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2022 Dinner Wines Introduction

Updated: Mar 6, 2022


This year the Champagne Academy is delighted to be able to host a full schedule of events and after two years be able to send a new group of students to Champagne on a life changing educational trip!
The 2022 events are listed below - to book tickets visit the

4th April 2022 Vintage Tasting

10th May 2022 63rd London Dinner

29th September 2022 Scotland Dinner

6th October 2022 Northern Dinner

26th October 2022 Midlands Dinner

4th November 2022 Irish Dinner

November 2022 Alternative Tasting Date TBC

This year we welcome our three Grandes Marques Presidential Houses.

Presidential House


Incoming Vice Presidential House


Outgoing Vice Presidential House



The Champagne Academy is so excited about this year's dinner wines we wanted to tell you all about them!

Prélude Grands Crus NV in magnum

Winemaker Notes

The colour is a brilliant, pale yellow with silvery highlights, reflective of the high proportion of Chardonnay. The bubbles are fine and form a lasting and delicately creamy mousse. The nose is subtle and fresh. The initial mineral aromas quickly develop into green, floral scents with hints of elderflower and spicy cinnamon overtones. Flavours are dominated by intense fresh citrus fruit which then give way to a much fuller, well-bodied and mellow taste with flavours reminiscent of white peaches in syrup. The finish is long, rich and extremely expressive. This wine can be enjoyed as an aperitif but has the structure to match grilled fish and seafood.


Vineyard

The blend is made solely from fruit grown in Grand Cru classified vineyards. 50% Chardonnay grapes from the Côte des Blancs (including Avize and Le Mesnil sur Oger) and 50% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims area (including Mailly, Ambonnay). There are 17 named Grands Crus in Champagne covering approximately 9% of the vineyard's total surface. A selection of these are used in Prélude each bringing precise characters to the wine for example minerality, structure, fruitiness.


Winemaking

This wine comes from top Grand Cru sites and is made from the first pressing. The level of reserve wine used in the blend varies by vintage. Prior to release the wine is aged for a minimum of 4-5 years on lees, sometimes more.



Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 2007

Winemaker Notes

This great 2007 vintage lives up to all expectations as soon as you open the bottle. It is a moment to treasure. That typical Chardonnay colour is there in all its sparkling, golden glory with shimmers of green coating the constant stream of fine, delicate bubbles. It has a fine and delicate nose which combines white blossom and a certain minerality with general overtones of Anjou light pear and golden raisins. Subtle hints of aniseed and smoky flavours follow this suggestion of fruit. The taste is vibrant, with a combination of lemon and saltiness. This is immediately followed by a sensation of complex, yet mellow freshness creating the perfect balance between ripeness and a full-rounded flavour. It is rounded off by a long-lasting, crisp finish with hints of salted butter. This elegant wine lives up to its reputation with its freshness, strength, minerality and mellow fruitiness. Its freshness encapsulates a certain moment in time and promises interesting cellaring potential.


Vineyard

All of Taittinger’s vineyards are managed under the careful eye of Vincent Collard and Christelle Rinvelle, Champagne Taittinger’s highly regarded vineyard manager.


Winemaking

Being the most perfect expression of the House style, a Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is rare. Until its peak, it is subject to a great deal of care and attention and the rigorous criteria governing its production means that it cannot be created in large volumes. 5% of the wines which help to create the Comtes de Champagne are matured for 4 months in oak barrels (one-third of which are renewed each year) to boost the intrinsic qualities of the final blend and provide a hint of toasted flavour. The celebrated bottles only see daylight after a long and drawn-out maturing period 18 metres underground lasting 8 to 10 years.



