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Christmas 2021 Champagne Savings Case
Boizel always make some of the most precise, elegant and expressive Champagnes Sarah Knowles MW, our buyer for the region, tries each year. The perfect celebration Champagne, Brut Réserve is generous and fruity, while maintaining an effortless lightness of touch. A pinot noir-dominant blend, it also has an irresistible touch of brioche on the palate, rounding out the flavour beautifully.
A hedonist's dream from one of the great Champagne houses. The grapes – mostly pinot noir – are from grand cru vineyards, which explains the generous, full-bodied Bollinger style. Other factors that come into play include a first fermentation in oak (they even have their own cooper to make the barrels) and a minimum of 36 months ageing before disgorgement. The style is rich, full-flavoured and distinctive with a lovely creamy texture, tiny pinhead bubbles, and a refreshing extremely fine quality. The house remains family owned, and its dedication to quality enshrined in a charter of ethics which many of the better houses try to emulate.
This gorgeous Champagne tempts with green apple, brioche and a touch of flint on the nose, with pin prick bubbles lifting the palate, all supported by bright acidity and a superbly refreshing finish. This really is a smart buy. In the heart of Reims, chef de cave Élisabeth Sarcelet selects small parcels from over 155 different crus for the complex Castelnau blend, whose high percentage of chardonnay and extensive lees ageing produces a richer style of Champagne. The flagship Brut Réserve gets five years, resulting in great integration and balance.
Champagne Deutz is rather less well-known in the UK as most of the production is drunk enthusiastically by the French, though the house has historic ties with the UK. They make fine, pure Champagne in a style that is dry, graceful and delicate. A silver medal winner at both the International Wine Challenge and Decanter World Wine Awards in 2021.
Henriot’s wines have graced our Fine Wine Champions podium several times in recent years, and two of them triumphed in 2020. This is chardonnay dominant (the house specialises in this grape) with a little pinot meunier, and it won high praise for its honeysuckle and brioche notes, impressive length and a touch of class.
For an all-purpose foodie Champagne, we recommend this house favourite! The house style of Alfred Gratien, providers of Society bubbles for over a century, is influenced by longer fermentation, oak ageing and bottle maturity, and the resultant rich, rounded flavours make it a glorious accompaniment to all manner of courses and cuisines. A Decanter World Wine Awards silver medal winner and an International Wine Challenge bronze medal winner in 2021.