The alternative Cuvée tasting is one of the most popular tastings and an opportunity for all the houses to show off new cuvée's an innovation. The Champagne Academy decided that since we can't have an actual tasting this year we will show off what the houses were going to show and some exciting news from the houses. Here's to next years tasting!
Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus en Magnum
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.
Why this Cuvée
This cuvée was initially launched in Magnums only to celebrate the millennium and as a gift to our friends around the world. It was such a success that we launched in 75cl very soon afterwards. To continue the adventure we have just now released the cuvee once again in magnums for our friends & connoisseurs enjoyment. These magnums have waited patiently in our cellars for 6 years ahead of release in early 2020.
Exciting News from Taittinger
This year sees the 54th outing for the Taittinger cookery competition “Le Taittinger”. The Prix Culinaire brings together young Chefs from around the world to celebrate their skills and see who will be crowned Chef Champion on the day. Last year we had only the second ever winner from the UK in a dazzling display of skill from Chef Charles Coulombeau at Gravetye Manor in Sussex.
Lanson Le Black Réserve
To the eye it is a deep yellow with golden highlights. On the Nose, biscuits notes, almond paste, pear, mirabelle jam, strawberry, liquorice aromas, ferm, honey and warm spices.
On the palate is presents intense and mature fruits, ample and refined texture. Citrus and chalk freshness, density and vitality.
Why this Cuvée
La Black Reserve came about following an idea Lanson had for an approach revolving around gastronomy. Le Black Réserve is in the same lineage of Le Black Label, offering the same freshness and vitality but designed more to accompany fine dining, and made following a blending process taken to the extreme."......"made with a higher quantity of reserve wines than in Le Black Label, mostly aged in casks to produce wines that are more mature, full and generous.
Louis Roederer Brut Nature 2009
Yellow in colour with glints of light amber, discreet and extremely fine bubbles.
Intense bouquet combining sweet flowers (honeysuckle, broom), yellow fruits (peach) and lightly roasted dried nuts (hazelnut). Evolves towards spicy and citrus notes with a hint of Sancho pepper as well as soft, sweet, ripe notes of chestnut cream.
Ample and light on entry to the palate. Ample, thanks to its sweet, creamy, almost spherical texture that seductively wraps around the mouth, coating the palate; light, due to its elegant, saline freshness that stretches the wine giving it a smooth, delicate and airy mouthfeel. You will not fail to be charmed by its juicy aromas of sun-drenched fruit that gently caress the palate. An elegant bitterness combined with zesty, spicy and delicate oaky notes linger on the finish.
Why this Cuvée
The latest edition of Louis Roederer’s zero-dosage champagne, again created in collaboration with renowned designer Philippe Starck.
As well as being a zero dosage champagne, this wine has a demi-mousse and all grapes are 100% biodynamic and estate grown, tended by hand using a haute couture winegrowing approach.
Laurent-Perrier Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature
Laurent-Perrier has always selected Chardonnay as the dominant grape variety in all its white cuvées and has been a pioneer of the Brut Nature category since 1981. By perfecting its knowledge of this style of vinification and with careful aging of this variety in stainless steel vats it has enabled Laurent-Perrier to create a Blanc de Blancs Nature.
Blending and Wine Making
Grape variety: Chardonnay 100%
Crus: Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs: Avize, Cramant, Oiry, Chouilly.
Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims: Tours-sur-Marne, Villers-
Marmery, Rilly La Montagne.
A perfect balance between the wines of the harvest and the reserve wines is required before entering the cellar. After cellar aging, the wine is disgorged without any dosage and benefits from a few more months rest in the cellars before being released on the market.
The wine has a white gold colour with a fine sparkle. The nose displays minerality and hints of citrus. On the palate the wine is balanced and sustained with a finish that is fresh
with notes of lemon.
Wine and Food Pairings
The Blanc de Blancs is a true wine for gastronomy, pairing well with the finest fish: sea bass with salt crust, scallops, grilled marinated squid with lemon, thyme, olive oil as well as white meats such as veal tartare with ginger and lemon - best served between 9° and 11°C.
