Champagne at Easter – Carte Blanche from Bauget-Jouette

April 2, 2013

Bauget Jouette

Easter was looming and I had not had any real champagne for a long long time, therefore I decided to get a bottle of bubbly from France. I went to the Wine Connection shop in Thonglor and came out with a bottle of Carte Blanche – Bauget-Jouette from Épernay, Champagne in France.

This is a very fine specimen of bubbly wine from Champagne, France. I loved the small bubbles (12% alcohol), and the intensive yellow fruit aromas. Apricots and apples come to mind. The 60% Chardonnay grapes in the blend are tangible (30% are Pinot Meunier and 10% Pinot Noir).

Maison Bauget-Jouette is one of the oldest ‘champagne houses’ in France (1822). The family owned and operated business produces about 150,000 bottles per year on 15 ha of vineyards. This makes it one of the smaller and lesser known champagne producers. The good news is that its products are available here in Asia. Wine Connection in Bangkok sells it for about 2,000 Bath per bottle.

According to the German champagne platform (which carries about 61 champagne producers, big and small), Bauet-Jouette in Épernay is worth visiting. The winery has a historic cellar from the 17th century which is located 27 meter below the surface. Today the fifth generation of the Bauget family, Stephan and Nicolas, is operating the estate.

My verdict: I will buy this champagne again. Next opportunity is the graduation of my twin daughters from Patana International School in Bangkok in May. I will wait outside the school with a bottle of Carte Blanche in a wine cooler and the necessary accessories and we will celebrate their new won freedom.

How about some bubbly?

April 25, 2011

Easter, as any Christian holiday, lends itself for a treat and why not celebrate with some “bubbly” as we say in Australia. I had just the right stuff in my wine fridge, a bottle of ‘Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Cuvée Réservée’ by Florens-Louis Heidsieck from Reims, France.

Florens-Louis Heidsieck was the founder of the champagne house Heidsieck (in 1785). He was the son of a Lutheran minister who had migrated from Westphalia to France. In October 1839 the name of Piper, another descendent of Florens-Louis, was added to the band name.

Great fizz from the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Cuvée Réservée

The bottle was a present from our friends Emmie and Rob. We had kept it for for some time, for a special occasion of course. This had just arrived, I guess.

The champagne is a non-vintage but very classy sparkling wine with 12% alcohol. It is a blend of 55% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Meunier. The nose shows some citrus notes. The acids are finely balanced. I just loved the fact that the bubbles were “big,round and slow”.

This is a highly recommendable drop. Great stuff this Piper-Heidsieck.

The front label of the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Cuvée Réservée

Champage: Larmandier-Bernier

December 5, 2009

Champagne by Larmandier-Bernier

We were so lucky. When Timo visited us a couple of weeks ago, he brought with him a bottle of ‘Blanc de Blancs, Premier Cru, Extra-Brut’ by Larmandier-Bernier, Champage/France. We do not drink much champagne these days, just too expensive in Thailand. I was more than happy to fetch the champagne glasses when Timo produced the bottle from his luggage. I admit that I had never heard about this producer but since I do not know much about champagne that did not bother me.

Timo Meyer pouring the champagne

But this drop deserves a special mention. It was the perfect wine to celebrate a reunion. Larmandier-Bernier is a small champagne house. Pierre and Sophie Larmandier’s basic philosophy is to make a natural wine starting in the vineyard right through to wine-making. They go for small yields, old vines, and hand picking. They practice biodynamic viticulture. The motto is balance in diversity.

The ‘Blanc de Blancs’ is mainly made of the 2006 Chardonnay vintage with reserve wines from 2004 and 2005 of about 40%. It is an elegant champagne, mineral, floral notes can be detected, a sparkling wine with a beautiful finish.

Champagne producers are hard hit by the decline in demand partly caused by the impact of the global financial crisis. In the USA sales of champagne shrank by about 43% in 2009. In Britain and France the decline was lower, 33% and 7% respectively. In contrast lower-price sparkling from other sources, mostly cheaper wines from Italy and Spain are up this year. I just hope that especially the small champagne houses can weather this crisis. It would be a shame to lose them.