August–September 2019 Champagne News

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Long Time – No Newsletter! 

Escaping from regular newsletter tyranny, you'll still find more-or less frequent updates on my website's front page at, on my news link and in other places, such as the new page 'Travelling to Champagne'.

This is the official farewell to the regular newsletter, together with an Open Invitation to check on the website for the latest and the best.
Meanwhile, here are some juicy tidbits.....

Kaaren Palmer
Kaaren Palmer Champagne


It wasn't until the glass was empty that I caught the aromas of a wine that I'd initially overlooked, and I realised that, to do it justice, I'd need an evening and a bottle rather than a small taste and a few minutes. 

Louis Roederer's Philippe Starck Brut Natureis unlike anything else produced by the house, except for the signature fine and persistent bead, which is the trademark Roederer liveliness. The first pour evokes a brooding, doughy, fresh cashew breath, which precedes a vinous, almost Burgundian palate. No need to decant, though, just give it time to unveil its layers of apricot, citrus, blackcurrant, hazelnut complexities before it slowly segues into a delicate, smoky finish. Balanced, perfectly poised between richness and elegance, this is a very serious wine.

My bottle of 2009, a generous year, came fresh from the pallet at the Edinburgh Cellars, Mitcham, South Australia, but it's well distributed throughout the globe. Nick's in Melbourne are offering it for $140.


Essentiel Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut

Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut (pictured right) is one of the major chains without its deserved fanfare, perhaps because the brand is more usually Pinot-driven. Signed by their chef de cave, Severine Frearson, who's now gone to Perrier-Jouët, it's indeed an intriguing hint of what she can do. Or perhaps it's more about the influence of the esteemed Régis Camus under whose tutelage she worked, and the deep reserves available  from the stable that also houses Charles Heidsieck's Blanc de Millénaires. A deliciously flavourful effervescence nourishes the thirsty palate, which then demands more.

Winner of at least three gold medals; click herefor the tasting sheet.

We're delighted to see the disgorgement date on the label (10.2017) and the date in which the bottle was laid in the cellars for secondary fermentation (2014, thereby signifying that the base wine comes from 2013). Comprising 35% reserve wines, it's an underrated BARGAIN  for  under $75 by the half  dozen at Vintage Cellars


IWC (International Wine Challenge) is now in its 36thyear, and claims to be the most meticulous contest.
Cyril Brun from Charles Heidsieck was named sparkling winemaker of the year, with Régis Camus on the short list after  winning many times in the past. Champagne Charles Heidsieck won 1 Trophy, 4 Golds and 2 Silver Medals, while the Daniel Thibault Trophy for the best Sparkling Wine  went to Rare Champagne 2006, the prestige offshoot of Piper-Heidsieck.
IWSC (International Wine and Spirits Competition) claims 50 years of history behind it.

Gold Medals
Castelnau Brut 2006
Cossy Origine Extra Brut NV
de Saint Gall Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV
de Saint Gall Orpale 2004
Delavenne Grand Cru Brut Nature NV
Delavenne Grand Cru Brut Reserve NV
Ecrin Brut NV
Froment Griffon Brut Tradition Premier Cru NV
Laurent Lequart Blanc de Meunier Brut Nature NV
Lombard Brut Nature Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut NV
Palmer Blanc de Noirs Brut NV
Piper-Heidsieck Brut 2012
Duperrey Brut 2012
Herbert Beaufort Carte d'Or Brut NV
Nicolas Feuillatte Collection Blanc de Blancs Brut 2012
Niclas Feuillatte Selection Brut NV
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2008

Silver Medals 
Alexandre Bonnet
Charles Mignon
Lanson's Clos Lanson 2007
de Saint Gall's 2012 Blanc de Blancs and Tradition NV
Duval-Leroy Brut Organic NV and Pur Chardonnay NV
Gremillet Blanc de Blancs NV and Blanc de Noirs NV
Guy Charbaut 2008 Brut Premier Cru
de Telmont Grande Reserve NV and Grande Rosé NV
Jacquart's Blanc de Blancs 2013 and Brut Mosaïque NV, Brut Rosé Mosaïque NV, Brut Signature Mosaic NV, all five Jeeper entries
Lanson's Black Label NV and Rosé NV
Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle NV and Ls Cuvée NV
Lombard's Brut Nature Grand Cru NV and their Brut Nature Le Mesnil sur Oger Grand Cru NV as well as their Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs
Joseph Loriot-Pagel Brut Nature Meunier NV
Montaudon Brut Reserve Première NV
Classe M NV, Mumm Grand Cordon NV
Nominé-Renard L'Insolent 2013 and Special Club 2012
Palmer Rosé Reserve NV, Pannier Blanc de Blancs 2012 and Égérie de Pannier 2008
Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2006
Pol Couronne Brut NV, Pommery Cuvée Louise 2004
Salmon Brut NV and Zer Dosage 2013
Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvée Spéciale Blanc de Blancs NV and Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs 2008
Reserve Exclusive Brut NV and Reserve Exclusive Rosé NV
Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque 2012
4 crus from Piot-Sevillano, Pommery Apanage Blanc de Blancs NV and Apanage Brut NV, Pommery Grand Cru 2006
Mumm RSRV 4.5 NV, Mum RSRV Blanc de Blancs 2013, RSRV Blanc de Noirs 2009, Mumm René Lalou 2006
Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut Extra Old NV and La Grande Dame Rosé 2006
Veuve Clicquot 2012, Vintage Rosé 2008 and Yellow Label NV. 

This list is not exhaustive. 
There were 96 bronze medallists. Trophy winners are announced in November. Last year, Lanson's Noble Cuvée Blanc de Blancs 2002 and Champagne Palmer's Blanc de Noirs NV won the trophies for vintage and non-vintage champagne respectively.

Kaaren Palmer

Champagne Editor
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Kaaren Palmer
Kaaren Palmer
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To purchase Champagne
...a tasting journey
please click here


Champagne and flowers? Why not! Explore Cathrine Todd's ideas in Forbes Magazine, and perhaps enjoy the idea for yourself with friends...all details here

Also available from the same site, their top 5 champagne stories of the last 5 years.


Champagne Janisson and Son, based in Verzenay, has been sold with its order book, stock and ten hectares of vineyard and new tasting rooms, to Moët & Chandon.


A new website for visitors to Champagne includes maps, audio guides, and more. Cellars, tastings, gastronomy, architecture, history, events, experiences, adventures and just plain 'getting around'.


Chefs de cave move on! Having taken extended leave from Mumm, Didier Mariotti is following Dominique Demarville to Veuve Clicquot, moving from one multi-national (Pernod Ricard) to another (LVMH). Dominique Demarville is moving to the family business of Laurent-Perrier, which includes Delamotte and Salon, as their long term chef de cave is retiring. For more on this move, click here

Severine Frearson, who was earmarked for the chef de cave role at Piper-Heidsieck, goes to Perrier-Jouët. 


Quill and Pad is new to me, but Ken Gargett is not. Here Gargett regales us with an excellent potted history of the esteemed House of Champagne Lanson, whose champagne finds a place in my cellar year after year.

I can disclose that the champagnes from Clos Lanson are indeed worth seeking, having been a guest picker in the Clos, and tasted a vertical of each vintage made since trials began.

I can recommend the first release, 2006 vintage. Priced according to its rarity, it's to be found in France, the UK, the U.S. and Hong Kong. Available in Australia at Dan Murphy stores, where we also have Lanson's Noble Cuvées.
Magnums served at a recent Champagne luncheon at Madame Palmer's.
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