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Gobillard Brut Baron De Marck NV (1x75cl)

Gobillard is located in the heart of Champagne just 5km from Epernay. The village of Hautvillers dominates the vineyard with its abbey, where the infamous Dom Pérignon is reported to have created the first champagne bubbles. Passion, dynamism and competence define this family business, from the work in the vineyard to marketing, each step is carried out with respect for the traditions of Champagne.

The grapes are pressed very gently and varieties are vinified separately off the skins to produce a low alcohol dry white wine which is racked and allowed to mature in tank until the spring. The lots are then blended together, using some reserve wines from earlier fine vintages. The resulting wine is then bottled with special "flocculent" yeasts and sugars and is refermented under a crown cap. There follows a period of ageing, when the yeasts flavour the wine and give it characteristic brioche aromas. Gobillard then opens the bottles ("dégorgement"), removing the yeast in the process, adds a dosage of grape sugars, inserts the characteristic mushroom cork, and ships the wine.

Much of the trick in buying Champagne lies in finding a good one without being taken for a ride pricewise, often by the draw of the big names. This Baron de Marck has a beautiful and pure fruit character as well as a hint of brioche, giving it a soft rounded flavour. This is a Champagne which is perfect as an aperitif or with canapés and nibbles or with lighter dishes. Great Champagne, great price.

ABV = 12.5%.

£26.90

Laurent Perrier Brut Rose Non Vintage (1x75cl)

The Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier bottle, with its generous, curvaceous lines, is unique – an invitation to self-indulgence.
When Bernard de Nonancourt launched Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier in 1968, he decided to present his creation in a uniquely distinctive bottle to magnify this very special cuvée. He found his inspiration in the rather stubby bottles manufactured in the time of King Henri IV, adding the seal-like monogrammed ‘LP’ shield. The packaging, which seemed very modern at the time, has gradually evolved since 1968.

The grapes for Laurent Perrier Rose come from 10 different crus located mainly in the South and North areas of the Montagne de Reims – including the famous Côte de Bouzy – notably from the finest crus of Ambonnay, Bouzy, Louvois and Tours-sur-Marne.

The grapes from carefully selected plots are sorted and destemmed before vatting. The maceration – lasting from 48h to 72h depending on the harvest – helps the extraction of the colour and the development of the full aromatic richness of the Pinot Noir. It is aged for a minimum of 5 years.

Elegant, with colour changing naturally from a pretty raspberry hue to salmon-pink. A precise nose of extraordinary freshness and a wide range of red fruits: raspberry, redcurrant, strawberry, black cherry. A fresh and sharp attack for this supple and rounded wine. On the palate, it offers the sensation of plunging into a basket of freshly picked red berries.

Its aromatic depth makes it ideal for pairing with marinated raw fish, grilled prawns, exotic dishes, Parma ham and red fruit desserts. Those who are more daring will try it with Asian or Indian cuisine.

ABV = 12.0%.

£68.50

Pierre Bertrand Brut Premier Cru Champagne NV (1x75cl)

** IT'S BACK AND IN STOCK!! **

Awarded 98 points and ultra-rare Exceptional status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2017 edition review of Grower Champagne (see blue links below).

Champagne Pierre Bertrand Brut Premier Cru NV - July 2017 Decanter review

Decanter review - individual reviewers' comments

This is quite some Champagne and remarkable for the price. The varietal mix is equal thirds of the classic trio of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Grapes are grown only on vineyards of Premier Cru villages (you'd easily clear £30 a bottle for this privilege normally) on the Coteaux de Cumières and Hautvillers in the Marne Valley, yielding great intensity and concentration.

Based on reserve wines from 2013 (70%) and 2011 & 2012 (30%). Spends over 4 years sur lie/on its lees before disgorgement.

At 7g/l of dosage/residual sugar, this is at the drier end of Brut, but the fruit ripeness adds an exciting extra sensation of sweetness. Finally, Pierre Bertrand are rightly proud of their mousse onctueuse – smooth mousse – and we concur: it makes for a truly delicious Champagne experience.

One expects exhilarating acidity and and citrus zing in almost any Champagne - this does these in spades - but what makes it really stand out are both the ripeness of fruit flavours and the delicate florality of the nose. Pierre Bertrand see that fruitiness as “damson and pear” while we at Exel thought more “peach and nectarine”; either way, this is one seriously fruity mouthful. Florally, the makers go with “hawthorn flower” and we are not botanically inclined to disagree.

ABV = 12.5%.

