It was with great excitement that I was able attend this fascinating event with the 6 houses that comprise the Trait-d-union Champagne group and their Australian importers. The Sydney tasting was held at Utopia Art and had a theme that examined the common “sense of place” that exists both with indigenous Australians and these producers in Champagne. I enjoyed the unique theme and hearing from guest speaker Bruce Pascoe on his research into Aboriginal agricultural practices, as well as the artwork displayed by gallery owner Christopher Hodges especially for this event. The opportunity to speak with some Champagne producers that I really admire was also a privilege and of course the wines were extremely impressive.
I’ve included a few photos I took at the event with the tasting notes below, but there are a fair few more at the following gallery – Trait-d-Union Gallery
- NV Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Longitude – France, Champagne
Lemon curd, spice, apple, pear and a mineral core to the aroma profile. The palate is more rounded than on other bottles I’ve tried but that minerality pushes through again and gives it essential lift and brightness. Delivers consistently high quality each time I’ve tasted this wine. 90/100
- 2009 Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Terre de Vertus Premier Cru – France, Champagne, Côte des Blancs, Champagne
100% Chardonnay, zero dosage – from the Les Barillers and Les Faucherets parcels within a single vineyard in Vertus.
Wispy, perfumed aromas of white floral notes, pear, honey and light truffle. On the palate, the intensity of the ripe fruit plays off beautifully against the zero dosage character of the wine – giving it an opportunity to show off its acid drive and structure, while having mouthfilling flavour. Has both depth and deliciousness. 92/100
- 2007 Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Vieille Vigne de Cramant Grand Cru – France, Champagne, Cramant, Champagne
Single vineyard in Cramant, from two parcels of vines that are 48-75+ years old. 2 g/l dosage.
More power here than the Terre de Vertus. On the nose it shows complexity through ginger, peach smoke, spice and an appealing toasty nuttiness. Brings plenty of fruit weight to the palate but maintains balance and extends into very good length. A complex wine that deserves tasting attention. 92/100
- NV Roger Coulon Champagne Réserve de l’Hommée – France, Champagne, Montagne de Reims, Champagne
Equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier. 2010 vintage base, 5 g/l dosage.
Smoky, graphite and apple nose – draws you into the wine nicely. Clean and slightly tart, the fruit is fairly lean and I feel a touch more density would fill out the palate, but as it stands it is refreshing to drink. Finishes with medium length. A couple of years of bottle age would likely serve it well. 89/100
- 2006 Roger Coulon Champagne Blanc de Noirs Brut – France, Champagne, Montagne de Reims, Champagne
An equal blend of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, aged for 5 years prior to disgorgement.
Honey, floral, spice and pear aromas. Better length and intensity on this compared to the Réserve de l’Hommée, while retaining that cleansing acid spine. My favourite of the 3 Coulon wines, though the interest factor of the Les Coteaux de Vallier puts it a close second. 90/100
- NV Roger Coulon Champagne Cuvée Prestige Les Coteaux de Vallier – France, Champagne, Montagne de Reims, Champagne
20% Pinot Noir and 80% Chardonnay, from a single vineyard plot, Les Champs de Vallier. Aged eight years on lees, 2002 vintage base.
A nutty, oxidative driven nose with bruised apple, ginger and earth. The palate also has that oxidative note, but there is also good richness from the fruit that leaves it with a sense of balance. Finishes with good length and ends cleanly thanks to the acidity. Good interest with this wine, though it was mostly from the style rather than having layers of complexity. 90/100
- NV Egly-Ouriet Champagne Brut Tradition Grand Cru – France, Champagne, Ambonnay, Champagne
Disgorged January 2014. 45 months on lees. 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. 50% 2008 fruit and then 30% 2007 and 20% 2006. Around 3 g/l dosage.
