Friday night’s fizzness


Work commitments ensure Friday night tastings are rare, last Friday was an unforeseen, and pleasant, break from the routine. Even more so when Richard opened a bottle of champagne which I tasted blind. Currently, I’m having to develop a more objective approach to my tasting which is (pardon the inane management-speak) “taking me out of my comfort zone”. I won’t bore you with the full range of details rather just select from the highlights.

There was a surprising amount of richness, both on the nose and palate, to this wine, which suggested either a vintage champagne or older than usual reserve wine. It still had some development in it because the apple acidity was still present, although not in huge quantities. The bubbles were delicate and long-lasting – always a good sign. Lovely yeasty aromas were attractive as was the long finish. Tasted blind I rated this as a very good champagne but one of not great complexity.

It was Joseph Perrier’s NV champagne, a blend of 35% equal parts of PN and Chardonnay with 30% Pinot Meunier. It had been aged for three years (the law requiring 15 months) which accounted for the richness, as most of that time it would have been in contact with the grapes’ skins and yeasts. 20% of the mixture was older, reserve wine, further adding to the depth of flavour. Very enjoyable.

[Richard: this wine was bought from a Nicolas wine shop in Chalons-en-Champagne, where Joseph Perrier is based. We’d driven up from Orange and I was out for a much needed biere. There was plenty of champagne to be had in the shop and this was was sold to me by the enthusiastic assistant, spotting a bemused tourist. On offer, around €25. Very nice drink, quite a big flavour, not delicate and, as Geoff says, very enjoyable.]


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