Charles Heidsieck Vintage 2005

Meaty, toasty lemon curd, with vanilla and cream. Ripe candied citrus too, and a lovely, textured almond sweetness on the palate. Punchy

17

Date Tasted : 24/09/2018

Court Garden Blanc de Blancs 2014

Pours a very pale elderflower in the glass. This quite a softly-spoken wine, with fresh green apple and an interesting, faintly exotic melon character. The bottle promises lychees on the nose, which I can understand – I wonder if there’s a musqué Chardonnay clone in the blend? There’s just a touch of pear tart richness lurking. The palate is all lemon and lime, sweet and sour, with marked acidity and a slim texture. I wonder if they’ll hang on to some and disgorge it with a bit more time on lees – in any case, if you have some you could tuck it away for a year.

14.5

Date Tasted : 04/01/2020

/ 2014, Blanc de Blancs, Court Garden, England

Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut 2015

Made in Cornwall with grapes from across Southern England (lots from Essex I hear). What appears to be quite a fun, fruit-driven wine on the nose does start to throw up some lovely complex shades with a bit of time in the glass. There’s strawberry macaroon and redcurrant fruit at first, together with this very English hedgerow fruit character (crabapple/hawthorn jelly*). Behind it all there’s sweetness of clementine and ripe pink grapefruit as well as little touches of spice and cream. Fresh, straightforward and balanced on the palate, which is quite tight right now.

16.5

Date Tasted : 04/01/2020

/ 2015, Camel Valley, England, Rosé

Janisson-Baradon Toulette 2008

Powerful grapefruit and burnt lemon aromas, with sweet, candied tropical fruit and nectarine. Bitter almond and coffee notes too – really distinctive and intense. The palate is taut and pithy, with lemon marmalade and those crystallised fruits really coming through. A touch of bitterness too, unshaded by dosage but quite attractive and refreshing

17

Date Tasted : 10/07/2018

Catherine et Pierre Breton La Dilettante

Elegant, delightful fizz. The nose is so alluring, with apples in honey at first, some zesty yellow grapefruit and then richer, sweeter mango notes. Pretty, elderflower-like floral touches too. It’s flinty and just a tiny bit smoky – this is one to really get the ‘wet stone’ note you hear wine writers talk about. Lovely balance between the firmer, vinous character and those yellow fruits on the palate, which is direct and refreshing. Unencumbered by sweetness and flavoursome right through the palate, unlike some less illustrious sparkling Chenin

16.5

Date Tasted : 12/07/2018

/ Catherine et Pierre Breton, France, Other

Jenkyn Place Brut 2010

60% Chardonnay, 32% Pinot Noir, 8% Meunier. 42 months on lees, so I believe this has had around 30 months post-disgorgement. There’s still some primary lemon-lime freshness here, with slightly creamy, sweet strawberry Pinot fruit and sweet meadow flowers. The maturity is much more in evidence though, with pear and quince tarte tatin, baked apple and savoury herbs warming up the nose. The palate has opened up, with the acidity feeling nicely tempered by the warmth of the fruit profile, the caramel notes and a touch of sweetness. It doesn’t quite have the core intensity to go too much longer so I’d be drinking this up.

15.5

Date Tasted : 04/01/2020

/ 2010, Classic Blend, England, Jenkyn Place

Paul Déthune Extra Brut Grand Cru NV, 2015 Base

Quite direct and powerful with ripe apricot, red apple and redcurrant fruit, sweetened with honeysuckle and creamy fresh fig. Tangy lemon curd lurking in there too. The palate is focussed and direct once more – this is a young wine. Nevertheless the Pinot fruit and subtle oak influence offer up more than just fruit here, with savoury, almost earthy dried leaves and allspice. There is something a tiny bit metallic/chemical here, which I can’t decide if I like or not. A little yoghurt and a more of that tangy lemon curd hang around very enjoyably on the finish. The low dosage does suit the wine, even if it is probably a more complete package in standard Brut form with a bit more age behind it

16

Date Tasted : 25/08/2018