University House Champagne Expo 2016
The University of Melbourne - November
Champagne Charlie - the song.
- Vallée de la Marne (the valley of the Marne river)
- Montagne de Reims (the Mountains of Reims)
- Côtes de Blancs (the sides of whites, assumedly along a river’s shores where they grow white wines)
- Côtes de Sézanne (the sides of Sézanne, possibly on the sides of the famous painter Cezanne)
“Blanc de blancs” (or “white of whites”)
“Blanc des blancs? Chardonnay was only made to put in champagne, but if there’s no meunier it’s not champagne as far as I’m concerned.”
“Accreditation”: Grand Cru and Premier Cru
German “house” names in Champagne
My preferred picks are marked with two asterisks **.
THE HOUSES REPRESENTED
Champagne Alfred Gratien
Alfred Gratien Brut NV $89
**Alfred Gratien Rosé NV $99
Alfred Gratien Millesime Blanc de Blancs 2007 $135
Gosset Brut Excellence NV $95
Gosset Grande Reserve Brut NV $115
Canard means duck in France, and Canard-Duchêne was founded by Victor Duck and his pal Leonie (the Lion?) Duchêne, who were granted the use of the Russian Imperial crest in 1868; probably because they were supplying a whole lot to the Russian aristocracy… though they did not move with the times and replace that with a hammer and sickle in later years, I note.
**Canard-Duchêne Cuvee Leonie NV $77
Canard-Duchêne Charles VII Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV $126
Run by Carol "our Lady of Champagne" and her three sons (can she really be old enough to have had those three grown up men?), their website seems to position the different labels against each personality, and it looks a bit like a luxury car website. I dunno. "Le Roy" means the King in French, much as Fitzroy implicates the illegitimate issue of the King.
Edith Piaf may have sung 'Je ne regrette riens', but of this house, I can honestly say that 'Je ne sais riens'...
Duval Leroy Brut Reserve NV $69
Duval Leroy Brut Rosé Prestige $139
Champagne Piper Heidsieck
He also had one of the easier jobs selling this label, since Charles Heidsieck (one of their labels) is the famous “Champagne Charlie”; who introduced champagne into England and America at a time when the majority of champagne sales were heading off to Russia (following the Napoleonic wars, where they opened champagne with a sabre – also known as “sabrage”).
Anyway, they’ve made a movie on his life, and there’s a famous song titled Champagne Charlie which is sung by Edward Woodwood (“why are there so many “d’s” in Edward Woodwood’s name? Because otherwise he would be called Ewar Woowoo”). I couldn’t find the song from Ewarwian Woowoo, but the above version is by Tommy Trinder.
Piper Heidisieck Brut NV $73
Piper Heidseick Rosé Sauvage $99
**Charles Heidseick Brut Reserve NV $125
Visiting the site, I see they’ve gotten into bed with Phillipe Stark, who has designed them a label and bottle, so you know they’re working at being hip and innovative – even if they're running about thirty years too late. But they’ve also laid claim to being one of the last great independent and family-run champagne houses, who first realised it was “all about the soil”.
This reminds me of some story I heard about Paris using the Champagne region as a rubbish dump for years, and them having to go through and clean out all the dumped refuse of an industrialised city… but this could be hear-say (i.e. I heard it, and said it).
Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV $99
Louis Roederer Vintage Brut 2009 $149
Champagne Veuve Fourny
A fifth generation family run winery, it’s currently run by two Fourny brothers who pose for some truly daggy shots on their website..
Veuve Fourny et Fils Blanc de Blancs Vertus Premier Cru $105
**Veuve Fournay et Fils Grand Reserve Brut Vertus Premier Cru $105
Pierre Gimonnet "et" Fils
I couldn't use an "ampersand" in blogger text (it must have a programming implication), so in the titles below it reads "et" where an ampersand should be...
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Cuvee Cuis 1er Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs $85
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Cuvee Rosé de Blancs 1er Cru Brut $96
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Cuvee Fleuron Brut 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs 2009 $105
I’ve heard of Churchill’s martinis, where he’d just look at the vermouth, and of his Scotch and cigars, and now I hear this was his breakfast tipple. Curiously, Winnie lived into his nineties, though it’s little wonder he always had “the black dog” and his dying words were “I’m just so sick of it all…”
Pol Roger has subsequently brought out a Winston Churchill brand on this legacy, though they don’t produce it on every vintage as mentioned above – only on the good ones.