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Jancis Robinson on Grower Champagnes

Jancis Robinson on both her website and in the FT has recently been talking about grower champagnes (June 11th and 13th). On she published tasting notes on nearly 100 grower champagnes.


Vine Trail champagnes took 10 of the top 11 places (champagnes ranked 17.5 and above), Jancis’ only VGV (very good value) champagne was from us as were 2 of her 4 GV (good value)  champagnes. Please find notes below



(very good value)

Lamiable, Extra Brut Grand Cru NV Champagne 

Dosage 4 g/l. Extremely zesty with strong citrus notes. Tight and dense – explosive bead – and just a tiny bit coarser than some but VGV

Drink 2015-2017
£22.90 Vine Trail 16



(good value)

Aurélien Suenen, Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru NV Champagne 

His second vintage, based on classic vinification of Chardonnay. Dosage 3 g/l.
Remarkably serious wine. GV

Drink 2015-2018
£30.65 Vine Trail 17

GV and one of the top 11 champagnes

Marguet Père et Fils, Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Premier Cru NV Champagne 

Dosage 4 g/l. Plums and walnuts on the nose. Really interesting – still a bit yeasty, in a good way. Chock full of character and it offers different flavours as it progresses on the palate. Excellent persistence. GV 

Drink 2015-2020
£30.95 Vine Trail 17.5



Other champagnes that featured in the top 11 :


Agrapart et Fils, L'Avizoise Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru 2008 Champagne

Dosage 4 g/l. All Chardonnay from 50-year-old vines.
Very complete and spreads across the palate. Really long and beautifully balanced. An impressive truffley note. Superior wine. 

Drink 2013-2020
£68.64 Vine Trail 17.5

Raphael et Vincent Bérèche, Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Premier Cru 2008 Champagne

Dosage 6 g/l. Very complete on the palate. Great balance. Creamy texture. Hugely satisfying. Impressive persistence. 

Drink 2014-2019
£39.95 Vine Trail 17.5

Chartogne-Taillet, Orizeaux Extra Brut 2009 Champagne

Dosage 2 g/l. 100% Pinot Noir.
Rich nose and as though there were a bit of oak influence here. Most attractive bready nose. Very full but not heavy – though on the back palate it goes on and on. Very impressive, though arguably not an aperitif. Quite evolved. 

Drink 2014-2019
£46.50 Vine Trail 18

La Closerie, Les Béguines Extra Brut NV Champagne

Jérôme Prévost. 2011 vintage. Dosage 2 g/l.
Very heady, attention-grabbing, lightly reductive nose. For such a young wine, this seems unusually marked by autolysis. Very dense and impressive. Positively chiselled. This is a very dry champagne that works. Tingle on the end. 

Drink 2015-2020
£47.95 Vine Trail 17.5

Laherte Frères, Les 7 Extra Brut NV Champagne

Dosage 4 g/l. Sort of solera system. This blend of no fewer than seven different varieties is based on 2010.
Impressively complete nose. Real depth and complexity. Very much a wine that demands attention. It just happens to have bubbles. Bravo! 

Drink 2015-2021
£55 Vine Trail 18.5

Marguet Père et Fils, Réserve Extra Brut Grand Cru NV Champagne

Dosage 3 g/l. Refined and substantial with some green notes. But perfectly ripe fruit. A great explosive mouthful. Very neat. Ready. This bottling will be discontinued. 

Drink 2014-2018
£32.95 Vine Trail 17.5

Marguet Père et Fils, ​Éléments 10 Extra Brut Grand Cru NV Champagne

Dosage 3 g/l. This is a multi-vintage blend but they are starting to add the last two digits of the principal year to the label.
Extremely zesty and finely chiselled. Really pungent and fumy. T’would make a great aperitif. Very refined. 

Drink 2015-2020
£32.95 Vine Trail 18

Marguet Père et Fils, Sapience Extra Brut 2007 Champagne

The first de luxe champagne to be certified organic and to be made every year apparently. In 2007 they had to buy in grapes from their mates because they were not yet certified organic.
Very tightly laced texture. Tingles with exuberance and ambition. This tastes like a new kid on the block – all defiance and effort. Nothing remotely laconic about it. Razor sharp and clean. Chapeau! (But I suspect it’s no bargain.)

Drink 2013-2020

Ulysse Collin, Les Roises Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV Champagne

Dosage 2 g/l. Based on 2010. From 60-year-old vines in Congy.
Round and charming. Very gorgeous. A real flattering mouthful with considerable weight. 

Drink 2014-2019
£46.50 Vine Trail 18

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