart Avizoise Extra Brut Grand [...]

Champagne Gimonnet Blanc de Blancs Cuvee Cuis 1er Cru NV

I love this Champagne. It’s one I’ve enjoyed before, and so it was nice that it was the first one to be shown on this trip, in a small tasting at the CIVC‘s head offices in Epernay. It’s also stunning value for money. Interestingly, it has ‘Chardonnay’ on the front label. I wasn’t aware that [...]

Champagne Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus NV

Taittinger make some very nice wines. I’ve particularly enjoyed their NV of late, which always shows well in blind tastings. They have a sizeable vineyard holding of 288 hectares, which helps with quality. This is a non-vintage blend from Grand Cru vineyards and it spends five years on its lees.

Champagne Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus NV France
Fresh, [...]

Champagne Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier

This is really good. Vilmart have 11 hectares of vines in the Monntagne de Reims, in the small village of Rilly la Montagne. No chemical fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides are used. The base wines are aged in oak. This is a proper wine: still primary and youthful, but with great potential.

Champagne Vilmart & Cie Grand [...]

Champagne Armand de Brignac: a marketing success story

The Armand de Brignac story is a remarkable one, and represents one of the great wine marketing successes of all time.

It begins with the Cattier family, from the village of Chigny-Les-Roses, in the Montagne de Reims. They have cultivated vines here since 1763, although the first wines weren’t made by the family until 1918. Jean-Jacques [...]

So just how good is English sparkling wine? A blind tasting

I took part in a brilliant tasting today, organized by Noble Rot magazine. Alas, there’s an embargo, so I can’t tell you the outcome or list the wines involved, but I can share some pictures and give a little commentary.

So, the tasting was pitting four of the best English sparkling wines (and the Noble Rot [...]