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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 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!

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Champagne of the Month

Our “champagne of the month” for February 2024 is a bottle from our older collection, produced by Champagne Francis Boulard et Fille and purchased on one of our visits to the winery back in 2015. The recent history of the domaine saw Francis, the driving force behind Champagne Raymond Boulard; go his separate way from the family to form Champagne Francis Boulard et Fille. In doing so, it gave him and daughter Delphine the opportunity to pursue their goal of conversion to biodynamic viticulture. The pair continued working together until Francis’ retirement a few years ago when the winery was relocated from Cauroy-lès-Hermonville to Faverolles-et-Coëmy; a few kilometres to the south-west. 


Delphine is now in control of the domaine’s 7.5 hectares that are predominantly located in the Massif de Saint-Thierry (Cauroy-lès-Hermonville) with holdings also in the Vallée de la Marne (Cuchery, Paradis) and Montagne de Reims (Mailly-Champagne). As stated, the domaine is farmed biodynamically and certified by Ecocert. In the vineyards, vines are pruned short to control the yield which in turn limits the necessity for “green harvesting”. Light ploughing takes place around six times a year in order to control the weed cover which is encouraged for a natural symbiosis. In the winery, a non-interventionist approach is taken. A gentle membrane press is used which helps provide precise control of the pressed juice. Indigenous yeast aids spontaneous alcoholic fermentation and minimal sulphur is added. Alcoholic (and malolactic) fermentation take place in a variety of oak vessels from large 20 hectolitre vats, demi-muids, along with Burgundy and Champagne fûts - 300 and 228 litres respectively. 


Petraea XCVII-MMVII is a perpetual blend starting with 1997 with 25% being drawn out every year up until the final harvest of 2007 which accounts for 25% of the total blend. The wine consists of 60% Pinot Noir, 20% each of Chardonnay and Meunier. Vinification took place in fûts de chêne and this is where the cuvée is given its name: Quercus Petraea being the type of oak used. Bottled on 23rd October 2008, it was disgorged without dosage on 25th July 2013 and sealed with a Mytik Diamant cork; alcohol is at 12%.


Tasted: 14:30 hours Tuesday 2nd January 2024 (sowing day in the biodynamic calendar) 


Glassware: Lehmann Jamesse Abolus 


Appearance: Clear, medium, gold.


Characteristics: Pronounced intensity with honeysuckle, lemon blossom, lime juice, lemon juice, lemon rind, grapefruit, green apple, gooseberry, pear, quince, chiku, kiwi, passion fruit, peach, pineapple, apricot, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry and eucalyptus. There are secondary notes of brioche, sablé, tarte tartin, vanilla, orange buttercream, pastry, cherry clafoutis, butterscotch and charred wood. Tertiary aromas include marzipan, hazelnut, toffee, caramel, toffee apple, dried apple, dried apricot, marmalade, cinnamon, ginger, hay, honey and tobacco. 


As you would expect from Francis and Delphine, this a glorious champagne. Taking into account its age, this wine is still incredibly youthful and we suspect it will continue to be drinking beautifully for another 10 years at least, we will have to be patient!


Price – no longer available (€60.90 direct from domaine 2013)

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Some of the most recent wines we have been enjoying.


Tchin tchin!

Charles Dufour – Rosexpress 2015

Lelarge-Pugeot – Tradition (brut nature 2019 base)

Corbon – Millésime 2005

Petit Clergeot - Chevry

Thomas Perseval - Art'Terre

Grethen - Alter Ego

Janisson Baradon - Toulette 2008

Lelarge-Pugeot - Gueux 2015

Tarlant - La Matinale 2003

Jean-Marc Sélèque - Les Gouttes d'Or 2015

Henri Giraud - Code Noir

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