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A different view of Champagne

by | May 20, 2015 | Fine Wine Tastings and Dinners | 0 comments

A fascinating Champagne Masterclass unfurled at Bacco last night as we explored Champagne through the eyes of Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards.

echelles des crusWith all the hype and marketing bling that the big names of Champagne bring to bear, the existence of the Echelle des Crus – a system that gives a % rating to the many villages in the Champagne region – is relatively unknown. Because the vast majority of Champagne production is in the hands of producers who source fruit from many different areas it is rare to see Grand Cru or 1er Premier Cru on a label.

We compared and contrasted an excellent range of wines from three small estates: Pierre Moncuit, Roger Geoffroy and Pierre Paillard. We tasted an exceptional range of beautifully crafted and individual Champagnes including Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Rosés and blends. Highlights were the 2009 Vintage Blanc e Noirs from Paillard, the Brut NV from Paillard and the Rosé from Moncuit.

Another surprise was the sweeter wines: the Nocturne Sec from Taittinger and the Demi-Sec from Roederer. Stylish and a wonderful change from the classic Brut style. The Nocturne was sublime with the Langres cheese and the Roederer held its own against a chocolate and pear tart.

With prices ranging from £28.00 to £40.00 – these wines were exceptional value compared to some of the “better known” marques.

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“Throughout the 17 years I have attended Tim’s wine tasting events, he has continued to deliver his extensive knowledge of wine and wine-making with great charm, and lots of humour, making the evenings not only informative, but also great fun. In the course of an average year, the tastings cover a kaleidoscope of different wine themes – interesting and entertaining for all, novices and experts alike. And the wines taste pretty good too!”

“We have been going to Teddington Wine Society events for a number of years. Tim runs the evenings with bonhomie and humour and wears his considerable knowledge lightly. The evenings are great fun, the wines are always a little bit different and help to expand knowledge and tasting horizons.”

“I have attended the Richmond Wine society for over ten years and always enjoyed Tim’s self-effacing style and gentle humour. His knowledge is globally eclectic and presented in a clear, interesting and always stimulating way. Every guest I have taken there has enjoyed the evening immensely. Tim also offers a wide range of wines to buy and my red cellar has provided great pleasure to my own dinner guests.”

“I’ve been enjoying Tim’s tastings for over 20 years – he is a great teacher, raconteur and wine expert. He is seriously passionate about his wine, but there is nothing serious about his tastings, which are always informal and relaxed. A lovely way to spend an evening and enjoy some fantastic wines.”

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