PRINTEMPS DES CHAMPAGNES TASTING
This year again, the House of the Counts of Champagne hosted the oldest association of winegrowers of Champagne for the 2016 Printemps des Champagnes on the 20th April 2016. A tasting during which the 28 winegrowers of the association Club Trésors de Champagne presented their exceptional cuvées.
Club Trésors de Champagne
Created in 1971, Club Trésors de Champagne is the oldest group of Champagne winegrowers. A unique association bringing together 28 passionate winegrowers from Champagne. The member of the Club – all wine makers – have to follow and respect a set of unrelenting quality standards in order to represent the “excellence of the vineyard in all its diversity”. Their commitment to quality drives them to carry out every step of the wine making process at the estates of the winegrower who must be Récoltant-Manipulant.
Adding to that, only the harvest of their vineyard is exclusively vinified at the premises. Finally, each member must respect high quality standards for their wines and each cuvée must successfully passed two tests to be allowed to be put in the ‘Special Club’ bottle : a jury of professionals selects the champagnes and each wine is subject to two blind tastings – one before the bottling process and a second after 3 years ageing. This strict and ethical winemaking charter enables the Clubmen to offer very-top-of-the-range cuvées in a bottle with a unique design – the ‘Special Club‘, a design exclusively used for the members of the club and for cuvées with exceptional character. The essence of each estate is therefore represented by a vintage within a unique and distinctive bottle.
One bottle, 28 wine makers : a quality guarantee for an exceptional tasting
Professionals, bloggers, passionate connoisseurs gathered together at the House of the Counts of Champagne for a unique tasting. Located in the heart of Rheims, the House of the Counts of Champagne is one of the few vestiges of medieval architecture of the city. Almost completely destroyed during World War I, it used to be the place for reception for the Counts of Champagne on the occasion of coronations that were held nearby at the cathedral. It is in this place full of history that the Club Trésors de Champagne hosted their annual tasting event allowing professionals to discover and rediscovered their cuvées.
A unique opportunity to learn more about the 28 wine makers who create highly individual champagnes.
Among the producers, Elisabeth and Etienne from the Champagne Henri-Goutorbe hosted warmly the visitors as always. During the tasting, they offered their generous and emblematic Cuvée Prestige, their aromatic Rosé Grand Cru, their expressive and new Blanc de Noirs as well as an elegant 2005 vintage Grand Cru from Aÿ for their Special Club cuvée.
For Champagne Paul Bara, Chantale produces fruity, powerful and round wines. The wine maker was presenting her fresh and fruity Brut Réserve, her enchantress Grand Rosé cuvée and her surprising 2005 Special Club vintage with its spicy and mature notes.
For Carole, François and Ginette from Champagne Roland Champion tradition, authenticity and quality is essential to make great champagnes. For the tasting, the winegrowers brought their Carte Blanche – a mineral Blanc de Blancs -, their perfectly mature 2008 Carte Noire vintage with its hazelnuts notes and the 2010 Special Club vintage – a wine made from an old vines selection offering a perfect expression of Chouilly Terroir.
From Montigny-sous-Chatillon, Yves and Carole of Champagne Charlier et Fils create cuvées with incredible freshness. Among those wines, their complex and fruity Carte Noire, their refined and generous 2006 Bacchus vintage and their 2004 vintage bottling in the Special Club offering the perfect balance between minerality and freshness.
The two brothers from the estates Gaston Chiquet, Nicolas and Antoine, highlight the identity of their terroir through their wines. During the tasting, they were presenting for their Special Club, a 2008 vintage – a well-balanced and elegant blend of the harvest 2008 – as well as their expressive 2005 Or vintage and their fruity, delicate 100% Chardonnay cuvée.
Coming from Chigny-les-Roses, Hugues and Frédérique create elegantly fruity character wines for Champagne Duménil. During the tasting, their Jany Poret cuvée was delicate but generous whereas their Grande Réserve 1er cru was round with a lot of character. Finally their 2012 Special Club vintage developed fresh and fine notes.
Thierry from Champagne Forget-Chemin, uses the HVE method to make generous and mature wines. For this special event, the winegrower presented his supple and complex Carte Rosé 1er Cru, his light and warm 2010 Spécial Club vintage as well as his aromatic and well-balanced Carte Blanche Extra-Brut.
For Champagne Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, it is Olivier and Didier who create with precision, freshness and balance terroir champagnes. Their vivacious Cuis 1er Cru is the archetype style of the House. Fleuron, a 2009 Blanc de blancs vintage, is an elegant cuvée with great potential. Finally, their refined 2008 Special Club vintage offered a superb structure.
Jean-Marie, Damien and Martine from the estate J.M. Goulard in Prouilly have their heart set on making expressive champagnes, just like their complex and fresh Esprit Octavie cuvée, their original and elegant La Charme or their fresh Rosé Orphise with its strawberry notes on the finish.
True reflect of the terroir of Etoges, the champagnes of Cécile from Champagne Grongnet have strong and distinct character. Her 2009 Special Club vintage is a lively expression of fruit, her Blanc de Blancs is elegant with subtle flower aromas and the Carpe Diem cuvée is beautifully dry with wonderful aged notes.
