2018 PRINTEMPS DES CHAMPAGNES TASTING
15th and 16th April 2018 – Amateurs, professionals of wine and journalists from all over the world joined the winegrowers of the association Champagne, Terroirs etC… for their annual Printemps des Champagnes tasting in Cercle Colbert in Reims. An event presenting the vins clairs of the last harvest as well as the champagnes of each estate of the group members. The opportunity to appreciate all the subtleties of of the terroirs of Champagne but also to rediscover the cuvées through the theme for the year : pairings with cheese thanks to a tutorials organized by Frédéric Pagneux.
Champagne Apollonis-Michel Loriot, Champagne Bergeronneau-Marion, Champagne Dauby, Champagne François Secondé, Champagne Gaidoz Forget, Champagne Gimonnet-Gonet, Champagne Piot-Sévillano, Champagne Poissinet, Champagne René Jolly, Champagne Xavier Leconte : 10 estates, 10 independent winegrowers spread over the Champagne Appellation gathered together in order to make people discover their highly-individual champagnes as well as their artisanal fiber and the philosophy of their Houses. Each member of the group craft his champagnes from the vines to bottle with a great respect for the environment and his terroirs. The cuvées are the reflect of the expression of their lands and the know-how of the producer.
The different events organized during the year by the association is the opportunity for the winemakers to share their identity and their values :to pass on their common philosophy :
- elaborate champagnes from the harvest to bottling respecting the expression of their terroir, soil, subsoil and traditional know-how, despite the contradictory trends and modes.
- to work the vineyard with a great respect of the environment (High Environmental Value).
- to create champagnes in their own cellars making them as natural as possible.
- Each year the theme of the event is different : a way for the visitor to discover differently the champagnes. This year, the theme was Champagne, Terroirs and Cheese…
Champagne and Cheese…
Like every year, it is Frédéric Pagneux – sommelier – who organized a unique tasting allowing to make a gastronomic tour of the winemakers and respecting all the products by choosing carefully elaborate cheese-pairings. One after another, the pairings are perfectly balanced :
- cheese-pairing with Pinot Meunier champagnes with the Monodie 2008 vintage from Champagne Apollonis Michel Loriot or Clos des Bergeronneau from Champagne F. Bergeronneau Marion with Grana Padano and its fresh mango fruit purée on a rye and walnuts bread. A pairing in contrast between the elegant sweetness of the purée and the cheese with the kick of the mango and the fresh salinity of the cheese. A perfect balance
- cheese and blended cuvée association with Carte d’Or brut from Champagne Poissinet or 2012 vintage from Champagne Gaidoz Forget with Chaource and its fresh pear and bourbon vanilla compote on a raisin bread. A charming, voluptuous and cuddling pairing waking up the character of the vanilla, the pear and Chaource.
- cheese-pairing with Chardonnay wines with the Rebelle cuvée from Champagne Piot-Sévillanot or Carat du Mesnil 2008 from Gimmonet with Brillat Savarin and its apple and lime zest fruit purée on naturelle citron yuzu on a wild grain bread. A tonic, mineral and vivacious pairing highlighting the salinity and minerality of the champagnes.
- cheese and champagne from Solera and oak barrel vinification with Grand Cru cuvée from Champagne Guy Dauby or Grand Cru cuvée from Champagne François Secondé with Brie de Melun and its parsnip and Espelette pepper purée on a olive bread. An original pairing in contrast : the olive brings a vegetal notes to the tasting counterbalanced with the wood notes with vanilla notes emphasized. An elegant, sophisticate and structured food-pairing with vinous notes on the finish.
- Finally, cheese-pairing with Pinot Noir with Scellés de terroirs 2010 from Champagne Xavier Leconte or Blanc de Noirs from Champagne René Jolly with Langres and its mirabelle plum compote on a chorizo bread. A fresh and animal pairing : the spicy freshness of the chorizo is emphasized on the finish thanks to the minerality of the cuvée and the power of the Pinot Noir.
Zoom in on 5 estates
Going from one table to another, the visitor discover the philosophy and the approach of each estate. The tasting reveals fruity, floral and generous champagnes.
Champagne François Secondé – Sillery
The first cuvée of the estate presented is La Loge Blanc de Noirs – 100% Pinot Noir Grand Cru Sillery – a round and generous champagn with light vanilla notes and a nice balance between power and freshness. The Blanc de Blancs 2011 vintage – 100% Chardonnay Sillery Grand Cru – is complex and generous with hazelnut and dried fruit notes. The Intégral Zéro Dosage Grand Cru – 2/3 Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay – is fresh and creamy with an elegant minerality and frankness. Finally, Intégral 2002 – aged under cork – offers brioche honey and butter aromas. The finish is fresh and vinous with yellow flower notes.
