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Saturday 15 January 2011

J Charpentier Réserve Brut at Taste of Christmas

At the Taste of Christmas event last year, I tried a couple of Champagnes and was impressed at just how much like "proper", "good" Champagne they tasted.

Two decades ago, as a long-haired teenage, I did the obligatory month-long interrailing train holiday round Europe and, amongst other adventures, visited the Moet & Chandon winery in Reims for the tourist tour.

Perhaps I was spoiled by this early experience, but subsequent sparklers over the years generally failed to impress quite as much as my recollections of what we given to try at the end of that tour.

The J Charpentier vineyard
However, a few tastings last year got me back into Champagne and this example from J Charpentier was equally impressive. J Charpentier goes back five generations and is based in the Marne Valley, just to the west of Epernay.

This Réserve Brut is a blanc de noirs, meaning it is a white wine made from red wine grapes; Pinot Meunier (80%) and Pinot Noir (20%). Aged partly in oak barrels, it spends two years on its lees and is a golden colour in the glass. Fruity and floral on the nose, the palate it is full and rich, but fresh, with plenty of typical Champagne aromas of yeast and brioche whilst the finish is long.

My current favourite food match for a good, rich Champagne are Boxing Day left-overs of turkey, ham or even light game such as partridge or quail; it could also match hot pork pies, cold saucisson and pâté, or even cold fish starters.

The sample was provided by Champagne par Excellence.


Champagne par Excellence - http://www.champagneparexcellence.com/

J Charpentier - http://www.jcharpentier.com/

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