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champagne

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  1. Matt's 2018 Euro Trip

    Matt's 2018 Euro Trip

    I was lucky enough to head off to Prowein again this year, then to Champagne and Italy. As usual Prowein was nuts, with 6800 wineries showing off their goodies from 64 countries spread out over 71000 square meters... I racked up as much as 14ks a day scooting around to meetings. Plenty of time in Champagne too, catching up with Bernard Remy, Champagne Bouche, Le Mesnil and Roger Brun. Found a spectacular producer in Grand Cru Ambonnay too... stay tuned for more on that front. The big news out of Champagne is the deeply held fear within the region that within 20 years there will be hardly any small producers left... and that perhaps this will also bear out in the Bordeaux, what with the big companies paying up to 7 euros for a kilo of grapes, vineyards now fetching 1-2 million Euros per hectare and recent changes to succession taxes. Now is a very good time to buy small producer champagne...

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  2. Matt in Prowein & Champagne 2017

    Matt in Prowein & Champagne 2017

    We packed Matt off to Prowein and Champagne again this year to hunt down some quality reds from Europe and perhaps another Champagne producer or 2 to add to the 3 awesome producers we already import... Click here to see the Champagne houses we currently import and you can check out some articles on our previous expeditions via this search query. Prowein was especially nuts this year, with 6,500 exhibitors from over 60 countries showing their wares (that’s around 4,000 more producers than there are in Australia) and about 60,000 trade visitors tasting and buying.

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Cramant

    Cramant

    Matt spent some time in Cramant on his recent expedition hunting for more Champers. In addition to being a beautiful place, it is also home to 100% Grand Cru vineyards. There are only 17 villages in Champagne considered Grand Cru, out of over 300 in total. Fair to say Matt found some very good stuff. Stay tuned.

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  6. Prowein

    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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  7. Epernay

    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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  8. 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

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  9. 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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  10. ‘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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  11. Champagne is en route - and picking up resounding endorsements!

    Champagne is en route - and picking up resounding endorsements!

    The first shipment of ‘our’ Champagne is on the water and will be with us in about a week. We are not ready to unveil to you which particular Champagnes are soon to be hitting our shores, and more importantly, our warehouse, however we can tell you that we are very, very excited and can’t wait to chill and pop the cork of ‘our’ newly arrived French bubbles to ‘wet the head’ so to speak. french-enroute-fb We’re particularly tickled that since we placed our order an international Wine Expert who lists Champagne as their favourite drink, has given one of ‘our’ Champagnes a wonderful endorsement. This particular Champagne lover - not naming names as yet, however...

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  12. Côte des Blancs

    Côte des Blancs

    The Côte des Blancs, or ‘hillside of the whites’ is named for its predominance of white grape vineyards. It is one of 5 wine producing districts within Champagne and is planted primarily to Chardonnay. Along with the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs is considered to produce the best Champagne grapes and these 2 areas have the highest concentration of vineyards designated Premier Cru and Grand Cru. The Côte des Blancs has a reputation for producing the best Chardonnay in Champagne, allowing wines of great complexity, finesse and age worthiness. It provides the Chardonnay for many vintage Champagnes and prestigious bottling from the larger houses. The slopes of the Côte des Blancs face south east and east, situated on a bed of chalk which is very close to the surface, covered generally by just a little soil. Topsoils are generally only 30 centimetres deep so the vine roots into chalk at less depth than almost anywhere else in Champagne. This allows

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Items 1 to 12 of 15 total

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