When Philippe II, Regent of France began regularly imbibing Champagne at the Palais-Royal, it was inevitable that the Parisian upper class would imitate his opulence. Parisian restaurants and bars began selling huge quantities of the 'new sparkling wine' and the door of opportunity opened for entrepreneurial individuals to found houses solely dedicated to the production of Champagne. Many of these are today industry giants.
Moet & Chandon, Veuve Cliqout, Lanson and Mumm, amongst others, have all become juggernauts, focused on maintaining their ‘luxury’ status by employing massive marketing budgets, relentlessly advertising through magazines, billboards and high profile celebrities. Their brands are far too ubiquitous to require any emphasis to be placed on the source of the fruit, the terroir, or indeed the quality of the finished product. Yet the quiet mutterings about the deterioration of the big house's wines grows louder each day.
The most extraordinary values in Champagne available in Australia today
Marguet Pere et Fils Champagne is one of those remarkable discoveries that are only occasionally experienced in a wine merchant's life. The company is a small family operation. Their only option is to sell on quality and maintain their market share by ensuring any price increases remain modest. This attitude is all the more remarkable when one learns that their wines are produced using fruit sourced from some of the highest ranking vineyards in the region: There are 324 villages (or 'crus') with vineyards in Champagne. Each cru is rated by a system known as 'échelle des crus' which gives every village a rating for the quality of its grapes.
A 100% Grand Cru classification is very rare, in fact only 17 villages out of 300 are entitled to this classification (equalling approximately 1% of Champagne's entire production). Not surprisingly, the scarcity of Grand Cru grapes makes them expensive and so they're reserved for the finest cuvees of Champagne's most prestigious firms. Both Marguet's Vintage and Non Vintage Champagnes are produced from 100% Grand Cru fruit (think of N/V Bollinger at $90+ which is now partly sourced from Premier Crus and you'll begin to appreciate how dramatically underpriced these wines are). Nicks Wine Merchants / Vintage Direct search the world for extraordinary and exciting new wines, continuing a policy of dealing directly with wineries whenever possible. Through bypassing the wholesalers, these are unquestionably the most extraordinary values in Champagne available in Australia today.
You can choose to pay for billboards and magazine ads, but we prefer to let the wine do the talking.
The below are not normal prices. If you're partial to the Bollinger or Louis Roederer style, discovering these wines will be like finding a big name-brand jacket on the sale rack at a fraction of the price. Get in quick to secure your stocks for a perfect opening to the Christmas feast before bringing in 2010 with style & sophistication.
A magnificent, refined, yet distinctive follow-up to the great 2000 vintage.
Superb creamy white mousse, with very fine, very persistent bead. Straw colour base wine. Top note of yeast lees, followed by hazelnut and biscuit. Rich creamy mouthfeel, generous in its textural qualities. Flavours of nougat, yeast lees, almond and biscuit. Very good length with just a touch of lemon emerging. Clean finish. Very long aftertaste of biscuit, nougat and lees.
Cellar 3 - 4 years (2011 - 2012)