Cambridge Wine Merchants have been running a weekly quiz on their email newsletter - partly because I like a challenge and partly because they're actually quite interesting, I've been shooting the answers back within a few minutes of the questions dropping into my in-box.
For my pains, I recently won one of their wines of the week, this Champagne from Baron Albert, based in Charly sur Marne in the centre of the Marne Valley. The house dates back to 1947 and cultivates 45ha of vineyards producing 350,000 bottles of Champagne.
The vineyard composition, (65% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir) is reflected in this blend which is given as "Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay" with no further details on the bottle - the wine is not listed on the website either.
Despite the implication of a higher proportion of PM, the wine is actually very pale in the glass and gives little on the nose.
The grapes for this blend are grown on chalky soil with a sunny aspect, giving both finesse and ripeness, and on the palate it shows good fruit and granny smith's apple acidity; it is rich and mouthfilling with good linear acidity a fine good mousse and a pleasing, savoury length.
It's a light, crisp and refreshing style of Champagne - there's no toastiness or yeasty brioche here, just a lovely depth of flavour.
We had this with chicken in a cream and mushroom sauce (with a dash of the wine added in) and it cut through the richness of the sauce beautifully.
Champagne Baron Albert - http://www.champagne-baron.com/uk/home/
Cambridge Wine Merchants - http://www.cambridgewine.com/