Jeepers, creepers…


…where did you get the champagne? (Actually MWW, £29).

I though I knew a fair bit about grower champagne but I’d never heard of this one, tried at Geoff’s, last night. The website reveals the most of the wine made is sold in the USA. Also, rather curiously, there is no location shown on the website, which merely says that the company is centred in Faverolles-et-Coëmy commune near Reims but that they have different production sites.

A blend of 37 parcels, 60% chardonnay. The winemaker post WWII used an American jeep to work in the vineyards, hence the name.

As the photo shows, a light mouse, though it was lively in the mouth with a shy nose. Quite dry, some complexity but after a while the taste became firm suggesting the wine needed more time – see next post.

When I lived in Nottingham in the 1980s I was fortunate to have a good friend (hi John), equally interested in wine, who had a cellar. Much of the wine we bought en primeur was kept there along with other odd bottles I thought would benefit from ageing. Among these was some Waitrose NV champagne, which I eventually finished off after we moved to Birmingham. And, as expected, the wine was greatly improved.

Thus I was very interested to try the above, found by Geoff at his Mum’s. Looking at the codes on the back label we think it was bottled in 1995. I tried it on day 3 and it was still lively in the mouth, of medium length with a rather rich, slightly sweet, stewed apple taste, with none of the harshness you sometimes get with cava. I’m not a Cava fan – too many dull bottles drunk in Spain – but this was fascinating and enjoyable.

[Geoff: there was a great contrast in the two sparklers. The Cava was fresh but with a roundness that comes with bottle age, more akin to bruised apples on my palate. The Jeepers had a more delicate and focussed style, possibly because of the preponderance of Chardonnay over the richer red grapes or the use of younger reserve wines. I’ll look forward to see how the other Jeepers mature over the next two years. It’s a good idea to buy NV champagne and sit on it whilst it develops a fuller style more like a vintage. By the way, 95% of champagne sales are NV]



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