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

Janisson-Baradon Conges 2006

Quite evolved and lifted (winespeak for a little volatile acidity*), with some of the original freshness of having made way over time for Tarte Tatin, seville orange and crystallised yellow fruits. There are some warmer, more oxidative notes of chestnut honey as well as this slightly fudgy, cashew butter character (something I’ve started to associate with Meunier). After a while quite some quite lovely autumnal blackberry fruit comes through too. There’s some sweet spice, coffee and vanilla, although it feels to me that the oak influence is felt more in the general style of the wine than through any overtly-oaky flavours jutting out. Honeyed and biscuity notes round off tangy palate that has (just) seen its best days, with some volatile notes of bruised apples and spice on the finish. There is complexity and personality here, although with this slightly oxidative style and low dosage it would probably have been at its best a couple of years ago

15.5

Date Tasted : 04/09/2018

Marguet Shaman 14 2014

A few shades of apple here – blossom, posh apple juice and gently caramalised apple tart. The fruit shows some different sides though, with some lovely summer berries and honeyed apricot too.There’s a buttermilk sweetness which points to some oak influence, and some clove/juniper/fennel seed spice complexity too. However that side of things is nicely toned-down and the wine feels pure and fresh. Intensity and real length of ripe acidity. It’s quite rare that I find a zero-dosage wine that feels absolutely complete and settled to my palate, but the generosity of this style achieves just that.

16.5

Date Tasted : 04/01/2020

/ 2014, Champagne, Classic Blend, Marguet

Taittinger Vintage 2012

So clean – lemon tart, fresh red apple with dried apple and thyme. Grapefruit peel, a touch smoky. Lovely progression of acid. Subtle but fine.

17

Date Tasted : 24/09/2017

/ 2012, Champagne, Classic Blend, Taittinger

Taittinger Vintage 2002

More tatin, ripe apricot and milk chocolate here. Open and generous with honey, marizpan and touch of pineapple. Showy but has balance and refreshing length. Great.

18.5

Date Tasted : 19/09/2018

/ 2002, Champagne, Classic Blend, Taittinger