Champagne! I’m a huge fan of this bubbly drink. For me, this has always been a happy drink and I can have it anytime of the day. Be it for festivities, birthdays, gatherings, events or just a lazy afternoon drink with friends and family.
Over the weekend we had a Champagne tasting event at our Wine Talk Lounge, and it was a full house! We had a few familiar faces and many new friends that joined us for the wonderful session. We featured 2 brands (5 labels), Nicolas Feuilatte and Palmer & Co. It was great to have our import partner, Kelvin Foong, a qualified wine expert with WSET level 3 who conducted the event and it started with all the guests introducing themselves and why they were there. It was a great way to start as I’ve learned that most of them don’t know much about Champagne and was there to learn. And as usual halfway through the session, most guests made an acquaintance with each other and had a blast. What a wonderful way to spend your Saturday afternoon!
Champagne is a French sparkling wine that comes from the Champagne region which is produced with strict rules and regulation of the appellation. It is produced from specific types of grapes grown in the region following rules that demand specific vineyard practices, sourcing of grapes exclusively from designated places within in the Champagne region, specific grape-pressing methods and secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to cause carbonation.
The primary grapes used to produce Champagne mainly are the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay but sometimes Small amount like Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc or Arbane would be used. Many believe that Champagne was invented by Dom Perignon but on the contrary; he made many important contributions in the production and quality of the sparkling wines, but Champagne was apparently invented by the Benedictine monks in the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire, near Carcassonne in 1531. They achieved this by bottling the wine before the first fermentation ended.
Now, all Champagne is sparkling wine but NOT all sparkling wine is Champagne. I have endless request for Champagne from Australia, Italy and even USA! I’ll always patiently explain to customers that only sparkling wine that comes from the Champagne region can be called Champagne. The word Champagne is legally reserved for the winemaking community with strict rules and regulations, under the auspice Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC), for sparkling wine from the Champagne region. Now many other producers from different countries are using special terms to define their sparkling wine eg. Spain uses Cava, Italy uses Spumante and in Germany the common sparkling wine is Sekt.
I guess that’s enough of information on Champagne. Let’s talk about the bubbly that we tried. The first was Nicolas Feuilatte. The history of Champagne Nicolas Feuilatte is inextricably linked to the meeting of two men: Nicolas Feuilatte, the founder of the eponymous Champagne brand and Henri Marquart, the founding father of the Champagne coorperative, Centre Vinicole de la Champagne. Backed by a handful of supporters, they soon succeeded in making quality Champagne for a wide audience. Nicolas Feuilatte is a unique model in Champagne where they drew strength from the collective 4,500 growers located across the Champagne region.
I must say this is a good one to start with for a casual afternoon. It was so refreshing! It is an iconic Champagne that perfectly encapsulates Nicolas Feuillatte’s house style. It was light, fresh and vibrant, effusing intense, expressive fruit, while extensive cellar-ageing brings appealing maturity to perfect style. I could get the aromas of juicy pear and apricot merge with a mass of delicate bubbles. Simple, refreshing and it is fabulously versatile with contrasting flavours, and the ideal partner to pre-dinner drink. Goes very well with smoked salmon and aged cheese.
This is one of my favourites. More intense than the first one. Powerful and refined, the 2008 Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs is a Champagne which harmonises perfection with the fruity tonality of the pinot noir. It allies the richness of the vintage with hallmark pinot noir style, has a pronounced fruit expression while gaining minerality and flavour. Warm and delicate toasty flavours amplify the fresh almond character. A hint of citrus on the finish. The 2008 Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs is a precise Champagne, and a great companion to food, I would go with some fresh oysters, tuna or even beef carpaccio.
The second brand we tried was Champagne Palmer & Co. based in Reims. They started in 1947 as an association of seven well established winegrowers and by 1959 the established themselves in Reims. Currently, they source 350 growers and over 4000 hectares of vines in the Champagne region. They combine the different grape varietals, crus, vintages & reserve wine harmoniously with passion to obtain the perfect blend reflecting the symbol of their House style: balance & elegance.
This award-winning wine, I find, is more serious than the first 2 and definitely my kind of Champagne. It’s drier and the Palmer Brut Reserve is based on a selection of wines from the best vineyards in the Champagne region. The nose is clean but is expressed through a rich palate of aromas. I’d definitely detect pear, citrus and apricot. Also, some hint of hazelnut. Very fresh and yet seductive! Very well balanced and I really liked this one.
This is by far my favourite of the day!!!! You really must try this one! It is made of 100% Chardonnay, mainly from the magnificent vineyards of Trepail and Villers-Marmery. It is elegant and fresh, perfectly blended accord with Chardonnay from Cote de Sezanne. This crystalline Champagne has a subtle aroma of citrus and almond. Very silky on the palate with beautiful mineral notes. I can definitely finish this bottle all by myself!
I’ve always loved rose champagne. And this one is no exception. It has a very distinctive character. This is a unique blend enriched with a proportion of red wine from a Solera of over 35 years and the excellent conversion of the grape juice has resulted in an amazing fruity rose champagne. It has an intense nose that is dominated by the aroma of strawberries with a hint of black currants. Very delicate notes of vanilla and cinnamon. I can already think of which of my friends and customers would love this and can’t wait to try with them!
Up next is the season to be merry and of course what better way to welcome the Christmas merriment as well as toasting to usher in the New Year by taking full use of my promo code for a special discount of bubblies for you and your loved ones.
Use promo code SULO10 when checking out to get 10% off for your order now! Promo code valid till 31st December, 2019.
Hi I’m Sulo, General Manager for Wine Talk. I’m no expert in wine as I’m still learning and discovering. There’s so much to explore and I always believe in ‘The more you try, the better you get’.
So, don’t just stop at the few that you like. Be bold and try all sorts of wines and you’ll be surprised! The only way to know if you like the wine, is to try!