Champagne

Champagne

The UK has been one of the world’s top markets for Champagne for some time.

While it is true that overall UK Champagne sales are still dominated the ubiquitous Grand Marques, our own customers seem to be displaying a step change in their approach to the world’s original sparkling wine. For collectors and interested drinkers alike, Champagne is throwing off the shackles of the big (often somewhat predictable) brands. The emergence of boutique houses and individual growers is providing customers with reasons anew to fill their cellars with Champagne; to be collected, aged and celebrated just as they would any other fine wine. Great single vineyard wines are increasingly of interest, perhaps none more so than the sublime Clos des Goisses, a wine capable of truly great things especially in vintages where others may have struggled. As producers of Clos des Goisses, the house of Philipponnat is more generally proving hugely popular, providing a nice half way house between the consistency and label recognition of a major maison and the boutique levels of care and attention of a grower. Their vintage stamped Blanc de Noirs is not to be missed.

In the grower camp, top names like Pascal Doquet, Egly Ourriet, Diebolt Vallois and Ulysse Collin are proving that through careful viticulture and precise but low intervention wine making, it is possible to create balanced, transparent wines that are faithful to their origins and strikingly individual. Demand from private clients and restaurant customers has never been stronger. Last but not least, our own brand Champagnes Sarcey and 250th Anniversary, continue to provide some of the best value bubbles in town, each with an army of devoted drinkers up and down the country. The blends and producers for these two favourites remain the same as ever, their popularity negating any need for us to reinvent the wheel. For all the talk of falling Champagne sales in supermarkets, our own feeling is that Champagne as a fine wine is in the midst of a golden age. Long may it continue…