ChampagnePosted by Per-Olof Diderot Sat, October 22, 2011 17:03:08 Champagne that prolong life! Le Mesnil-sur Oger is a lovely little Grand Cru village (only 17 villages in the Champagne region are entitled to this category) about 20 km south of Epernay in the heart of the Côte des Blancs. The village has one of Champagne's best cooperatives called Le Mesnil. It was founded in 1937 and most of the production goes to the more famous Champagne houses. Thankfully, they produce about 100,000 bottles a year for their own brands.
I have had the great pleasure to visit the cooperative several times and can highly recommend a visit. You are always welcomed with great hospitality and get a perfect chance to test their range. In my opinion, the quality of their Champagnes has increased substantially in recent years, which is excellent. I think this is characterized well when I tested their vintage champagne in 2004 compared with their Grand Cru "blanc de blancs" Le Mesnil Brut which is a blend of the latest vintages.
The champagne has a lovely fragrance of citrus flowers and delicate minerals. The taste is heavenly good with a great elegance and rich body of citrus, minerals and a yummy nougat ending. To test how a really good blanc de blancs taste, this Champagne is an excellent benchmark. A super bargain for 17 Euro if you buy it at the cooperative. This is, in my opinion the best standard Champagne I have tried to date. A Champagne that makes you immortal ... and I will be first in line when they release their 2008 vintage Champagne in a few years! Cheers
ChampagnePosted by Per-Olof Diderot Sun, October 02, 2011 22:18:15 Champagne Heaven! This summer me and my wife had the great honour to visit the property Diebolt-Vallois in my favourite Champagne village Cramant. The visit is one of the best I have experienced so far, not least because of the meeting with the founders' daughter, Isabelle, who introduced us to the divine Champagne goodies.
The impression after the meeting is overwhelming with the delightful memory of a property, so stripped of everything that can be spelled snobbery, with genuine passion and a great craftsmanship that symbolizes the very best. And when its placed in the Côte de Blancs village Cramant, with its chalky terroir, makes it even better. According to my opinion, this Village makes some of the best Chardonnay-based "Blanc de Blancs! champagnes and this property is one of the best I've encountered.
We tested the producers different Champagnes and I promise to come back with more reports, but starting with the currently best memory.
Vintage Champagne 2005 is like drinking nectar straight from heaven. It has an extremely seductive scent of citrus flowers in full bloom. The taste is sensational with a round creamy mineral tones that create a perfect crispy dry taste accompanied by a complex symphony of citrus and a long finish that lasts an eternity. This is one of the best Champagnes I tried in my life. I take my hat off to the family Diebolt-Vallois, giving a full bouquet of flowers for a wonderful champagne and 2 the perfect hostess. 99/100
This house is built on a very solid ground that will stand for a long time! Quote -myself
ChampagnePosted by Per-Olof Diderot Mon, September 26, 2011 20:53:27 Thanks! For reading this blog and make it one of Sweden's most visited wine blogs. As proof of my gratitude, here is a real classic Champagne tips from de Venoge in Epernay.
De Venoge was founded by the Swiss Henri-Marc de Venoge with his Italian wife Marianna in 1837. They were the first house to design their own labels, which is unique for its time. The Venoge is located in Epernay. Today they produce Champagnes in various price ranges with very high quality.
The tested version Cordon Bleu is made from the three classic Champagne grape varieties Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. The colour of the champagne is beautifully yellow with seductive aromas of freshly baked sour-dough bread. The taste is lovely with a great richness and multiple variations of bread and a nice fruitiness. And the flavour is indeed very long ... A wonderful classic Champagne, perfect for a celebration with your loved one.
ChampagnePosted by Per-Olof Diderot Tue, July 26, 2011 23:53:59 A delightful visit to Champagne! Have spent a wonderful week in the Champagne region and the car filled with good bottles for upcoming tests and dinners. I am convinced that most people believe that it is exclusive and therefore too expensive to be a tourist in this great wine region. To my surprise and delight, it is just the opposite. If you go to Burgundy and Alsace, you can expect to take place in the tourist queue, but Champagne offers a unique opportunity to experience the real France, which shows itself at its best. Wonderful bubbling Champagne, good food, nice people and also surprisingly affordable.
We start the trip in Grauves, a relatively unknown village which lies just beside the Chardonnay valley in Côte de Blancs south of Epernay, with the famous Grand Cru villages like Cramant, Le Mesnil and Avize. We thought we booked a house in Cramant but to our initial disappointment, it turned out that we were over the edge of the magical valley, through the woods to end up on the other side at the village Grauves. After the first disappointment the village proved to be a really nice quiet place with wonderful views and magical sunsets in the wine yards. And in this village there is a Champagne cooperative, that we visited by a bit of chance. And it turned out to be a uncut diamond that really surprised positively. The cooperative was founded in 1948 and today is a collaboration between 200 farmers with 60 hectares.
We tested through all of their Champagnes that they offer and found a great one in the vintage champagne with only Chardonnay (called Blanc de Blancs) from 2004. It has a golden yellow color with a smell of bread with nice smooth citrus. The flavour is wonderfully rich and complex with round fine citrus aromas with hints of freshly squeezed lemon, lime and grapefruit. Vintage 2004 is a relatively weak vintage to be Champagne but this Champagne is one of the better ones I have tasted from this vintage. Surprisingly good to be from a relatively unknown co-operatives. Please visit the property and ask to have an excellent presentation of their Champagnes with Monsieur Carrouge who speaks good English (although he himself did not want to admit it).
Finally, I pay tribute to a personal favourite, whose death creates a lot of pain and grief, although it was not entirely unexpected.
Midsummer light! Summer is in full bloom and the Scandinavian light creates positive feelings and gives a lot of energy. Strawberries is a must to eat just now and is great to have with good a Champagne. Will write some more this summer about different producers, and first up is one for us Swedes unknown small golden nugget from Rilly-La-Montage. The company name is Didier Herbert and is now in its third generation from father to son. The house welcome visitors and the village is very close to Reims.
I have had the pleasure to test their different Champagnes and would particularly highlight Herbert Private Grand Cru made from 100% Chardonnay (Blanc de Blancs). The scent is filled with citrus tones and especially prominent is the scent of freshly harvested grapefruit. The taste is creamy, full bodied with citrus and mineral tones. This Blanc de Blancs is very different from the corresponding Champagnes from Cramant and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and a very pleasant experience. Especially if you like to arrange a test this is a fun and really good surprise. Can highly recommend a visit! And I will try to make a visit this summer again...