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  1. Le Mesnil

    Le Mesnil

    Le Mesnil (or Le Mesnil-sur Oger if you want the whole mouthful) is a Grand Cru Village within the famed Cote Des Blancs sub region of Champagne that we spent a bit of time in while hunting for Champers. Le Mesnil is considered to be one of the greatest of the 300 plus villages in all of Champagne and is the source of Krug’s Clos du Mesnil which sells in Australia for around $1600 a bottle. The Krug is produced from a small walled vineyard (as pictured) which was planted several hundred years ago. Wines from the region are all Blanc De Blancs, white wine made from white grapes, Chardonnay specifically. They generally offer a steeliness and intensity which is hard to find elsewhere, often with a suggestion of minerality and chalkiness. Check out the vid of a very small bottling of a secret Cuvee from one of our favourite producers in the region.

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  2. Bernard Remy

    Bernard Remy

    On the road in Champers Matt spent a fair whack of time at Bernard Remy. Here’s Matt having a glass with winemaker Rudy and Rudy filling a glass... even winemakers can’t pour straight! Check out the vid too as Remy and Virginie explain riddling, disgorgement and adding the secret Liqueur d’expedition. Champagne starts its life as a normal, still wine but the ageing on lees (dead yeast cells) and the final addition of liqueur, generally made from a blend of aged reserve wines and a little sugar transform it from the ordinary into something special. Wineries like Bernard Remy who start with much higher than average quality fruit start at special and work their way into magical territory.

    [caption align="aligncenter" width="420"]Even winemakers have trouble pouring wine...[/caption]


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  3. Prowein


    Prowein is the biggest and best run wine show in the world. This year over 6000 producers were hawking their wares, including an extremely large contingency from Champagne. We visited about 40 Champagne producers and found time to check out some Spanish and Italian wines too. While not as exciting as getting your hoofs on the ground in a wine region it is a brilliant way to look at a huge amount of wine in a short space of time. It’s good exercise too. We managed to cover about 13kms a day moving from meeting to meeting. Even managed to take a virtual ‘Tour de France’.



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  4. Epernay


    Matt based himself in Epernay during his tour of Champagne. It’s certainly a pretty place and one of the major hubs in the region, along with Reims. As you might expect, lots of architecture from eons ago and pretty streets to boot.





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  5. Use of Barrels

    Use of Barrels

    Since the 1960’s the vast majority of Champagne has been produced without any use of oak. Most Champagne begins its life in stainless steel, where the juice is fermented, becoming a still wine. Stainless steel allows for easy temperature control and is much easier from a hygiene perspective than managing oak.

    After the initial ferment in stainless steel, the wines undergo tirage, being mixed with an active yeast culture and sugar, which creates the ‘sparkling’ fermentation inside the bottle. After 14 months in bottle on lees (the dead yeast cells) the lovely biscuity, nutty toast characters we love begin to emerge.

    That said the last 20 years has seen a slow return to the use of oak for about 100 producers, some simply ageing some of their reserve wines in oak, others maturing entire wines for a period in oak before tirage. Some use oak because it allows a gentle oxygenation of the wine, producing flavour and texture development, others looking to

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  6. Matt's postcards from Champagne and beyond...

    Matt's postcards from Champagne and beyond...

    Fun times at Bernard Remy, who had a new wine, Blanc De Noir, 100% Pinot Noir and bloody delicious... pic of a bottle which has quietly been sitting on lees (the dead yeast) for about 4 years, getting tastier and tastier... won't be long before it's time to riddle the bottle, wave goodbye to the yeast and whack a label on it.

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  7. Frittata


    While the Tomich Blanc de Blanc is the perfect partner to seafood and Asian cuisines, it has enough depth and complexity to pair with richer foods as well and is a great starting point to a celebratory brunch. The day after a big pizza-making dinner with friends is the perfect time for a frittata – chances are by late morning, you’ll be looking for some kind of salty comfort food that doesn’t take a lot of energy to prepare. It’s also likely that you’ll have more than a few leftovers in the fridge which have been conveniently pre-chopped, shredded and/or grated as part of your pizza prep. That’s why the other name for this dish is the ‘fridge-tata’. Weekend brunch is also a great time to crack some bubbles. In between mouthfuls of the bitey sharpness of gorgonzola and parmigiana in the frittata, the fresh and light fruitiness of the Blanc de Blanc bubbly with its hints of melon and crisp apple, turn this meal into a real taste celebration
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  8. Dill Blini with Caper Crème Fraiche and Smoked Salmon

    Dill Blini with Caper Crème Fraiche and Smoked Salmon

    Tiny mouthfuls of deliciously light canapes deserve perfectly elegant bubbles with a delicate fruitiness with a soft fizz ideally in a dry style.

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  9. ‘Our’ Champagne: The Countdown to the great reveal - here’s another teaser….

    ‘Our’ Champagne: The Countdown to the great reveal - here’s another teaser….

    We’ve been hinting of late of great things to come, namely the Champagne we have ordered from the prestigious Côtes des Blancs subregion. While we are not yet ready to reveal details of the Champagne itself, we thought it might help whet the interest of the Champagne lovers amongst you if we revealed the international Wine Expert we referred to in a previous post ‘Champagne is en route – and picking up resounding endorsements!’ To recap: we’re very chuffed to have discovered that an international Wine Expert selected one of ‘our’ Champagnes right up there amongst her Top 10 favourite Champagnes in a list published in an overseas magazine. Janna Rijmpa is a Dutch viticulturist, wine writer (for Decanter and Mundus Vini), wine consultant, international wine judge and self-professed Champagne Lover. Janna’s list of Top 10 favourite Champagnes includes many a prestigious Champagne and features Vintage Pol Roger Winston Churchill (which
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  10. Trains, Champagnes and Baguetting Away With It - Parts 1, 2 & 3

    Trains, Champagnes and Baguetting Away With It - Parts 1, 2 & 3

    After 4 solid days of tasting and meetings with Champagne Houses at Prowein in Dussledorf, Matt headed off to Epernay, Champagne...

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10 Item(s)

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