In our previous newsletter, we introduced an artisanal producer from Pic-Saint-Loup in the Languedoc. Today we are moving north, and will introduce the sparkling wines of small growers and producers from Champagne.
A few weeks before Christmas and the New Year seems a good time to talk about this most festive of wines: champagne has long been associated with celebration, something to enjoy in special moments. In reality, champagne is a very versatile wine for many occasions. So why not enjoy champagne with food, for example? Elegance, aromatic complexity and refreshing acidity make it a great match for a surprisingly wide range of Asian dishes.
La Maison Penet
We first tasted the wines of La Maison Penet during a leisurely (and delicious) lunch at their home in Verzy, on the Montagne de Reims, and we decided they were too good not to be shared with our friends and fellow wine lovers in Singapore.
The Alexandre Penet range is a great introduction to the maison’s style of artisanal, refined champagne focusing on freshness and purity, as well as expression of terroir (all their wines see low dosage – sugar addition – to preserve that purity).
Their Extra Brut is fresh, with elegant floral aromas and hints of citrus fruit and hazelnut. Notes of brioche and fresh bread balance an uplifting minerality. Perfect as an aperitif wine, it goes well with shellfish and most Southeast Asian food as long as not too spicy.
The Extra Brut is also made in a Rosé version displaying a captivating dark salmon pink color. Aromas of ripe red cherries and redcurrant with a subtle, spicy touch are tempered by underlying freshness, providing lift and balance. Generally versatile, it is great on its own, but also rarely a mismatch with any kind of food.
A full bodied and rich champagne, the Grand Cru Brut Nature is very expressive of its Verzy and Verzenay terroirs, combining the purity of zero dosage with textural richness. The nose is fresh, with intense aromas of red fruits, grilled toast and a slight touch of ginger and other spices. Food goes generally well with this champagne, from crustaceans to cheese soufflé, or Cantonese cuisine.
With six hectares of Grand Cru vines in Verzy and Verzenay, the prestige label of La Maison Penet, Penet-Chardonnet, has received important critical acclaim. For optimal ageing follow up and traceability, the disgorgement date is mentioned on the back label and the bottles are individually numbered.
The Grand Cru ‘TerroirEscence’ is made from a special selection of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Grand Cru parcels. The nose melds concentrated, candied citrus with a toasty character. On the palate, the attack is round and full, with ripe grapefruit and melon aromas, then softens mid-way with notes of vanilla and toasted nuts. A tight vein of acidity gives the wine great vivacity and drinkability. This is a gastronomic champagne, ideal with vegetable souffles or poultry.
Made from La Maison Penet’s best Grand Cru parcels of Verzy in an exceptional vintage, the Prestige Grande Réserve Grand Cru Extra Brut 2008 is a complex and powerful champagne with a lively nose displaying interlaced aromas of citrus, flowers and honey. On the palate the wine is very precise and clean, full-bodied yet silky, and leaves a gorgeous hint of green apples and an very long mineral finish, perfectly expressing the terroir of Verzy. Definitely for special occasions and celebrations.
Champagne Pierre Boever & Fils
We have partnered with Langrée & Stahel, a specialist in fine grower champagnes based in Switzerland and Singapore, to add a few more excellent small producers to our range of wines.
One is Pierre Boever, located on the Montagne de Reims, where they devote 2ha of vines to their Grand Cru champagnes. Viticulture is environmentally conscious, while winemaking is artisanal and respectful of tradition.
Their Carte Blanche Brut Grand Cru is arefreshingblend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with fine bubbles and fragrant scents of citrus fruit, apple and pear, a perfect champagne for every occasion, including lighter seasoned food.
Their top cuvée, the Millésime 2010 Brut Grand Cru instead is made only in exceptional vintages and from their best parcels. The bouquet evolves from white flowers and lime to a complex interplay of candied fruits and spices, apple and brioche flavors. Its richness and subtility make it a great companion to food.
Bression-Lourdeaux grows 5 hectares of vines in the Marne Valley area. Highest viticultural, environmental and winemaking standards ensure their characterful wines express an exceptional terroir. Interestingly, their wines are mainly based on Pinot Meunier, with some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In fact the Tradition Brut is a Blanc de Noirs, with 95% of Pinot Meunier and only 5% of Pinot Noir. It is a fresh and lively wine, with suggestions of red fruits and brioche on the nose. An ideal champagne for aperitifs, or lightly seasoned food.
A blend of one third each of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the TryAgain Brut Millésime 2013 is a fresh and vivid champagne: as the name seems to suggest, one sip invites the next. It reveals notes of white flowers and grapefruit, followed by aromas of orange plums and apricot. A wine for festive aperitifs or lightly seasoned dishes.
Rosé Extra Brut
Grand Cru Brut Nature
Grand Cru ‘TerroirEscence’
Prestige Grande Réserve Grand Cru Extra Brut 2008
Pierre Boever & Fils
Carte Blanche Brut Grand Cru
Millésime 2010 Brut Grand Cru
TryAgain Brut Millésime 2013
The wines of La Maison Penet are directly imported and exclusively distributed in Singapore by Wine & Philosophy, while those of Pierre Boever & Fils and Bression-Lourdeaux are directly and exclusively imported by our partner Langrée & Stahel.