Why this Cuvée
Launched in 2019, this cuvée is the only Grand Marque zero dosage Blanc de Blancs. Made from 100% Chardonnay and in the ‘sans dosage’ style from the best crus of the Côte des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims, the Blanc de Blancs is the purest expression of champagne and showcases both Laurent-Perrier’s expertise with Chardonnay and its innovation in wine making.
Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs 2006
THE EYE - Bright, shimmering gold with subtle glints of green. Exceptionally fine bubbles.
THE NOSE - Pure, intense aromas of white flowers – acacia, hawthorn, lilac and elderberry – complemented by subtle overtones of honey, poached pear, pineapple and candied lemon. Hints of vanilla, hazelnut milk and brioche.
THE PALATE - A delicious crispness in the mouth, fresh yet never aggressive. The wine is full and generous, with a long, silken, elegant finish.
Why This Cuvée
An Exceptional Terrior
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs is crafted from 100% Chardonnay grapes from only two small parcels of vines – Bouron Leroi and Bouron du Midi – within Cramant, one of the most prestigious Grand Cru villages in the renowned Côte des Blancs. These two exceptional plots, covering just 6.8 hectares/16.8 acres, were among the first acquired by Maison Perrier-Jouët in the mid-19th century, when Charles Perrier, the son of the founders, used his extensive knowledge of viticulture and the terroirs of Champagne to identify their potential for yielding the supreme expression of the Chardonnay grape. Bouron Leroi and Bouron du Midi do indeed unite all the conditions necessary for revealing the unique floral character of Chardonnay. Set halfway up a gentle southeast-facing slope, they enjoy ideal exposure to the morning sun, while their chalky soil maintains constant levels of humidity throughout the year. The small size of these prized plots, and Maison Perrier-Jouët’s meticulous approach to viticulture, mean that only a limited
quantity of grapes can be produced in any given year, while a vintage is declared only in years of near-perfect conditions. Consequently, no vintage of Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs numbers
more than 40,000 bottles.
Some exciting new's from Perrier-Jouët
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs was 1st created by Chef de Cave Hervé Deschamps from the 1993 vintage 10 years after he joined the house and his 1st as Cellar Master. Hervé is also responsible for the creation of Perrier-Jouët NV Blanc de Blancs selectivity launched in 2017. October 2020, 37 years after he joined, Hervé retired from the post having been only the 7th person to hold the title in the 209 years since the House was founded.
His successor, the 8th Cellar Master has been working with Hervé for the last 2 years learning the intricacies and wizardry of creating the Perrier-Jouët cuvées and now, for the 1st time since Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Adèle Jouët founded the House in 1811 as both husband and wife and also joint business partners, we once again have a woman at the helm – exciting news indeed!
Champagne Bollinger PN VZ15
In the glass, the PN VZ15 opens with aromas of cherry stone, jam-infused fruit and dried fig. The rich, complex nose then develops towards toasted, baked notes as well as aromas of elderflower and pear. On the palate, flavours of peach and apricot are enhanced with hazelnut and acacia blossom notes. PN VZ15 is a wine to be enjoyed by enthusiasts interested in the expression of Pinot Noir from across the Champagne region.
Why This Cuvée
The taste of Pinot Noir and the terroir-driven approach are the two common characteristics of the Bollinger PN cuvée. Each subsequent edition will offer a fresh interpretation of Bollinger’s savoir-faire and vineyards. Each edition will feature a different cru from the base year, carefully selected by Champagne Bollinger, so that each new version will be an elegant reinvention of the original cuvée.