£22.70

Ayala Brut Majeur NV (1x 75cl)

Champagne Ayala is one of the longest-established Champagne houses; it has been based in Aÿ, at the heart of the great Champagne vineyards, since it was founded over 150 years ago. Independent and family-owned, it is still today the archetype of a great and historic house, producing top quality wines which are enjoyed around the world for their freshness and elegance. In 2005, the Bollinger family bought this fine estate, with the intention of restoring it to its former glory. This was the start of a resurgence for Champagne Ayala, with complete restoration of winemaking facilities and the arrival of new staff. They now employ around 15 people, keeping the family spirit of its origins.

Made from a blend of the finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, Brut Majeur is the epitome of a non-vintage Brut from a great, historic House. Extended ageing in Ayala's cellars and a low dosage make this wine suitable for any occasion; it is the finest ambassador for the House’s freshness and elegance.

For this wine, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Ayala Brut Majeur NV - fiche technique

40% Chardonnay • 40% Pinot Noir • 20% Pinot Meunier.

Residual sugar = 7g/litre (ie low end of Brut).

This Champagne is light gold, with abundant and fine bubbles. The nose is open and expressive. It shows delicacy, unveiling notes of citrus, flowers and white fruits. The palate is well-balanced, combining freshness and vinosity. The precise fruitiness is characterised by a long finish.

ABV = 12.0%.

£29.30

Bollinger Special Cuvee NV (1x 75cl)

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"I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it—unless I’m thirsty." Madame Lily Bollinger.

Champagne Bollinger was established in 1829 by Jacques Bollinger and to this day is still family owned.  Benefitting from ownership of 166 hectares of vineyards in the finest Premier and Grand Champagne Bollinger wines are defined as much by the vines the grapes come from, as by the blending process, or the House’s century old barrels in which the wines mature.

The essence of the wines comes from the 166 hectares of Premier and Grand Cru vineyards owned by the House in Avenay, Champvoisy, Cuis, Louvois, Tauxières and Verzenay, as well as the stellar Pinot Noir site La Côte Aux Enfants in the heart of Aÿ. Bollinger’s untamed beauty reflects the spirit of our time, when people seek luxury without artifice. This natural splendour can be observed from above the Avenay vineyard, where bees from the Bollinger hives pollinate an abundance of wild flowers which grow between the vines. This embrace of nature is fundamental to the Bollinger approach of respecting the environment, which has seen it be the first Champagne House awarded the Haute Valeur Environmentale certification. More than this, sustainable viticulture is a true commitment for the House, for fine Champagne is the product of a fine landscape.

At Bollinger, the brick walls, exposed wood floors, aged casks and rustic charm convey the beauty and tradition of a Champagne family, who have spent 190 years perfecting their secret of discreet luxury, the key to which lies in the quality and the detail of their wines. The natural, unassuming charm of the House continues with Cellar Master Gilles Descôtes, the grandson of a Champagne grower who has been amongst the vines from an early age. He is custodian of the five labyrinthine kilometres of cellars that run under Aÿ, permeated by the scent of fermented fruit, old wood and earth. These house the treasured Bollinger wines, including a matchless collection of over 700,000 magnums of reserve wines, poised and ready to be blended into the House’s masterstroke of consistency; Bollinger Special Cuvée.

For an excellent full fiche technique for the Bollinger Special Cuvée, please click the blue link below.

Bollinger Special Cuvée NV - fiche technique

A golden colour with a beautifully fine mousse. The nose is aromatic and complex with ripe fruit and spicy aromas. Roasted apples, apple compote and peaches burst on the palate. Brioche and notes of fresh walnut linger on the lasting finish. A subtle combination of structure, length and vivacity.

ABV = 12.0%.

£43.10

Champagne Barons De Rothschild Blanc de Blancs NV (1x 75cl)

This Champagne is the result of a collaboration between all three branches of the Rothschild families; Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), Baron Phillippe de Rothschild (Mouton) and Baron Edmond de Rothschild. This is the first time they have all collaborated on one project. The resulting Champagnes provide impressive depth and complexity. Much of the fruit comes from Grand Cru sites, which is evident in the quality. This Blanc de Blancs Champagne has a gorgeous soft mouth feel with creamy white fruit.

To see an excellent, informative technical sheet and tasting note for this wine, produced by the winemaers themselves, please click on the blue link below.

Champagne Barons De Rothschild Blanc De Blancs NV - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

Residual sugar is ~6g/litre (ie low, essentially Extra Brut).

