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Monday, 17 June 2013

Les Pionniers Champagne NV - The Co-op‏

The Co-op has been on a roll recently with its Champagnes - winning two Gold Medals for its Les Pionniers 2004 vintage and a Bronze for this non-vintage (NV).

It is almost a blanc de noirs - made from 90% red grapes (70% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier -  for fruit and weightiness) with just 10% Chardonnay for freshness and elegance.

In the glass it is a golden sandy yellow, with aromas of ripe orchard fruit and some toasty, musky hints.

On the palate, there is more ripe apple and white pear fruit and good linear acidity with savoury leesiness. The mousse is fine, there is some weightiness and the finish is balanced and persistent.

This is an easy-drinking yet classy fizz with plenty of flavour and character; it is more expressive on first opening than the vintage - but lacks some of the complexity, precision and extended ageing potential.

It matches especially well with creamy white cheeses, such as Brie and, particularly, Vignotte, but can also stand up to cold cuts of ham with crusty bread.

Buy this NV for earlier drinking (any time over the next few years) but get a case or two of the vintage to lay down for a while and then share with those who'll appreciate its greater sophistication.
£19.99 (on offer at £16.99 until July 16, 2013) from The Co-op; provided for review.

Other related articles
Les Pionniers 2004 Champagne

The Co-op - website, twitter

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