Monday, July 5, 2010

Debate a Bubble - Champagne Brands - The Real Way To Discover Amazing Small Brands - Part 2

Debate a Bubble - Champagne Brands - The Real Way To Discover Amazing Small Brands - Part 2

Link to Debate a Bubble - Champagne News and Reviews

Champagne Brands - The Real Way To Discover Amazing Small Brands - Part 2

Posted: 05 Jul 2010 03:45 AM PDT

In my last blog post we looked at RM champagnes and saw that, despite what some people will tell you, just relying on finding these two letters on a champagne label is not going to make it much easier to discover new champagne brands that will suit your taste -there are simply too many RM champagnes out there and you'll still be faced with a bewildering choice.

Fortunately there is another way of finding your way through this maze and when you do you'll discover a whole new world of terrific champagnes that you've never tried before. Here's why...

The thing about RM champagne makers is that they are small and so most of their vines are in, or near to, the village where they are based.

Georges Vesselle Brut The name of the village is always shown on the label.  Some makers display the village loud and clear like Georges Vesselle in the village of Bouzy, but you'll always find the village somewhere, usually right next to the RM code.

When you know the name of the village you can get a reasonable clue as to the style of the champagne because different villages produce different types of champagne.

O.K. I admit that this is not a foolproof method that is guaranteed to identify the perfect champagne for you every time, but it certainly narrows the choice down a lot and it's something that you just can't do with the big brands because they source their grapes from all over the entire Champagne region and so their champagnes have a much looser connection with any one location - none at all really.

So all you have to do is get to know the names of some villages in Champagne.

You don't have to memorize all the villages; that would be asking a bit much seeing that there are over 300 villages here, but a good start is to remember some of the more prominent ones.

After that, it's like everything else: the more time you spend studying the subject the better you'll get and if you decide to put in a little study time you'll soon be an expert on RM champagnes

Here's a list to help you on your way...

If you like the crisp, dry style of Blanc de Blancs champagnes made only from Chardonnay grapes, then look out for these village names in the Côte des Blancs area

Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Oger, Oiry, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Vertus

If it's bigger, bolder, more full flavoured champagne that you prefer then look for champagnes that have a high proportion of Pinot Noir in them. Here are some of the villages famed for their Pinot Noir vineyards:

Ambonnay, Aÿ, Bouzy, Mailly, Verzy and Verzenay. Also Ludes, Chigny-Les-Roses and Rilly-La-Montagne.

Finally, if you enjoy fresh, fruity champagnes for drinking at any time of day then you can venture downChristophe Mignon Rosé the Marne River valley to find villages that specialise in Pinot Meunier. Look out for

Charly-sur-Marne, Chatillon-sur-Marne, Crouttes-sur-Marne, Damery, Festigny, Fossoy, Oeuilly, Reuil and Vincelles.

So which ones will you try first and how many can you remember?

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