Champagne Tasting at N&P October 2015

Friday 9th October saw a full house in the old cellars underneath the corner shop. Tim did a superb hosting job, talking us through the wines and offering various hidden secrets of Champagne, including the startlingly brilliant idea that recent studies have strongly suggested that Champagne is the answer to Alzheimer’s, I’m sold on that one. I can’t remember what else he said.

The wines all showed well, our first general encounter with Christian Gosset’s new Ultra Brut (non dosage) blended NV was very well received, it was very dry but the breadth of flavour and quality of the fruit carries it well. Also Coutelas’s latest wine, Eloge, a Blanc de Blancs was well received too, some tasters preferring the slightly richer more open style. Pol Roger’s NV added a touch of class and finesse, quietly confident. It was interesting to try out the magnum effect, it sort of worked for me in that magnums always seem more approachable, less acidic to put it plainly, and Gosset’s Grande Reserve was certainly that. The pure black grape cuvee from Launois was the big surprise of the night for me, we bought a bottle and cracked it Saturday teatime to make sure we weren’t over egging it. A real gem this one. The Bollinger Grande Annee just had a bit too much for all of them in the end, a really fine characterful Champagne, it’s quite a lot more expensive but Roger Moore’s eyebrow would offer you a suitably incredulous repost if you drank anything else.

The Wines

Gosset Brabant Ultra Brut NV

Hint of gold, the nose has lots of brioche an green apple, there is good intensity, meaty Pinot notes, there is good grip. It’s creamy and refreshing, with a salty minerality into the finish with plenty of lime too. This is a serious wine the low dosage exposing the raw material, excellent style.

Coutelas Eloge Blanc de Blancs NV

Medium gold, healthy fizz, lots of bready and toasty notes, with honey and a nice freshness. The Chardonnay fruit is ripe and textured, there is an attractive zip of citrus holding it up, it is supple and balanced. Savoury black tea notes on the finish. Good quality wine at this price level, and has the requisite hallmarks of the Blanc de Blancs Cuvee.

Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV

The colour is medium full gold, with tiny bubbles, this is fine and delicate in style, with a subtlety to the flavour profile, white rose and a hint of green apple. Quite light but good complexity, some brioche, creamy weight. The balance and finesse is impressive, good length.

Gosset Brabant Grand Reserve Grand Cru Brut From Magnum NV

Medium gold, there is an extra level of sweetness on the nose here, could be from the extra bottle age of the magnum. There is an  easy going palate, nicely fruity with white peach and ripe pear flavours coming through. This is fleshy. Could maybe do with a tad more citrus to balance the ample fruit, but quality juice.

Launois Oeil de Perdrix NV    

Medium gold, this has that Champagny nose in spades, mineral, earthy notes, with a sherbet edge, and hazelnut. There is an excellent complexity to the flavour profile, the palate is creamy and relaxed, it just drifts across the tongue with so much composure and balance. Subtle gamey notes coming through on the back of the palate, this is impressive stuff and brilliant value for money. There is precision here of a quality which is surprising at this price level.

2005 Bollinger Grande Annee

Nice deep golden hue, the nose is impressively deep, with hints of baked apple, brioche and honeyed tones, the fruit on the palate is cool round and dominant, with a meaty character, with white pepper on the back, the mousse is tantalising. This is an exciting wine, drinking very well already, lovely weight every sip takes it higher, delicious Pinot dominated Champagne.

Another fantastic night in our cellars, as ever the tickets for this event sold out rather quickly, as a result we will be hosting another Champagne tasting on the 11th of December 2015. You can buy tickets here, we hope to see you there!

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