Roberto Della Pietra
“My strong belief still is that the Champagne region is really vibrant and exciting with loads of young winemakers and small growers coming up. I completely adore Gosset and Deutz, and very happy that both showed greatly with their vintages (Master and Gold respectively).”
Jonathan Pedley MW
“There were fewer really poor wines than I was expecting. In the past one could have expected to be confronted with a lot of very tart wines with unripe green fruit and big dosages to try to mask the flaws. It could be that we were lucky or it could be that the general standard of winemaking has gone up, perhaps helped along by a touch of climate change. My main whinge would be that a fair number of wines, whilst being technically correct, were simple and estery with very little depth or complexity.
… I was flummoxed by the maturity of many of the wines. I count myself as a lover of aged Champagne. However, a lot of the mature wines had rather coarse, soggy, vegetal aromas. There were only a handful of wines that showed the refined, nutty, toasty character that to me marks out great mature Champagne.
The Rosé flight was all over the place in terms of style and quality. There were some simple confected wines, there were some attractive youthful fruit-led wines, there were some tired over mature wines and there were a couple of graceful complex gems. Quite how the consumer is meant to navigate the category lord only knows.
In terms of specific producers, Charles and Piper came through very strongly. I used to do some work with this house in the distant past and whilst Charles was always wonderfully rich and complex, Piper was the simpler everyday drink. Now it seems that some very good wines, across the range, are being badged as Piper.”
Clement Robert MS
“The biggest debate and issue with Champagne is the value for money you get and this year I thought that the overall quality was very high.
I really enjoy the top cuvées – there were some exceptional wines tasted but I was also impressed by the entry level Champagnes that were very good.
However, I was a little disappointed by the Blanc de Blancs flight: I thought that some of the wines lacked precision and complexity despite being expensive.
I was happily surprised by the quality of the NV especially from the bigger brands, which is nice to see. Also, these brands are all clearly reducing the amount sugar in their dosage and, as a result, the wines are more elegant and precise.”