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Champagne? Yes, please! It’s International Champagne DAY ….

Bored with the usual mainstream brands of Champagne?

champagne-sea-wmNow that is a phrase that I cannot ever, in any future breath, conceivably imagine myself ever saying. I can never imagine a time when I will have had too much Champagne of any kind…. That said, I can assure you that now, more than anytime in recent decades, there is plenty of choice when looking for your next bottle of Champagne.

The Champagne region has always worked very hard to be synonymous with celebrations, so much that the popping of a cork generally brings smiles all round. With more Champagne vineyards being planted to be able to keep up supply, there has been an increase in these grape growers producing their own Champagnes instead of just selling their grapes to the large Champagne houses.

You can identify a ‘grower’ Champagne by the code Read More

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Wine of the Month: Champagne Georges de la Chapelle Brut Millesime 2006

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The Prat family are a ‘hands on’ Champagne family and this wine is a testament to their passion for their work. Read More

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When nothing but Champagne will do ….the wines of JL Vergnon

Vergnon-Murmure-wmThe Champagnes from the house of JL Vernon have much to offer by way of delight and the cellar door in the centre of the village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger is well worth a visit. Being Cote des Blancs fruit, most of these wines are sourced from Grand Cru vineyards. All bar the rose are 100% Chardonnay, blanc de blancs wines made by Christophe Constant.

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When the English win at making Champagne….

Nyetimber1-wmThe first vintage of Nyetimber sparkling wine was the 1992 vintage which immediately won acclaim. It first came to my notice when the 1997 caused tongues to wag, hitting the vinous headlines and ‘announcing its arrival’ as a serious competitor for Champagne producers. It had been identified as a fine Champagne in a blind tasting and then went on to win a Gold medal at the International Wine & Spirit Challenge. This was ground breaking stuff! Not only was there a wine that brought the competition to the traditional elite of sparkling wine instead of chasing them…. It was… wait for it… English!

This then brought on the typical ribbing of ‘Do the Brits even know how to make wine?’ And of course the answer is, yes! And they have a rich history in making wine. Even from grapes grown in England. In fact, it may be a surprise to note that in 1662, an Englishman called Christopher Merret wrote a paper describing the method of making sparkling wine, including Champagne, that has produced the finest bubbles in the world ever since. Read More

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Brimoncourt: France’s new Champagne House has its roots in history

brimoncourt2-wmloSince their first release in 2013, Brimoncourt Champagne has been steadily capturing hearts in their domestic market and nearby neighbours. Now, the team behind the newly imagined Brimoncourt Champagne house has their eyes set on US and Australian shores. In 2008, Alexandre Cornot, a Champagne region local and a man of many diverse talents and quirky sense of style it seems from his bio, set out to reinvigorate a historic but derelict Champagne brand. A gutsy move at the time considering the economic situation.

At the moment, Brimoncourt fits into the negotiant category rather than a ‘grower’ champagne, however this will change as the house invests in its own vineyards in the future. With this growth, Brimoncourt will also move more of the winemaking into their newly renovated domaine. Just as the abandoned brand was ripe for renovation, so too was the historic printing factory that serves as their new home.

Currently, there is four non-vintage cuvees in the Brimoncourt stable. The Brut Regence as the first release in 2013, followed closely the following year Read More

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