Rosé, Blanc de Blanc or subtle blends of Pinot and Chardonnay, the great Champagne Houses invite their bubbles to the table.
Over a dish of lamb, oysters or shellfish, champagne is definitely always at the party. Focus on the great Houses that have seduced Le Sommelier.
Wine Review

Champagne Bollinger, La Grande Année 2005

La Grande Année is Bollinger’s prestige cuvée, developed only when grapes reach a perfect balance. This is the House interpretation of an exceptional year. La Grande Année 2005 is delicately tinted with golden highlights. On the nose, there is a beautiful complexity: honey, gingerbread and cinnamon aromas blend perfectly with notes of dried fruits and dried flowers. The wine is mature, flexible, full and persistent with a creamy effervescence and a discreet acidity in the finale bringing freshness. A beautiful accompaniment to carpaccio of scallops, lobster risotto or a brie de Maux.

Champagne G.H Mumm, Blanc de Blancs Mumm de Cramant, NV

Created in 1882, this Cuvée Blanc de Blancs Mumm de Cramant is made from chardonnay issued only from Cru de Cramant. Produced in limited quantities, the bottle is distinguished by its thin neck. Fine and delicate bubbles blend into a clear and bright colour, traversed by green and soft yellow hues. On the nose, Blanc de Blancs reveals notes of fragrant white flowers with lemon and fresh fruits. A palate of great finesse and subtle minerality precedes a certain smoothness, before revealing a rich and expressive finish, a guarantee of longevity. Delicious with lobster in a citrus infusion, leg of lamb or a lemon posset.

Champagne Krug, Grande Cuvée, NV

It takes 20 years to make a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée. This patience achieves the ultimate Brut of Joseph Krug, a champagne that goes beyond the concept of vintage. This wine comes from the exceptional assemblage of 120 wines from 10 vintages, some of which may have been kept for 15 years. Nutty, toasted bread, nougat and fruit jelly, fresh flowers, ripe fruit, dried fruit, honey and brioche notes mingle with the subtlety of fine bubbles to create a tasty, fresh and racy Champagne, enchanting both to the expert and the novice. Excellent with pistachio-crusted scallops or pine nut tartelette with a rosemary cream.

Champagne Laurent-Perrier, Cuvée Rosé Brut NV

Cuvée Rosé was first made in 1968 from the expertise of the Maison Laurent-Perrier, issued from its still wines called Côteaux Champenois. In its elegant bottle inspired Henri IV, this rosé Champagne is recognised and appreciated for its raspberry colour with salmon reflections, wide aromatic palette and graceful mouth, frank and fruity giving the impression of plunging into a freshly picked basket of red fruits. Enjoy this champagne with fillet of sole in a lemon-butter sauce, sushi, or strawberry soufflé with sliced strawberries.

Champagne Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, 2006

Emblematic of the Taittinger House, Comtes de Champagne cuvée was created in 1952 in honour of the counts of Champagne, who were lords of the Abbey of Saint-Nicaise. A blend of strength and elegance, this champagne glows with eternal youth given by the greatest Chardonnays of the Côte des Blancs, Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Bergères-les-Vertus et Vertus. Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006 is a very expressive champagne, generous, opulent and complex. The palate is elegant and round with fruity and vanilla notes lining the mouth, combining freshness and power. To complement scallop and truffles canapés, sushi and sashimis, or a fraisier.


The Champagne Academy celebrates its 60th Anniversary & launches its 2016 trip to Champagne

The Academy (established in 1956) in recognition of the importance of the UK and Irish market, has just celebrated its 60th anniversary and launched its annual trip to Champagne in June.

It’s an in depth educational experience including lectures, visits to vineyards and an unrivalled series of tutored tastings with the successful candidates (working in the UK and Ireland wine trades) in the various test and examinations awarded the prestigious diploma and invited to join the Academy. Sixteen top flight Champagne Houses including Bollinger, Charles Heidsieck and Veuve Clicquot host and entertain the sixteen candidates providing them with an unforgettable experience. “Everyone who works in the industry should aspire to attend the Course” says Philip Amp this year’s chairman.

UK wine trade members interested in applying for the 2017 course should contact Val Simpson at champagneacademy@yahoo.co.uk

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