Not just for celebration
Author: Edwin Dublin
Seventeen producers, 51 champagnes and the glittering surroundings of the Vintners’ Hall, the home of London’s wine trade, made for a truly memorable evening celebrating the world of artisan Champagne. There is change apace in Champagne, an awakening of sorts, as quality-minded producers are finally able to focus on what we take for granted from other classic wine regions – terroir. Whilst the bubbles make it the celebratory drink par excellence, Champagne, like Burgundy, produces great terroir-driven wines.
This artisan movement has grown in recent years, with a number of these small-volume producers (commonly a few hundred thousand bottles versus millions for the ‘big boys’, the Grandes Marques) joining together once a year to show their wines at trade tastings, or ‘salons’, in the heart of Champagne; an apposite time then, for Berry Bros. & Rudd to showcase our range of such producers. It seems invidious to name-check just a few from the sparkling line-up, but some that spring to mind from last night include Jacquesson, who showed with their Cuvée 733 Dégorgement Tardif (late-disgorged) that non-vintage Champagne made in the right hands can mature beautifully. The producers behind our own-label Champagnes, Le Mesnil and Mailly, showed the majesty of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir respectively in magnums from 1997 and 1998. Names less familiar included Lancelot-Pienne, forging future legends perhaps with Arthurian-inspired cuvées such as Table Ronde; Janisson-Baradon showcasing the unusual with his 100 percent Pinot Meunier wine, Conges; but I could go on. There were many others that delighted, and the opportunity for customers to meet and talk to these producers will ensure that this will become a regular feature of our Champagne-related calendar of events.
You can browse our offer celebrating both Artisan and Grande Marque Champagne on bbr.com.