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In a rich and mature pinot-forward style, Boizel’s top Champagne unfolds with a glorious perfume of toasted brioche, fig rolls and sweet lemons. The palate is intense and complex, with umami notes developing on the long, harmonious finish.
Product Code: CH4101
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Established in Epernay in 1834, the Champagne house of Boizel is run by Evelyne Boizel, who represents the fifth generation. Perhaps better known as a Champagne brand in France, the non-vintage cuvée is a hidden gem on The Society’s List. Delicate, light and balanced is the way we often describe the house style. The full and fruity rosé is also worth looking out for, the secret being the addition of red wine from very ripe pinot noir to the final blend.
Vintage cuvées often represent the very best Champagnes made by a house or grower. In theory, Champagne producers may declare a vintage in any year they please. Occasionally a house or grower will declare a vintage that seems out of step with the majority of producers if they feel that the performance of their particular vineyard(s) warrant it in any year.Generally, however, vintage Champagnes are only made in exceptional vintages.In contrast with the NV (non-vintage) wines, which are blended to maintain a house style, producers want their vintage Champagnes to display the quality and character of that one year's harvest. Vintage Champagnes always benefit from cellaring, and develop beautifully for those with the patience to leave them. They can be drunk upon release, but the vast majority will improve immeasurably with age. Champagne is made from chardonnay, pinot noir or pinot meunier grapes (there are one or two other permitted varieties but these are very rare) grown on chalky hillsides within a strictly demarcated region centred on the twin towns of Reims and Epernay, some 90 miles east of Paris. After hand harvesting, each grape variety is vinified separately, and in the following spring, the wines are blended unless a blancs de blancs is to made in which case any blending will be from parcels of chardonnay that were vinified separately. Yeast and sugar are added, and the wine is bottled for its second fermentation which creates the bubbles, or mousse. The yeast feeds on the sugars, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide, which, with nowhere else to go in the sealed bottle, dissolves into the wine. Vintage Champagne must then mature for at least three years compared with a minimum of 15 months for non-vintage. Gradual turning of the bottles, remuage, brings the yeast sediment to the neck of the bottle, which is then frozen to allow the yeast pellet to be cleanly ejected (dégorgement). In some Champagnes the dégorgement is delayed, sometimes for years, to increase the depth and complexity of the flavours through more time spent on the lees. After topping up (dosage) with a little more wine and sugar (known as liqueur d'expédition), the bottle is sealed. What marks the ‘Champagne’ method from other sparkling wines is the fact that this complex and gradual maturation process, along with the second fermentation, takes place in the same bottle as the wine is sold.
A very good vintage in which large yields were matched with good quality. A mixed bag of a summer was again redeemed by a lovely September and a later harvest saw a poised balance of acidity and sugar in the ripe grapes. Both pinot noir and chardonnay performed well and there are some lovely vintage wines that are delicious now, but with time in hand.
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