(2022) What a lovely Champagne, all 1er Cru Chardonnay, fermented with 20% in barrels, and aged 48 months on the lees. It has 8g/l dosage, and this bottle was disgorged November 2018. Beautifully biscuity and toasty, with a crushed almond sheen of elegance and obviously ripe fruit exhibiting a certain generosity. The mousse is cushioning and creamy, and the palate poised between hazelnut richness, peachy fruitiness and a generous line of limey acidity. The richness keeps this decadent, the acid line sharp, in a delicious and elegant wine.
(2022) From the Côte des Bar in the south, with a fifth generation family estate. This is 100% Pinot Noir based on the 2018 vintage, aged three years on the lees and a dosage of 8g/l. It's a perfectly quaffable Champagne, and when i tasted this on offer at half price. At £17.99 it's a super bargain, at full price? Still good creamy fruit and a softness to the mousse and acidity - though that is plenty enough to balance into a citrus and gentle toast finish. £29.99 as part of a mixed case of 12 bottles.
(2022) A Sec Champagne, so possibly with around 15g/l of dosage and noticeably sweeter than the average Brut, it is composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. A lovely nose, elegantly biscuity, creamy abd peachy, the palate nicely focused, with glacé fruits and lime, and despite an obvious sweetness, really very good balance, the central spine of acidity and rounding weight of the time on lees giving both sharpness and breadth. Deliciously useful stuff for fresh fruit desserts or perhaps with fish and chips.
(2022) A lovely and eminently approachable, Pinot Meunier-dominated grower Champagne, based on the 2016 vintage, with 40% of reserve wine from 2015 in the blend. It has a golden colour and only 5.5g/l dosage, but the ripeness and softness of the mousse and fruit profile make this elegantly sippable. There is some biscuity toast, but there's plenty of mid-palate fruit and a well-balanced finish with zippy acidity giving good length. Good value at under £22.
(2021) Launched in 2014, this all-Chardonnay cuvée is sourced from top villages of the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims. Malolactic is blocked, the dosage is only 7g/l, but the wine does rest on the lees for four years before disgorgement. This is in Gosset's more open, rich and nicely creamy style with almond notes and a formidable oranges and lemons fruit intensity. Quite like white Burgundy in some ways, but delightful elegance, freshness and zip on the palate. Acidity slices through some ripe mid-palate fruit, though the whole picture is gossamer light. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) A proportion of this Pinot Noir-dominated wine (72%, Chardonnay, 26% Chardonnay, 2% Pinot Meunier) was vinified and aged in oak barrels. It is based on the 2016 vintage, but with 35% of reserve wines in the blend. The dosage is 9g/l and around 7-8% of the blend was vinified as red wine. It has a relatively deep, bronze-pink colour and there is a definite biscuity depth to the strawberries and cream of the nose. Something just a little bit truffly adds extra interest. In the mouth the mousse is rich and cushioning, and the bite of raspberry and a little spicy nuance makes for attracive and balanced drinking. Both savoury and sippable, with good intensity into a long finish, it's a very fine and characterful rosé from Philipponnat.
(2021) From Grand Cru Pinot Noir vineyards in Äy, plus 28% Chardonnay from Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger, this rosé spent eight years on the lees and is Extra Brut with 4.5g/l dosage. 5212 bottles were disgorged in March 2019. It's a remarkable and serious pink, the nose smoky and mineral, crammed with small, tight red berries and streaking citrus, just a little biscuit character too. There's an immediate sense of concentration, borne out on the palate, which is intense and beautifully fruited, with raspberry and redcurrant, again that smoky, stony, mineral base, some natural fruit sweetness gathered up into a sweep of acidity through to the finish.
(2021) Henriot's rosé is 50% Pinot Noir grapes from the Montagne de Reims, with 40% Chardonnay and a 10% Pinot Meunier. Reserve wines make up 35% of the blend, which spent three years on the lees and has 9g/l dosage. The colour is a medium-pale bronze/peach, with aromas of small red berries, and a touch of biscuit. In the mouth the mousse is cushiony and rich, but the zestiness of the acidity gives good energy to the wine, the soft fruity character also making it approachable and easy to drink.
(2021) All Chardonnay from Villers-Mamery (the eastern facing sector of the Montagne de Reims), the wine sees 100% malo, with 25% aged in wood. After four years on the lees it was disgorged 12/201, with 8g/l dosage from a Solera 'super cuvée'. Pale lemony straw coloured, I love the nose, which has bready and meaty aromas, a touch of flint, and great umami depth. In the mouth the mousse is cushiony and full, and there's a striking vibrancy of lemon fruit: really punchy, vivacious, with a full, rich texture and bright orange and pink grapefruit acid thrust to extend the finish. Just lovely. Price and stockist quoted is for 2013 vintage at time of review.
(2021) What a fabulous wine this DP 2006 is, from a generally dry and warm vintage. There's a fabulously flinty, seal-salt and minerals quality on the nose, the wine immediately suggesting power and great concentration. It is gently toasty, all those complex reductive notes making for endlessly fascinating aromatics. In the mouth it is taut, intense and equally concentrated, but this is not a brawny wine; instead the sinew connects clean, powerful lemon rind and creamy fruit notes that have a certain fat, but no excess. It's a wine that edges on phenolic, with some tannin giving real authority, but somehow it is charming too with its balance and fruit purity. A terrific DP.