The nose reveals a creamy note of lemon meringue, white peach and blanched almonds. The palate is so soft and the mousse so fine and creamy. There’s a natural richness of creamy Chardonnay that is evident and a fleshy full bodied finish. This is the most elegant of the three Rothschild Champagnes.

ABV = 12.0%.

£47.00

Champagne Barons De Rothschild Rose NV (1x 75cl)

This Champagne is the result of a collaboration between all three branches of the Rothschild families; Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), Baron Phillippe de Rothschild (Mouton) and Baron Edmond de Rothschild. This is the first time they have all collaborated on one project. The resulting Champagnes provide impressive depth and complexity. Much of the fruit comes from Grand Cru sites, which is evident in the quality. This Blanc de Blancs Champagne has a gorgeous soft mouth feel with creamy white fruit.

To see an excellent, informative technical sheet and tasting note for this wine, produced by the winemaers themselves, please click on the blue link below.

Champagne Barons De Rothschild Rose NV - fiche technique

85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir.

Residual sugar is ~7g/litre (ie low, at the low end of Brut).

Salmon pink colour with a fine thread of bubbles ending in a thin, enduring foam. Subtle aromas, reminiscent of spring, alongside the fragrance of rose petal, wild strawberry, and a hint of citrus zest. The palate is crisp, dry and elegant with flavours of red fruits, especially strawberry, and a little orange peel. Complex, a lengthy finish and an excellent balance.

ABV = 12.0%.

£49.65

Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Premier magnum NV (1x1.5L)

The cuvées of the House of Louis Roederer are the fruit of patient work with fundamental ingredients, the collaboration of experts, a quest for the perfect balance, and hardy and generous grapes, cultivated in the Champagne soil, producing a wine with a summery character and crystalline elegance.

After the upheavals of the early 1900s, particularly the First World War that destroyed more than half of the Louis Roederer estate, Léon Olry Roederer reconstructed the vineyards. He decided to buy grapes to ensure the continuity of the House during this difficult period and, at the same time, created a multi-vintage wine that would have a consistent flavour, whatever the harvest year. It is now called Brut Premier.

A blend of around 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier, Brut Premier comprises wine matured in oak tuns produced from three Champagne grape varieties that originate from various crus selected by Louis Roederer. It is aged for 3 years in Louis Roederer’s cellars and left for a minimum of 6 months after dégorgement (disgorging).

Striking a perfect balance between youthfulness and maturity, seduction and character, freshness and vinosity, Brut Premier is a champagne that is harmonious and structured, elegant and lively, with a unique exuberancy. Its structured texture, richness, and length are distinctly winey. It is a full, complex wine that is both rich and powerful, whilst remaining a great classic.

Gift box available, but may required additional postage if entails an additional box/carriage!

ABV = 12.0%.

£89.10

Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV (1x 75cl)

Producer Information

Founded in 1776, and property of the same family since 1819, Champagne Louis Roederer is today one of the last major Champagne houses to be an independent family affair. The annual production of its wines (Brut Premier, Carte Blanche, Brut Vintage, Rosé Vintage, Blanc de Blancs, Cristal, Cristal Rose) represents just over three million bottles, distributed to 100 countries worldwide.

Vineyards

Champagne Louis Roederer owns just over 240 hectares of vineyard located in the Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne and Côte des Blancs. Each vineyard is situated in the finest site, of which 90% are Grand Cru and Premier Cru classified. Champagne Louis Roederer uses 100% of its own grapes for vintage styles, and 60% for the Brut Premier blend. Such a high proportion of estate-grown grapes is unusual in champagne, ensuring superior quality at all stages from grape to glass.

Winemaking

5% of the wines are matured in oak casks with weekly batonnage. 10% of the reserve wines are matured in casks with partial malolactic fermentation. Brut Premier comprises the three champagne grape varieties from more than 40 different plots. The wine is an assemblage of six years of harvesting, a part of which comes from the Champagne Louis Roederer reserve wine collection, matured in oak casks for several years. It is matured for three years in the cellar and rested for six months after disgorgement to perfect maturity. Dosage of between 10 and 11 g/l is adapted to each vintage.

40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier.

"From the outset, the texture is full and generous and, in a fairly unexpected way, integrates characteristics of maturity associated with fruitier and more refreshing notes. The wine has a fresh festive finesse, and in the mouth, the wine has structure, richness and length. It is a full, complex wine that is both modern and powerful, whilst remaining a great classic.” – Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon

Press

James Suckling: 92 Points

Wine Spectator: 92 Points

Wine Enthusiast: 92 Points

£43.15

Champagne Louis Roederer Carte Blanche Demi Sec NV (1x 75cl)

The color is pale golden. The inclusion of oak-aged reserve wines from four to 10 years is more apparent than in the “Brut” quality champagnes. The reserve wines give complexity and roundness characteristic of Louis Roederer champagnes.

