Just concluded the 2021 edition of the largest Champagne event in Italy, the Modena Champagne Experience project confirms to be a unique moment to taste one of the largest selections of Champagne in 48 hours of pure pleasure. A true full immersion with more than 120 producers and 600 labels to taste, the event is an opportunity to discover the Region and to learn more about the different characteristic areas, unique terroirs, styles, traditions and innovations of each producer. And GLUGULP! could not miss it.
Looking through the different Champagnes we tasted is almost impossible, but we will try to share with you, in this short article, some of the sparkling wines we particularly liked because of the history of their Producer and their taste. We chose 6 of them.
Let's start with Maison Jacquesson, whose origins date back to 1789. Champagne Jacquesson was the favorite of Napoleon who in 1810 awarded the Maison with the gold medal for "la Beauté et la Richesse de ses Caves". Nowadays, Maison Jacquesson & Fils is proud to follow in the steps of its glorious founders and focuses its efforts on an annual production of about 350,000 bottles, with elaboration methods dedicated to the highest quality standards.
Always delicious Champagne Cuvée n° 744, elaborated by the Maison with the aim of capturing the best of each vintage and bring out the variations specific to each collection. This Extra Brut Champagne, with its great freshness and pleasantness, is composed by the assembly of wines from the same vintage (2016 vintage), completed with about 30% of Vins de Réserve conserved in the winery for several years. Chiquet brothers, for this cuvée, selected for 55% the best Pinot Noir and Meunier grapes from vineyards in the area of Aÿ, Dizy and Hautvillers; for the remaining 45% Chardonnay grapes coming from vineyards in Avize and Oiry villages.
Another nice confirmation of Modena Champagne Experience was Champagne La Lutétienne Millésime 2005 by Tarlant. Generous and intense, this Champagne reflects the trust the family puts in its soils, the true characters in the flavor of the Domaine's Champagnes. 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, this Champagne ages for over 13 years on its lees and has no final dosage (Brut Nature).
Domaine Tarlant are vignerons since 1687, Micheline and Jean Marie with their sons Benôit and Melanie are the eleventh generation and currently manage 14 hectares of vineyards on 4 different crus divided in 55 plots located in the Vallèe de la Marne, in particular in the villages of Œuilly, Boursault, St-Agnan and Celles-les-Condés. Domaine Tarlant vinifies every vineyard in a separate way and the dosages are very low in order to exalt the peculiarities of the terroir reflected in their Champagne.
Among the various tasting stands at the event, Maison Louis Roederer never stops exciting us: Champagne Vintage 2014 is the perfect expression of terroir, in which finesse, purity, precision and harmony highlight the qualities of a great vineyard. Roederer elaborates its Vintage cuvée on the structure and power of the Pinot Noirs of the Montagne de Reims, where the vines, exposed to the northeast, are slower to mature. Elaborated with 71% of Pinot Noir and 29% of Chardonnay and with a proportion of 25% of wines vinified in wooden casks, cuvée Vintage 2014 is aged on its lees for about 4 years, to which it is added a rest of at least 6 months after dégorgement to improve its maturity.
Sweet bouquet, almost sugary, intense and deep, of yellow peach and red currant fruits followed by cocoa bean and smoked aromas which add to a bouquet of great generosity, complexity and deliciousness. The flavor is ample, fruity and dense. The concentration creates a velvet effect thanks to the bubbles, perfectly blended. Of great energy, the limestone freshness meets the delicate smoky notes, typical of the Grand Cru Verzy. Brilliant, dense and energetic.
Going on with our tasting tour among the many producers of Modena Champagne Experience, we meet Maison Pierre Legras founded in 1662 and today run by Vincent Legras.
Pierre Legras Champagnes are closely connected to the Terroir Grand Cru of Chouilly, a village in Côte des Blancs; among the ten hectares of the property, seven are exclusively dedicated to Chardonnay, and the remaining ones to Pinot Noir and Meunier.
In this case we were charmed by the Champagne Black Jackets 2014, a sensual and crisp Blanc de Noirs resulting from the assembly of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Meunier from vineyards in Epernay and Moussy. Violet emerges on the nose, with flavors of wild plum and fig, with a liquorice ending. In the mouth is smooth and crisp, with a fruity texture and mango and papaya aromas. The label of this Champagne is unusual and attractive: a limited edition inspired to the traditional leather jacket of motorcyclists and dedicated to the lovers of two wheeled motors.
Val Frison, a very recent company born in 2010, is also deserve a visit: the fresh and lively Champagne Portlandia, has a rich bubbles, a strong aromatic fruitiness of apple, red berries and pear and a remarkable minerality. This Champagne is produced with 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay coming from the vineyards of Ville-sur-Arce village, in Côtes des Bar. In this area the chalky terroir dates back to a very ancient geological stage - from which cuvée takes its name. No filtration, spontaneous malolactic fermentation and the use of indigenous yeasts are the method used in the cellar for this cuvée, with 6 months of aging on lees in cask and 19 months on cans.
Valerie Frison, who gave her name to Domaine Val Frison, after the separation from Thierry, succeeded from the beginning in emphasizing the Aube terroir producing Champagne of great character and personality, important minerality and sapidity. Few bottles produced, organic farming and vinification of base wine in wood. To be tried.
Finally, not to be missed is a visit at the tasting stand of Christian Gosset, an eccentric producer who in 2015, at the age of 50, after 30 years of working with his brother Michel in the family business, separated and founded the Domaine that today bears his name. The property extends to just 5 hectares, including some lieux dits in Aÿ and one in Chouilly. His Champagne Blanc de Chardonnay Sorangeon was a nice discovery: a Blanc de Blancs from 100% Chardonnay grapes, 2016 vintage, vinification in fût de chêne and no final dosage (Brut Nature). The bouquet is elegant, finely woody, floral and lactic, punctuated by a hint of caramel. On the palate the approach is frank and develops towards a sensation that is both pulpy and airy, all supported by excellent acidity. The ending is chalky, salty and finely bitter.
Discover here the selection of GLUGULP!'s Champagnes!