Jean Paul from Champagne Marc Hébrart presented fine, elegant and balanced wines. Among the cuvées he brought that day, his powerful 2011 Special Club vintage, his vibrant and well-balanced 2010 Rive Gauche/Rive Droite, his mineral Noces de Craies and his sensual Rosé 1er Cru. Finally, the winegrowers presented a surprise : his highly individual still wine of his single-plot Clos – available only in 2019.
For Champagne Hervieux Dumez, Bruno and Laurent create unique character champagnes. The two wine producers offered their mineral and tonic Brut de Chardonnay, their complex Brut Réserve and their powerful but fresh 2008 Special Club vintage.
As for Vincent Joudart, he creates simple, pleasant and natural cuvées. His 2008 Special Club vintage was elegant and well-balanced whereas his 2011 Special Club vintage was rich and complex. Finally his 2012 Blanc de Blancs vintage was fresh and fruity – an highly expressive wine to finish the tasting of the cuvées of the estate.
From the estate Juillet-Lallement, Jean combines perfectly modernity and tradition to make outstanding wines. His fruity Brut selection offers grilled and iodize notes, his Blanc de Blancs is harmonious and elegant and finally his Rosé is fresh and supple.
Downstairs, Alexandre from Champagne Salmon creates with style cuvées from the emblematic grape variety of his estate : the Pinot Meunier. He was presenting his mineral and harmonious 2011 Special Club vintage, his generous 100% Meunier as well as his fruity and elegant 100% Meunier Rosé cuvée.
Three women for Champagne J. Lassalle – Chantal, Angéline and Claire – to create well-balanced and feminine wines. Claire presented us the smooth and mineral Preference cuvée, the powerful and saline 2009 Angéline vintage, the fruity and mature Blanc de Blancs 2007 vintage and finally the refined 2007 Special Club vintage.
At Champagne Joseph Loriot-Pagel, Jean-Philippe and Joseph creates traditionnally champagnes for 6 generations now. That day the winegrowers brought their prestigious 2009 Spécial Club vintage, their fresh and mature Blanc de Blancs 2008 vintage, their supple and wide Cuvée de Réserve 2008.
Arnaud, from Champagne A. Margaine, creates terroir champagnes with distinct character. The visitors of the tasting got the opportunity to taste his chalky and creamy Brut, his 2011 Special Club vintage – a stylish and complex Blanc de Blancs – and his fruity but vinous 2011 Rosé de Saignée.
At Champagne Rémy Massin et Fils, Sylvère and Cédric produce intense and round wines. For the tasting, Sylvère and Cédric were presenting their Intégrale cuvée – a mature and fresh Extra-brut -, their Brut Tradition – a soft and fruity 100% Pinot Noir – and their complex but delicate Cuvée Aristide.
Character is essential to create high-quality champagnes for José from Champagne José Michel et Fils like the three cuvées he brought for the tasting : his Brut Tradition – an authentic and fruity wine -, his elegant 2007 Blanc de Blancs vintage and his generous and unctuous 2008 Special Club vintage.
Cédric from Champagne Moussé Fils has his heart set on making champagne that are their terroir expression. During the event, the visitors tasted the Extra Or d’Eugène – emblem of the terroir of the House -, the round and buttered Terre d’Illite 2011 vintage as well as the 2012 Special Club vintage – a highly individual Meunier from the Lieux dit ” Les Fortes Terres.
From Verzy, Sebastien – wine maker for Champagne Mouzon Leroux et Fils – creates champagnes with respect for the identity of the terroir. For the tasting, Sebastien brought his fresh and saline L’ Atavique, his powerful and charming cuvée L’Ineffable – a Blanc de Noirs from Verzy- and L’Incandescent – an intense and complex Rosé de Saignée.
The wines from Champagne Nominé Renard have a fresh, elegant and distinct style. Simon, producer of the estate, offered during the event his harmonious and mineral Brut Nominé, his gastronomic Brut Blanc de Blancs as well as the opulent, generous and refined 2011 Special Club vintage cuvée.
As for Cécile and Vincent Bauchet, they create unique cuvées with expressive aromas at Champagne Pertois-Moriset. Their Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru was mineral and fruity with exotic notes whereas the Rosé was amazingly fresh. Finally, they presented their 2008 vintage – a subtle and complex 100% Chardonnay Grand Cru.
Finesse, complexity and aromas typical of their terroir are what makes the Champagne Sanchez-Le Guédard so unique. José and Sébastien chose to present their delicate Cuvée Grand Réserve, their intense and fruity Rosé de Saignée and their greedy and well-balanced Nature Extra-Brut.
Finally, we met with Jean-Pierre from Champagne Vazart-Coquart et Fils who creates rich, powerful and mineral wines. For the tasting, he wine makers brought his tender Brut Réserve Blanc de Blancs, his Grand Bouquet 2008 vintage – a supple and complex Blanc de Blancs – and his mineral 2008 Special Club vintage. Finally, Jean-Pierre also brought one of his futur cuvées : a Solera wine with low dosage already very promising for its next year release.
This year again, Club Trésors de Champagne knew how to host their visitors in a friendly and prestigious atmosphere with unique and elegant champagnes.