Champagne Piper-Heidiseck's new Cuvée Essentiel Extra Brut, and a review of their Vintage 2008

Last night I drank (with help, of course) two Champagnes. One was the impressive new Cuvée Essentiel, and the other the 2008 vintage, from Piper-Heidsieck. It’s a house I associate with forward, generously toasty wines, so it’s nice to see the Essentiel, which is a bit more serious and well defined.

Champagne Piper-Heidiseck Essentiel Cuvée Réserve [...]

Grower Champagne: Vouette & Sorbée Brut Nature Fidèle NV

Champagne Vouette et Sorbée is one of the star growers in the Aube, in the south of the Champagne region. Bernard Gautherot was persuaded to begin making his own wines by Selosse back in 2001, and the first release was in 2004. Based in Buxières-sur-Arce, he has 5.5 hectares in the Côte des Bar, which [...]

Video: bottling sparkling wine on a mobile disgorging line

 

 

When I was in Canada last month I had a chance to watch Viniserve’s mobile disgorging line in operation. Disgorging is a vital stage in the life of a sparkling wine. It’s the point when the dead yeast cells (from the secondary fermentation that creates the bubbles) are expelled. A process called riddling has localised [...]

Grower Champagne: Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru NV

Back in the day, when I was just getting into wine, the first ‘grower’ Champagne I encountered was Egly-Ouriet. This was in the mid-1990s, when grower Champagne wasn’t much of a thing, and the wines were stocked by Liz and Mike Berry of the fabulous La Vigneronne in South Kensington (which is now the equally [...]

Grower Champagne focus: Marguet Shaman 12

Champagne Marguet is run by fifth generation Benoit Marguet, and is a small house/grower based in Ambonnay. They farm their vineyards biodynamically, and have 8 hectares altogether, 7.3 in Ambonnay (Les Saints Remys, Les Beurys, Les Crayères, La Grande Ruelle, Les Bermonts, Le Parc) and 0.7 hectares in Bouzy (Les Loges, Les Hannepés). In addition to [...]

Champagne Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut Extra Old

This is a new wine from Champagne Veuve Clicquot, called Extra Brut Extra Old. With a dosage of 3 g/l this is the first release of an extra brut from this house (with the exception of some of the very limited Cave Privée releases). It contains six different vintages of reserve wines (1988-2010), aged for [...]

Grower Champagne Focus: Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Sainte Anne

This is really good. And it’s just £24 at The Wine Society. Stunning value for money.

Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Sainte Anne NV France
12% alcohol. 60% 2014 and 40% 2013, disgorged in December 2016. Equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Merfy in the Montagne de Reims, with sandy clay soils over chalk. All the wine comes [...]

Lovely wines at Noble Rot

Was in Noble Rot on Friday night with Mark and Dan. It ended up becoming quite a big evening and we had some nice wines. How did we manage in London before Noble Rot came along?

Three Champagnes. Jacques Lassaigne Nature Blanc de Blancs 2007 was fine, mineral and detailed with a citrus core. I really [...]

Champagne highlights from 2016, and a resolution for the New Year

It’s new year’s day! It’s normally the time for resolutions, but I’m struggling to think of any. This year I drank quite a bit of Champagne, but there’s room for improvement, so this year coming I resolve wholeheartedly to drink more fizz (including a decent proportion of Champagnes). I’ve been through all my notes for [...]

Three prestige Champagnes: Krug, Dom P and Comtes

Tried these three yesterday. They are all really good, and all quite different. The Comtes was the star; the Dom P accessible yet serious; the Krug still tight and youthful, but with latent richness and depth. We drank them, too.

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2006 France
12.5% alcohol. Tight, fresh, complex and detailed with subtle toast, white [...]