Redcurrant, earth, and light toast to the nose. Fruit has a fair bit of sweetness to it, which compliments the assertive acidity well. Medium-good length. Very good, and with a couple more years in bottle I think it will be improved further. 89/100
- NV Egly-Ouriet Champagne Brut Rosé Grand Cru – France, Champagne
65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay. The base vintage is 60% 2009. Disgorged 07/14. Dosage 2 g/l.
A nose of great appeal to me, showing cherry, musk, delicate floral notes and smoke. I really like the focus and precision on the palate, it is in a leaner style than the Tradition at this tasting and the minerality shines. Very good flow and length. 91/100
- NV Egly-Ouriet Champagne Blanc de Noirs Les Crayères – France, Champagne, Ambonnay, Champagne
Single vineyard Les Crayères in Ambonnay with vines planted in 1946. 60% 2008 fruit and 40% 2007. Dosage is 3-4g/l.
A much more powerful style after the previous two Egly wines. Lemon, orange, smoke, apple and brioche. The palate is powerful, with the richness of the fruit the centrepiece. I’d like to see a little more drive behind it, as at times it seems to want some more focus to bring the broadness into line, but overall it is impressive and will improve in bottle. 91/100
- NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Blanc de Blancs Les Carelles – France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne
Disgorged 13/02/14 from solera with vintages starting from 2003. 2 g/l dosage. Orange peel, earth, peach, nuttiness and smoke – similar to the last time I tried this wine in 2012 but maybe a touch more complex! The palate has all those many layers of flavours but at the same time it is precise and has great finesse. Fantastic balance, texture and mouthfeel. A wine that feels complete. Spellbinding. 96/100
- NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Blanc de Noirs La Côte Faron – France, Champagne, Aÿ, Champagne
Disgorged 07/04/14 from solera. 2 g/l dosage. On the nose there is perfumed musk, strawberry, pear, earth and a very light background nutty oxidative note. The palate feels very powerful and forward, though there is a light tartness throughout the palate that counters it. Very good length. A great wine that was just in the shadow of the Selosse Les Carelles on this day. 93/100
- NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Sous le Mont – France, Champagne, Ambonnay, Champagne
Disgorged 17/02/14 from solera. 2 g/l dosage. Roses and spice, plenty of earth and even some smoked charcuterie. The palate is medium weight, with a slight oxidative twang to it. Has good length and I found it had a real moreish quality to it. The weaker of the three Selosse wines at this tasting, but still decidedly unique and memorable. 91/100
- NV Jérôme Prévost Champagne La Closerie Extra Brut Les Beguines – France, Champagne
LC12. Very lifted and bright nose with grapefruit, ozone, sea spray, pear and a light white floral touch. The palate is similar, with brilliant purity and spark. Driven, with great length and acidity – this wine makes it obvious why this producer is so sought after and I wish I could encounter it more often! This 2012 was a notch up on the 2011 I tried late last year. 93/100
- NV Jérôme Prévost La Closerie “Fac Simile” Les Beguines – France, Champagne
LC12. Strawberry, cherry, sea spray, and citrus peel. A wine of great purity and with acidity that pierces through the palate. Excellent. Not generally a Rose Champagne fan but this and a small handful of other wines are doing their best to change my mind. 92/100
Jacquesson & Fils
- NV Jacquesson & Fils Champagne Cuvée No. 738 – France, Champagne
A restrained nose that does show pear, saline and sea spray character. Nice intensity, the body has quite a bit of fullness but also a good line of acidity that brightens it up. Very pleasant to drink. 90/100
- NV Jacquesson & Fils Champagne Cuvée No. 733 Dégorgement Tardif – France, Champagne
Aged character shows through on both the nose and the palate – aromas of honey and spice, pear and brioche. Shows some of the 2005 fruit richness on the palate with more honeyed character and rounded off edges. Has good carry and is drinking really well now. 90/100
- 2005 Jacquesson & Fils Champagne Dizy Corne Bautray – France, Champagne
Aromas of straw, sea spray, pear, a lifted floral character and a touch of citrus peel. Very good persistence and texture. Has good structure with a deft touch of oak. Excellent now but should develop well over time also. 92/100