Champagne Gaidoz Forget – Ludes
The tasting starts with the Carte d’Or Brut cuvée – 80% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir – a well-balanced champagne with freshness, vinosity and tautness. It offers candied lemon peel, acacia and almond aromas. The Réserve Brut – 50% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay – is generous with candied and stewed fruit notes as well as brioche aromas whereas the 2012 Vintage – 40% Pinot Meunier and 60% Pinot Noir – is complex and mineral with a nice maturity and freshness. The 2008 Vintage – 40% Pinot Meunier and 60% Pinot Noir – is mineral with some fresh butter, vanilla and brioche notes. Finally, the 2009 Vintage – 35% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier – is complex and round with roasted and caramel notes. The finish is fresh and velvety.
Champagne Xavier Leconte – Troissy
The De Marie L Rosé coteaux (expected release in Fall) – 100% Pinot Meunier vinified 100% in tank and a maceration of 36h – the color is a red pink. During the tasting, the wine bringrs a nice acidity and an elegant freshness with redcurrant, strawberry aromas (the spirit of a Côte de Cassi). Signature du Hameau Brut – 80% Pinot Meunier, 15% Pinot Noir and 5% Chardonnay – offers freshness and finesse with floral, apricot and roasted notes. A beautiful and generous expression of Troissy terroir with a fresh finish. Le Charme d’Anaïs 2012 Vintage Brut – 100% Chardonnay, 50% Fût – develops vanilla and white flower notes as well as pear and pineapple aromas. Scellés de terroir 2010 Vintage Extra-Brut – 100% Pinot Noir – is frank and saline with white pepper notes and a light vinosity washed away by the minerality in an elegant way. 2011 vintage – 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay – is rich, ample and complex with quince and brioche aromas.
Champagne Piot-Sévillano – Vincelles
Christine starts to pour the Brut Tradition – 70% Pinot Meunier, 15% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir – a fresh and well-balanced wine with an elegant fruitiness and dried fruits aromas. The Prestige – 80% Pinot Meunier and 20% Pinot Noir – brings honey, yellow flower and fresh bread notes with a delicate vinosity. The Impertinente – 100% Pinot Noir – is generous with a perfect balance between power and roundness. Finally, the new Rosé coteaux – 100% Pinot Meunier – is fruity, generous with acidulous fruit notes. The finish is fresh and vinous. An ideal wine for sunny days and a wink to the origins close to Mount Ventoux of Vincent.
Champagne Gimonnet-Gonet – Le Mesnil sur Oger
First, the Or cuvée – 100% Chardonnay Grand Cru – offers a lot of freshness and finesse with citrus, white flower and brioche aromas. The finish is both vinous and mineral. The 2011 vintage – 100% Chardonnay Grand Cru – brings freshness and harmonious almond, toasted and fruity notes – citrus, pear and peach. The finish develops a hint of candied lemon. Finally, the Carat du Mesnil 2008 – 100% Chardonnay Grand Cru – offers apple compote, chalky minerality and biscuit aromas with a light menthol note on the finish.
Dîner at Piano des Chefs
In the evening, we meet up with the winegrowers of Champagne, Terroir etC… at Piano des Chefs in Reims – just next to the Cathedral. There, Chef Eric Geoffroy prepared delicate dishes for the guest while the pairings were prepared and explained by the sommelier Frederic Pagneux.
An evening under the sign of conviviality, sharing and fun showing how that it is easily possible to make a full champagne menu :
Mises en bouches
- Matcha tea powdered King prawn and its Granny apple jelly smith paired with Champagne François Secondé Brut Intégral
- Scallop tartare and its cocoa crumble paired with Champagne Gaidoz-Forget “Bertille 2009”
- Cod carpaccio on its seiche ink black rock, its Kaffir lime zests and is fresh mango paired with Champagne Apollonis Michel Loriot “Inspiration de saison”2010
- Poached in jasmin tea sole Goujonnette and its Blanc de Blancs sauce paired with Champagne Gimonnet-Gonet “Millésime 2011“
- Monkfish cheek, seaweed cream and its champagne jelly paired with Champagne Poissinet “Cuvée Héritage“
- Glazed sweetbread and its roasted butternut paired with Champagne Bergeronneau “Millésime 2012“
- Smoked poultry médaillons de volaille fumé, long pepper from Java, its parsnip cream and chopped hazelnuts paired with Champagne Piot-Sévillano “Millésime 2009“
Cheeses paired with Champagne Xavier Leconte “Scellés de terroir 2011”
- Chaource cream on gingerbread and its conference pear chutney
- Brie de Melun ball and its chutney heart powdered with gingerbread
- A saffron Chantilly cream lightly sweet and its raspberry coulis and its roasted sesame seeds biscuit paired with Champagne René Jolly “Brut Rosé d’assemblage“
With these two days of tasting and this intimate diner, the winemakers of the association of Champagne, Terroirs etC… offered a complete immersion into their world and their philosophy.