PN VZ15 showcases the distinctive features of wines from the Verzenay terroir, which make up the majority of the blend. The significant proportion of Verzenay in this edition’s blend expresses the characteristics of the Pinot Noir from this terroir: depth, elegance and tension, combined with a saline finish. Pinot Noir from other villages — Aÿ, Bouzy and Tauxières — were added and act in aromatic synergy to bring further complexity to the blend. The 2015 vintage, remarkable in Champagne and for Pinot Noir especially, is the foundation of the VZ15 blend. The reserve wines contribute to the wine’s exceptional aromatic intensity, especially the Pinots Noirs aged in magnums for almost 10 years.
Earlier in 2020, Champagne Bollinger release a new cuvée: Bollinger PN, the first in a series, with each release showcasing a different cru from the base year that highlights its unique taste. A cuvée developed over many years, Bollinger PN, made exclusively from Pinot Noir, has been crafted by the House to express its unique vision of this specific grape variety. It is the first Champagne to be added to the permanent Bollinger range since Bollinger Rosé was launched back in 2008. The inaugural focus of the first edition in the new collection is VZ15, which explores the unique interpretation of Pinot Noir from Verzenay 2015.
Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2013
Brut Vintage 2013 is tightly knit on the nose with notes of lemon peel, grapefruit and white flowers. A taut palate, with bracing acidity, which slowly opens to a broad and rich mouthfeel. Incredibly well balanced and will certainly be ranked among some of the great vintage of the 2010’s.
Why This Cuvee?
Recently launched, and coming after the five-star 2012 vintage has a danger of being over looked, but the 2013’s offer the precision that wine-lovers and traditionalists will adore.
Alternative Cuvée from 2019
Bollinger Rosé NV en magnum Blend: 62% Pinot Noir (of which 6% is vinified as red wine), 24% Chardonnay, 14% Meunier Dosage: 7g/l Vineyards : 85% Grands and Premier Crus
Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve NV en magnum
Blend: 37% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir, 26% Meunier Dosage: 11g/l
Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut Extra Old NV
Blend: 45% Pinot Noir, 28% Meunier, 27% Chardonnay Dosage: 3g/l Vintage blend : 1990, 1998, 1999, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012
Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Cuvée Imperatrice
Blend: 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir Krug Rosé 21ème Édition
Blend: 51% Pinot Noir (10% red wine), 41% Chardonnay, 8% Meunier Dosage: 7g/l Ageing : 7 years
Lanson Extra Age Rosé NV
Blend: 65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay Dosage: 8g/l
Vineyards : 100% Grands Crus
(Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur- Oger, Verzenay, Bouzy)
Laurent Perrier Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature
Blend: 100% Chardonnay Dosage: 0g/l
Vintage Blend : 60% base wine from 2012, 40% reserve wine from 2009
Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial en magnum
Blend: 30-40% Pinot noir, 30-40% Meunier, 20-30% Chardonnay
Mumm Grand Cordon NV
Blend: 45% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 25% Meunier Dosage: 8g/l Reserve Wines: 35% with a proportion of aged in oak foudres
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé 2005 – Autumne Edition
Blend: 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir (15% red wine), 5% Meunier
Pinot Noir (Mailly, Aÿ, Verzy & Rilly)
Pinot Meunier (Dizy)
Chardonnay (Cramant, Avize & Le Mesnil)
Red wines (Vertus & Vincelles)
Piper Heidsieck Essentiel Blanc de Blancs NV
Blend: 100% Chardonnay Dosage: 4g/l Reserve Wines : 35%
Pol Roger Vintage 2012
Blend: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay Dosage: 7g/l
Pommery Apanage Blanc de Blancs
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Louis Roederer et Philippe Starck Brut Nature Rosé 2012
Blend: 55% Pinot Noir, 25% Meunier, 20% Chardonnay Dosage: 0g/l Vineyards : Coteaux de Cumières
Winemaking: Cold ‘infusion’ of a small amount of Pinot Noir.
No MLF. 15% vinified in oak casks.
Ruinart Rosé NV
Blend: 55% Pinot Noir (of which 18% is vinified as red wine), 45% Chardonnay Dosage: 9g/l
Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus NV
Blend: 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir Dosage: 9g/l Ageing : 5 years