Vintage

The 2007 viticultural year was an exceptional year in terms of both the vines and the final wine. After a mild winter, and with the unusually warm temperatures, growth started early and many people were anticipating a harvest by mid-August. However, during May against all expectations, the vineyards in Champagne suffered awful weather. These conditions interfered with the vines’ flowering period, resulting in great diversity across the region and full bloom only being achieved between the 24th of May and 1st of June. The grapes matured a little slower as a result of a mostly cold and gloomy summer. Thankfully at the end of August came the return of the sun and with it hope, as the fruit began to mature perfectly. Harvesting did not start until the 30 th of August and was carried out under a cold, dry wind. This resulted in a healthy, good quality crop. The Chardonnay grapes were delicate and clear, and their citrus and white fruit aromas showed great potential.

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV


Winemakers Notes

The blend is 100% Chardonnay from various years (20 to 25% of which are wines reserved from the 2 previous years). Provenance: A large majority of Premiers Crus from the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims vineyards for aromatic refinement, supplemented by Sézannais wines known to provide maturity. Finally, several wines from the north of the Vesle valley give a light, fresh touch.



Wine Making

Beautiful pale golden yellow colour with gentle green reflections, a vibrant, luminous colour. Active effervescence with a persistent release of bubbles. At first very intense on the nose, with fresh fruit notes, particularly ripe citrus fruits. A second refined floral nose with notes of white flowers and fruits (white peaches, pineapple). A supple, harmonious attack on the palate, very rounded. Vinosity that is not excessive, supported by excellent freshness. Notes of nectarines, citrus fruits with a pleasant mineral quality in the finish. Long, very refreshing finish.

A perfect champagne for aperitifs, particularly in spring and summer. It is an excellent accompaniment for seafood and shellfish; perfect with a sea bass or bream tartare. It would also be very good with seared sole.


Bollinger Rose NV



Winemakers Notes

Bollinger is the producer most associated with a single grape variety in Champagne, namely Pinot Noir. This more difficult grape to grow makes up a minimum of 60% of all of Bollinger’s Champagne. The harmony of Pinot Noir’s richness and elegance plays a large part in the Rosé’s distinct profile, the ripe red berries and powerful impact a clear signature. As virtually every Champagne producer in the latter half of the 20th century moved to fermenting in large lots in stainless steel tanks, Bollinger persisted to oversee fermentation barrel by barrel for all vintage Champagnes and a remarkable 30% of the Rosé. Most Champagnes on the market are primarily made up of the most recently harvested vintage before requirements to age in bottle. Bollinger is primarily made up of Champagnes that are not from the most recent vintage, and in the end a newly released bottle of Bollinger is around 7-8 years old. A fourth – and utterly distinct – practice at Bollinger is the use of Reserve Magnums. The best vineyards will be aged under cork in magnum for up to 15 years, and hand disgorged into the final blend to bring the aromas and flavors only a great aged Champagne can display, notes such as truffles, ginger and walnut.



Vineyard

In total the wine is based on Pinot Noir (62%), and contains 24% Chardonnay and 14% Meunier, on average. Over 85% of the grapes are sourced from a combination Grand Cru and Premier Cru villages. Bollinger’s vineyards are the source for over 60% of their production, as was laid down as a minimum in a quality charter written several decades ago. Additionally, Bollinger was accredited with a “High Environmental Value” certification in 2012


Wine Making

The wine starts with a base of Special Cuvée: complex and full bodied, perfectly balanced with fresh acidity and a texture that only time can lend, creating a harmony of richness and elegance. 30% of the base wine is vinified in used oak barrels of 228 liters, with some 400 liter casks up to 40 years old. The wine will have matured for 30-36 months on the lees, with a final blend of 50% reserve wines, and 5-10% of the blend consisting of reserve wines 5-15 years of age kept in magnum under cork. This totally unique, laborious process (each magnum is disgorged by hand to be blended) results in wines with a vast spectrum of aromas and flavors, and an unmatched texture. Then, because of the quality and power of Bollinger’s still red Pinot, only 5-6% of red wine is added, less than half (or even a third) what you find in typical Rosé Champagnes.

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