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Champagne Discovery

beyond the bubbles

Le Champ du Clos, Vallée de l'Ource - Champagne Charles Dufour


bespoke tastings

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champagne masterclasses

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champagne et fromage

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We are Gita and Lee, two self-confessed champagne lovers for whom this effervescent drink has been a huge part of our lives since meeting twenty-three years ago. Our first trip to the region was in 1999 to source bottles for our wedding. Since then, we have been visiting several times a year, have tasted thousands of champagnes and continue to discover amazing new producers, incredible wines and stories. We are immensely passionate about the top quality smaller domaines who tell a narrative through their creations, from vineyard to bottle. As well as the bubbles, Champagne is home to some excellent still white, red and rosés too; not to forget Ratafia de Champagne. This famous region is fortunate to be home to a myriad of World class winemakers, producing an array of diverse wines, we really are spoilt for choice. We love wine, we absolutely adore champagne!

Tchin tchin!


Champagne of the Month
La Matinale 2003

Apologies for the lack of champagne drinking over the last 6 months, I (Lee) had a cycling accident in February and have been recovering since. Thankfully, I am now able to drink champagne once again - Champagne Discovery becomes Champagne Recovery!

Our “Champagne of the Month” for September 2023 is sensational and well-worth our wait. Produced by Benoît and Mélanie Tarlant, whose family have been vignerons in the Vallée de la Marne village of Œuilly since 1687. 

La Matinale 2003 was a special limited production of just 1500 bottles, consisting of 45% Pinot noir, 28% Chardonnay and 27% Meunier. Produced in a year that Benoît described as the first extreme climatic year of his generation. The Winter of 2002/3 was long and hard with plenty of snow, before significant early Spring frosts gave way to a scorching hot Summer. La Matinale was so named as harvesting took place early in the morning on 31st August and 6thSeptember due to the extreme heat. Two plots within Œuilly were used: “Four à Chaux” – the aptly named limestone oven and “La Perchape” – the perch. As to be expected “Four à Chaux” consists of limestone soil whereas chalk can be found at “La Perchape”. In the vineyards, minimal soil disturbance with the light ploughing under the rows which were maintained enherbement. Gentle pruning with organic manure and herbal therapies completed the holistic approach. 

In the winery, a gravity-fed press was used, aiding the reduction of oxygenation and thus the need for additional sulphites. Both parcels were vinified separately and fermentation took place spontaneously. Vinification took place in Burgundian fûts de chêne with eight months on the lees. Malolactic fermentation was blocked and the wine did not undergo fining nor filtration. Bottling took place on 5th May 2004, whereby it spent a further twelve years and five months on the lees prior to disgorgement without dosage on 24th October 2016. Sealed with a natural cork, alcohol is at 12% abv. This bottle was purchased in April 2017 and kept in an electronic cellar with regular turning.  

Tasted: 15:45 hours Friday 1st September (fruit day in the biodynamic calendar)

Glassware: Lehmann Jamesse Abolus

Appearance: Clear, medium, gold.

Characteristics: Pronounced honeysuckle, geranium, rose, lemon blossom, violet, lavender, red apple, apple compote, pear, gooseberry, chiku (sapodilla), pink grapefruit, orange peel, lemon peel, kumquat, quince, lychee, papaya, passion fruit, cantaloupe melon, sarsaparilla, dandelion and burdock and liquorice. There are secondary notes of toasted brioche, vanilla, cloves, butterscotch, charred wood, chausson aux pommes, almond praline and crema Catalana. Tertiary aromas include almond, marzipan, caramel, toffee apple, fig, fig rolls, hay, honey, cinnamon, ginger, dried apricot, leather, game, forest floor, tobacco, marmalade, dried apple and gingerbread. The wine enjoyed a deliciously long finish.

Price: no longer available

To put it simply, this is a stunning wine; truly stunning. It encapsulates everything that excites us, bursting with primary fruit it continues seamlessly into aged tones that help deliver a sense of pure decadence before being reminded of the delightful tension of zero dosage. It builds layer upon layer of complexity becoming multi-dimensional. Magical.


In reality, it is drinking perfectly right now; having that Shangri-la balance between primary and tertiary notes. In saying this, it will clearly continue to drink very well for the next few years. 


Selosse - Substance.jpg

tchin tchin


A brief description of the most recent wines we have been enjoying. Tchin tchin!

Hubert Paulet – Brut Rosé

Roses de Jeanne – Inflorescence

Lelarge-Pugeot – Extra Brut Millésime 2002

Benoît Lahore - Rosé de Macération

Lahore Frères - Les 7

David Léclapart - l'Apôtre

J. Lassalle - Special Club 2002

Vilmart - Cœur de Cuvée 1998

Bollinger - 2003 by Bollinger

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