By champagnediscovery, Dec 3 2015 04:31AM

It’s that time of year when we like to remember those champagnes tasted by us for the first time and which left a lasting impression. Here are our 12 Champagnes of 2015.

“Rosé de Saignée” – Lelarge-Pugeot (Vrigny). 60% Pinot Meunier, 40% Pinot Noir from the 2012 harvest. 37 hours maceration, indigenous yeast, fermentation in stainless steel and zero dosage. Bottled in April 2013 and disgorged in July 2015. Vibrant with summer fruits such as strawberries and raspberries with hedgerow fruits like blackberries and a hint of spice. (Not yet released)

“Les Chétillons” 2009 – Pierre Péters (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger). 100% Chardonnay of a single parcel in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger from which it takes its name, elegant with good acidity, a touch of citrus with pears, giving way to brioche and almonds.

“La Matinale” – Tarlant (Œuilly). So named as the work undertaken to create this cuvée was required to take place in the morning; 45% Pinot Noir, 28% Chardonnay, 27% Pinot Meunier where the average age of the vines is 45 years. Malolatic fermentation prevented, it is rich, nutty with dried fruits, spice, caramel and honey.

“Francs de Pied” 2008 – Nicolas Maillart (Éceuil). 100% Pinot Noir of a single parcel from which it takes its name, fermented in fûts with a dosage of 3gl and no malolatic fermentation it is deep with earthy notes and pear tarte tartin. When tasted from a carafe, the flavours intensified with tropical fruits and a rich sherry-like quality.

“4 Elements Chardonnay” 2010 – Huré Frères (Ludes). 100% Chardonnay, vines planted in 1991 with a dosage of 3gl, vinified in foudres. Rich and complex with vanilla and tropical fruits such as pineapple and coconut.

“L’Originale” – Pierre Gerbais (Celles-sur-Ource). 100% Pinot Blanc, the base wine being from the 2010 harvest and vines of 80-100 years. Great finesse, acidity and minerality with floral notes.

“Lieu-dit Maisoncelle” 2006 – Jérôme Déhours (Cerseuil). 100% Pinot Noir of a single parcel of old vines from which it takes its name. The plot is situated mid-slope with a North-East exposure and silty-clay soil, rich in iron deposits. Fermentation and aging takes place in barriques. Deep, intensely rich with hints of dried fruit, nuts and cocoa.

“Les Prés Dieu” Guillaume Sergent (Vrigny). 100% Chardonnay of a single parcel from which it takes its name, the soil consists of scallop shells – much like that of Chablis. Guillaume’s wines are very young but bring an interesting flavour spectrum with citrus, green apples and grapefruit.

“Cru d’Origine” – Flavien Nowack (Vandières). 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, the base wine being from the 2013 harvest and bottled in February 2015 using 50% taille (second pressing which generally offers intensely aromatic wines – fruitier in youth but with less aging potential. Fresh, racy with floral notes and vibrant fruit such as oranges and plums.

“Les Epinettes” 2009 – Penet-Chardonnet (Verzy). 100% Pinot Noir dosed as extra-brut. Rich, smoky, intense with hints of figs, nuts and dried fruit.

“Fac Similé” 2009 – La Closerie – Jérôme Prévost (Gueux). 100% Pinot Meunier (there is a smattering of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris) planted in 1960, rosé made using the addition method. Vinified in fûts, malolatic fermentation allowed. Intense fruit with red berries, wild strawberries plus a hint of vanilla and spices.

“1959” – Michel Loriot (Festigny). 100% Pinot Meunier from 1959 disgorged on 18th April 2015; the day prior to Les Mains du Terroir tasting. Incredibly intense, rich and silky smooth, with coffee, vanilla, chocolate, cream and spice – like a fine Tiramisu in a glass. An amazing privilege for us! (Not for sale).


Lee and Gita

By champagnediscovery, Nov 6 2015 08:12PM

Last year Francis Boulard and daughter Delphine became the first Champagne crowd funders when they launched their project via wine crowd funding site Fundovino. Their aim: to raise funds to purchase a new foudre; enabling their perpetual blend cuvée Petraea to continue evolving. Crowd funders received various packages relating to their donations but this wasn’t to be all, a private invitation to a day with the Boulard family including lunch and a trip to the barrel makers “tonnellerie” followed.

On Sunday 4th October, crowd funders gathered by the Halles du Boulingrin before embarking on a coach tour to see some of the terroir Boulardien. First stop was Champillon where we were greeted by Nicolas and Petra who, under glorious Champagne sunshine; served us glasses of “Les Murgiers” extra brut whilst enjoying the beautiful view across vineyard covered slopes of the valley to Hautvillers.

Following the coach tour we arrived at Francis’ home and winery where we were again greeted by the family with glasses of “Blanc de Blancs Vielles Vignes” before enjoying a fantastic lunch of oysters and various fish dishes from the excellent Le Bocal (Reims). An superb caterer who unfortunately we didn’t meet; provided us with tantalising appetisers such as Foie Gras and asparagus velouté, all complimented by delicious glasses of “Les Rachais”.

Following the lovely long lunch it was time to move on to the Tonnellerie de Champagne-Ardenne where Jérôme Viard, creator of the fundovino Foudre demonstrated his skills. Of course there were more glasses of champagne and the moment we were all waiting for…..cuvée “Petraea” which brought the curtain down on a special day.

Nos sincères remerciements à la famille Boulard, longue vie au Petraea!

By champagnediscovery, Oct 24 2012 02:05PM

Welcome to our website. My wife and I are Champagne enthusiasts who love both the wine and the region. We have been touring the area for the last sixteen years, as often as our funds have allowed! We are not professionals but ordinary, working people who have simply become immersed in our passion.

For the last ten years or so, we have been focusing our attention on the hidden gems, the artisans of Champagne. Those smaller, quality conscious producers and grower-producers (domaines) who create excellent, seductive wines that are full of character.

Like many people we are becoming more interested in the provenance of our food and drink and champagne is no exception. It is now quite commonplace to find producers who work organically and biodynamically.

We are always on the look-out for the next new houses and cuvées to excite our senses. This website will hopefully share some of our experiences and arduous tasting expeditions!

Regular contributors to the Champagne-Ardenne forum on Tripadvisor, we can be found hiding behind the moniker: PsychoWarthog.

We hope you enjoy the site and will follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also contact us via the ‘Contacts’ tab on the homepage. We will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible and are happy to answer any questions or help with trip ideas.


Lee and Gita

"Don't wait for that special occasion to drink champagne. Create that special occasion by drinking champagne".

Welcome to Champagne Discovery

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