Next week I’m doing another Champagne tasting at the London HQ of the Wine & Spirt Education Trust (WSET). This time, with purchases for Christmas and the New Year partly in mind, I’m concentrating on pointing people in the direction of some great champagnes from slightly less known producers, which match or better some of the wines made by the big names. And partly as a result of being less well known, your money goes a lot further in terms of getting more exciting wine.
Earlier this week I ran a Champagne masterclass tasting at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and promised the participants, many of them WSET diploma students, to publish some of the detailed information about the wines, plus up-to-date statistics on the grape varieties planted in different areas of the appellation.
Laurent-Perrier has changed the style and blend of its core mainstream non-vintage champagne renaming it La Cuvée. The new wine, which will initially be based on the high quality 2012 harvest, will have more Chardonnay in it, and according to UK managing direct David Hesketh MW has a different flavour profile. Tasted side by side with the old Brut NV “there’s a clear difference between the two” he says.
Vincent Chaperon, right hand man of Dom Pérignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy, was in London earlier this month to launch the P2 version of Dom Pérignon 2000. Interestingly, he also bought along the original 2000 release aged on the cork since its disgorgement several years ago in 2007. We went along to see him and asked him to talk us through the quite considerable difference in tasting profile the same wine has when it gets a decade and a half of lees ageing.
Sign up for the French Wine Society’s Champagne Master-Level Program which starts next month on 16 February. This comprehensive study programme which comprises 17 live webinars held over nine weeks has six other champagne experts beside myself and it’s an impressive group to be involved with that includes Stephen Charters MW, Essi Avellan MW, Charles Curtis MW, Richard Bampfield MW, Peter Liem and Geoff Kruth MS.
Sign up today http://bit.ly/1s4ZAcZ and enjoy a free one year membership to the French Wine Society (worth $100) when using coupon « GILESCH » after adding the Champagne Master-level program to your cart. For more details about the course click on the link above.
Note: Founded in 2005, The French Wine Society is an international wine study and certification program, providing in-depth education in the form of print, webinars, recorded lectures, live lectures, and study immersion trips to France.