£44.55

Champagne Philipponnat Clos Des Goisses 2005 (1x 75cl)

Partially vinified in wooden barrels to add complexity then aged for 8-10 before release this is an elegant wine with notes of linden tea, cacao, blond tobacco and vanilla. On the palate it is full-bodied with flavours of candied white fruit, stoney, mineral notes, toasted bread and smoke.

Clos des Goisses is a very fine wine before being converted to a very fine Champagne.

A perfect and unforgettable match for strong-flavoured dishes such as game, truffles, caviar and soft cheeses. Philipponnat recommend that you decant prior to serving to allow it to breath.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Philipponnat.

Champagne Philipponnat Clos Des Goisses 2005 - fiche technique

40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier.

Dosage is low - technically Extra Brut - at 4.25 g/litre.

ABV = 13.0%.

NB: very slightly damaged labels - we can send photos if required.

£127.85

Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve NV (1x75cl)

When Pierre Taittinger first discovered the Champagne region, he was an officer serving in the First World War. He returned several years later with his brother-in-law and began investing his time, energy and enthusiasm into a nascent Champagne business. Taittinger is now back in the ownership of the Taittinger family with Pierre-Emmanuel at the helm alongside his children Vitalie and Clovis.

Taittinger Brut Réserve is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier wines from over 35 different vineyards and vintages, matured to perfection. This high proportion of Chardonnay, unique among fine non-vintage champagnes, and a minimum ageing of three years in the cellars, where it reaches the peak of aromatic maturity, makes Taittinger Brut Réserve a delicately balanced champagne, known for its consistently excellent quality all over the world. Taittinger considers it an honour to produce a Brut champagne every year without exception. 

The brilliant body is golden yellow in colour. The bubbles are fine, while the foam is discreet yet lingering. The nose, very open and expressive, delivers aromas of fruit and brioche. It also gives off the fragrance of peach, white flowers (hawthorn, acacia) and vanilla pod. The entry onto the palate is lively, fresh and in total harmony. This is a delicate wine with flavours of fresh fruit and honey. Taittinger Brut Réserve, which acquires its maturity during three and four years ageing in the cellar, offers excellent aromatic potential.

Residual sugar = 9g/litre.

Taittinger Brut Réserve is the Champagne for any occasion. A symbol of festivity, this wine is the ideal partner of celebration for the happiest milestones in a lifetime.

ABV = 12.5%.

£37.65

Pol Roger Brut Reserve gift boxed NV (1x75cl)

Champagne Pol Roger has been producing exceptional champagne for over 160 years. To this day the house remains small, family-owned, fiercely independent and unrivalled in its reputation for quality. Indeed, it is this quality which brought about Sir Winston Churchill’s lifelong attachment to Pol Roger, who famously insisted “In defeat I need it, in victory I deserve it”.

It has a definitive house-style, composed from 30 still base wines drawn from at least three vintages, and the three varieties of Champagne, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier blended in equal portions. Pol Roger is the perfect apéritif champagne which is never released until it is at least three years old.

Brut Réserve is blended from 30 still base wines from different vineyards, different vintages and the three main grape varieties which dominate the champagne region: Pinot Noir contributes body, depth of character and life-extending tannins and comes from the villages of the Montagne de Reims – Verzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Ambonnay, Mardeuil and Louvois; Chardonnay provides the lightness, elegance and finesse and is drawn from Epernay itself and the villages of the Côte des Blancs – Cuis, Oiry, Oger, Vertus, Moussy and Chouilly; Pinot Meunier supplies youthful freshness, vigour and plump character with the grapes coming from the Vallée d’Epernay – Vincelles,  Venteuil, Troissy, Damery, Vandières, Brugny, Chavot, Monthelon and Pierry.

Residual sugar = 9g/litre.

On the nose, the champagne is dominated by white flowers, green apple, brioche and a trace of minerality. On the palate there are notes of stone fruits, a certain nuttiness and a hint of honey supporting the freshness of the acidity. UK stock receives an additional 6 months post-disgorgement ageing so it is ready to drink upon release but cellaring for a few years will reveal greater depths. The apéritif champagne par  excellence but one which has sufficient backbone to be drunk with fish and even spicy dishes.

ABV = 12.5%.

£40.20
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