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 [...]

Champagne Marie-Noëlle Ledru Grand Cru NV

This is one of the cult grower Champagne producers. Marie-Noëlle Ledru took over her 6 hectare family domain in 1984. It’s based in Ambonnay, and all the wines are hand-riddled, hand-disgorged and produced from vineyards farmed without herbicides or chemicals. In 2010 Ledru lost 4 of her 6 hectares when the family sold off some vineyards. [...]

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, [...]