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Champagne

All about the base

All about the base

Having taken on buying Champagne in September it has been a pleasure getting to know our producers. I have now travelled there twice for comprehensive tastings and have a much greater appreciation for the complexities of the region, and the opportunities for The Society.

Generally speaking, ‘vintage’ in a Champagne context has less importance than elsewhere due to the prevalence of excellent NV (non-vintage) wines – Champagne’s unique approach to risk management where wines from different vintages are blended to make a consistent house style.

But the ‘base’ wine for the blend is all important and it happens that now is an excellent time for The Society’s NV Champagne. The 75cl-bottle is currently based on the stunning 2012 vintage, and the magnum on 2008, a true standout year. A good time to stock up!

In 2017, Champagne growers faced similar issues to those seen across France with lower yields and an early but tricky harvest. However, tasting the vins clairs (the still base wines) in January shows the wines to be bearing up well. The Côte des Blancs chardonnays look especially good: elegant with bright acidity and good concentration. Probably not a ‘vintage year’ for many houses but this means good base wine for those non-vintage blends.

Sarah Knowles MW
2018

Sarah Knowles MW

Sarah Knowles MW
Buyer for Champagne

2018



> Keep up with our buyers on their trips abroad in Travels in Wine

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