April 14, 2019 – During the Printemps des Champagnes, there is a rendez-vous of that the food-pairing aficionados cannot missed : the annual tasting of Champagne terroirs, etC. at Cercle Colbert in Reims. A unique event where the winegrower members push further the Champagne experience…
Champagne Terroirs, etC.
9 winegrowers, 9 independent producers, 9 committed personalities who decided to join their forces together to offer the proper visibility and frame for their terroir-driven champagnes. Champagne Terroirs, etC is a group of dedicated champagne artisans who decided to gather together to push the bounds of the champagne back : events around know-how, heritage, philosophy, tradition, innovation… and the opportunity for professionals to go further in the King of the wines exploration.
Conviviality, Cheeses, Chefs dishes… One of the particularity of the group is that the winegrowers choose a different theme starting by the C letter every year. The opportunity for the visitors to discover the champagnes of the 9 estates with a different angle and to explore the art of harmony and food-pairing. This year, the sommelier Frederic Pagneux created subtil Crustacean and shellfish bites enhancing the multifaceted tones and the organoleptic characteristics of the wines. One champagne for each of the estates exalted by one delicate dish… :
- Grilled oyster, apple brunoise with Chaource with the Blanc de Blancs cuvée from Champagne René Jolly. The oyster brings a slightly, fine, elegant and iodized side pairing perfectly the character of the Chardonnay. The Chaource – a relatively fat cheese from the region – brings a nice minerality during the finish whereas the Gala apple coming from the Ardennes adds an acidulous and crunchy dimension.
- King prawn Risotto and Timur berry, pecorino and fresh pomelos with the Terre d’Irizée Extra-Brut from Champagne Régis Poissinet. Each element highlights harmoniously the individuality of the wine : the Rissotto for the creamy, dense and fleshy dimension, the pomelos for the fresh and fruity notes and the pecorino to bring back the saline notes, with a lot of finesse and elegance. Finally, the Timur pepper develops flower and grapefruit aromas.
- Scallops consommé, Tonka and Kaffir lime bite was paired with the Blanc de Blancs from Champagne Bergeronneau Marion. The scallops emphasize the elegance and the fleshy side of the wine. The acidulous, but fine character of the Kaffir lime harmonizes with the character of Blanc de Blancs, while the Tonka bean recalls the spicy and roasted notes of this cuvée.
- Crab Maki-roll, red kuri squash and Yuzu with Extra-Brut Tradition from Champagne Piot-Sevillano. The iodized side of the crabmeat makes the link with the elegance of the Extra-brut. The marrow emphasizes the roundness of the wine while the kombu – the maki roll seaweed – highlights the finesse, precision and the iodic notes as well. As for the acidity of the Yuzu, it exalts the finish.
- Whelk kebab and fingerling potatoes, Turmeric mayonnaise with Brut Intégral from Champagne François Secondé. The whelks develops iodized notes pairing the ones of the cuvée. The fingerling potatoes offer notes of hazelnut matching the floral aromas of the champagne. As for the Turmeric mayonnaise, it recalls the spicy notes of the wine.
- Mussel ravioli, star anise hollandaise sauce with Hygge 2013 cuvée from Champagne Xavier Leconte. The mussels bring a fleshy structure and a certain density. The mid-palate expresses the harmony between the fat of the hollandaise sauce and the Meunier. The slightly spicy and aniseed notes of star anise sublimate the length of the wine on the finish.
- Poached Oysters, watercress and Saffron zabaione with the Extra-Brut Flore cuvée from Champagne Dauby. The oyster brings a fleshy dimension matching perfectly the wine, while the zabaione brings a creamy, unctuous and fat side with notes of saffron to pair the spicy and woody character of the wine. The watercress leads back the palate to the mineral character of the cuvée.
- Cockle nage with ginger, fresh vanilla lychee was served with the Brut Réserve from Champagne Gaidoz-Forget. Both the Ginger and vanilla notes reveal the roasted and woody notes of the wine while the fresh lychees add roundness and freshness to the harmony on the finish. The cockle nage adds a fleshy dimension allowing the balance of this food-pairing.
- Finally, a Blancmange, pears and Crawfish, roasted Macadamia Nuts with Blanc de Blancs from Champagne Lucien Roguet. The flesh of the crawfishes – delicate, fine and silky at the same time – brings texture but a more saline side as well that pairs perfectly the wine. The sweetness and creaminess of the blancmange blend perfectly with the body of the wine while the pears emphasize the fruity character of the Chardonnay. The Macadamia nut offers dried fruit and roasted notes on the finish.
Philosophy by philosophy, estate by estate, wine by wine
After an overview of the different styles and individualities of each estates through the explanations of Frederic Pagneux, it is time for the visitors to learn more about the winegrowers and their wines…
Coming directly from Vincelles, Christine and Vincent of Champagne Piot Sévillano are dedicated producers who express both their respect of the tradition and heritage with a certain rebellious state of mind.
The couple presented four different expressions of their terroir : the New Extra-Brut – 85% Meunier and 15% Chardonnay, base 2016 – offering elegance, precision and finesse with dried fruit notes ; the 2010 vintage – 65% Meunier and 35% Chardonnay – developing fresh bread, citrus and levain aromas highlighted by an elegant freshness ; the Prestige cuvée – 80% Meunier and 20% Pinot Noir – bringing mirabelle plum, spicy and smoky notes with freshness as well ; and the Indiscrète – a 100% Meunier rosé still wine – with a delicate freshness, fruitiness and a lot of generosity.
