En francais – Les Champagnes de Vignerons
This was at Fulham Palace on 27th March 2013, organised by the French Trade Commission in UK – UBI France. They have a range of similar events, there was another in April this year – What’s new in French Wines? I did not have the time to go.
Thirteen growers looking for UK distributors attended the Palace for this trade tasting, to show and answer questions about their wines. The four main producer areas were represented – Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Bars. Some blancs de blancs had very high teeth enamel stripping acidity, needing time I think to soften just a touch, and I found some exceptional wines, with six personal favourites, that will require a visit to the producer, these are commented below alongside each one.
Notwithstanding my tastes, all the wines shown are artisanal wines, of a high quality, made by people with a passion, all are worth a visit. If I had the time I would see them all.
Montagne de Reims
- André Chemin – Brut Rosé NV, 74 pinot noir, 18 chardonnay, 8 pinot noir as red wine; notes of warm summer fruit, raspberry, red cherry, and some autolytic notes; €14.70 excluding tax and duty.
Côte des Blancs
- Gauthier-Christophe Père et Fils.
- Gimonnet Gonet.
- Michel Genet – Brut Millesime 2006, pure chardonnay; toasty honeyed notes, with a caramel hint.
- Pierre Launay – Grande Reserve Brut, 60 chardonnay, 40 pinot noir; notes of fragrant tea at first, then citrus and honey, full-bodied, very smooth.
Vallée de la Marne
- Alexandre Le Brun (website under development), so address is 9 rue St Vincent, 51530 Monthelon; and tel 0033 (0)3 26 59 73 51, and email email@example.com – Blanc de Meunier NV, Extra Brut, 2009; pure pinot meunier; interesting notes of quince and ripe yellow fruit, with a hint of liquorice; about £30.
There is a family member, Daniel Le Brun, in New Zealand, making sparkling wine in the French tradition.
- Didier Ducos.
- Gaudinat-Boivin – chatting too much to the others, I ran out of time.
Côte des Bar
- Charles Gouthière et Fils – Cuvee Prestige 2008, Brut; 70 chardonnay, 30 pinot noir; high acidity, notes of aromatic tea, autolysis and citrus.
- Moutaux – ran out of time.
- Lionel Carreau.
- R. Dumont et Fils – Grande Millesime 1998, Blanc de Noir; pure pinot noir; 6g/l, so extra brut, very complex; €25 excluding tax and duty.
- Richard Royer – ran out of time.