Not very far from there, located on the lands of Troissy, Alexis is proudly representing his family estate : Champagne Xavier Leconte. The winegrower crafts precise wines thanks to intuition, good sense and meticulous handiwork.
The producer brought 4 champagnes : the Signature du Hameau Brut cuvée – 80% Meunier, 15% Pinot Noir and 5% Chardonnay – which is ample and expressive with ripe fruit and moka notes ; L’Héritage de Xavier cuvée – 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Meunier : a saline and mineral wine with hazelnut aromas ; The Scellés de Terroirs 2011 vintage – 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay – which is both frank and fresh with white fruit aromas ; and Hygge – 100% Meunier vinified in oak : a frank, saline and complex gourmet champagne.
From the slopes of Ville-Dommange on the terroirs of the Montagne de Reims, Champagne Bergeronneau Marion family was all present. Virginie, Fabien, Florent and Véronique craft together representative cuvées of their heritage and know-how as well as their innovative spirit.
For the event, they brought their Grande Réserve Brut cuvée – 60% Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay exclusively from Premier cru terroirs : a balance, acidulous and fruity wine ; the Blanc de Blanc – 100% Chardonnay vinified in oak barrels – which is buttery, elegant and smoky at the same time ; and the prestigious Clos des Bergeronneau – 100% Pinot Meunier exclusively from the 2008 harvest : an ample, generous and harmonious champagne with a spicy character.
Located in the historical champagne village of Aÿ, Champagne Dauby is managed by Francine and Teddy. Together, they combine the richness of their terroirs with a feminine sensitivity through elegant and mineral wines.
To have an overview of the individuality of their cuvées, Teddy and Francine chose to present 3 champagnes : the Reserve Brut – 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay – which is elegant, fresh and aromatic ; the Blanc de Noirs Brut – 100% Pinot Noir exclusively from Mutigny – a frank, taut and complex wine ; and the Flore Extra-Brut – 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay – offering a generous, ample and pure expression of its terroirs.
On the bank of the Vesle, the village of Sillery is the home of Champagne François Secondé. This estate is unique as he is the only RM independent winegrower statute of his village but also the only producer of pure Sillery champagnes.
To have a better idea of this scarcity, Jérôme chose 3 expression of his terroir : the Puisieulx Grand Cru Les Petites Vignes cuvée – 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay – offering freshness, intensity and minerality with vanilla notes ; the Blanc de Blancs Sillery 2012 Vintage – 100% Chardonnay – developing finesse with white flower and rose notes on the finish ; and Integral Zero Dosage – 1/3 Chardonnay and 2/3 Pinots noirs : a saline, fine and fresh champagne.
In the village of Ludes, Luc and his daughter, Bertille, from Champagne Gaidoz Forget – third and fourth generations of grower of their family – take care of an audacious estates. It is this audacity that allow the winegrowers to create mineral and balance champagnes.
Their choice for the event inclined towards 4 of their wines : the Carte d’Or cuvée – 80% Meunier, 10% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir – a frank and balanced wine with yellow fruits notes ; the Réserve Brut cuvée – 50% Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay – which is lively with freshness and finesse as well as citrus notes ; the Bertille 2011 vintage – 25% Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay, vinified in barrels : a generous and fresh wine with vine peach aromas ; and the 2007 Blanc de Noirs – 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Meunier – offering freshness and complexity with a taut and mineral finish.
From the lands of Cuchery, Champagne Régis Poissinet was represented by Maxime. Dedicated to his terroirs, the producer expresses all his authenticity through a conscientious and biodynamic approach.
The winegrower brought 2 different champagnes for the tasting : the Terre d’Irizée Extra-Brut cuvée – 84% Meunier and 16% Chardonnay – which is balanced, saline and frank at the same time with orange zest notes ; and the Irizée Meunier Extra-Brut cuvée – 100% Meunier : a generous, subtil and fruity wine with an impressive and long finish.
Located int the Côte des Bar lands in the village of Landreville, there is an estate full of originality. Indeed, Champagne René Jolly combines the techniques and the know-how to express the potential of the Kimmeridgian soils.
But the originality lies in their wines as well and to demonstrate it, Pierre-Éric brought 3 champagnes : the Blanc de Noirs Brut cuvée – 100% Pinot Noir wine with an à la volée disgorgement – expressing power, roundness and minerality ; the Spécial RJ Brut cuvée – 54% Chardonnay and 46% Pinot Noir : a buttery and expressive wine with brioche notes. The Coffret Editio cuvée – a pure 2005, 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay with 8 week oak barrel aging : a classy, elegant champagne with caramel notes due to the aging under the cork.
Finally, the new member this year, Samuel Roguet from Champagne Lucien Roguet. Located on the lands of Mailly, the winegrower blends passion, commitment and balance to create elegant, terroir-driven wines.
The visitors discovered the style of the estate through 3 wines : the Brut Tradition Grand Cru – 50% Pinot Noir, 25% Meunier and 25% Chardonnay – which is the signature cuvée of the estate : an elegant wine with dried fruit and ochard fruit notes ; the Extra-Brut Grand Cru – 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay – offering minerality, freshness and subtle delicateness ; and the 2012 Vintage – 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay : a generous, saline champagne with spicy notes.