Current Category Champagne and Imported Sparkling Wines

Of the great wines of France, Champagne is the newest arrival. Champagne as a district has been making wine since the early Roman times, and by the ninth century it had become sufficiently well established as a high quality region for distinction to be drawn between the wines of the Vallee de la Marne and those of the Montagne de Reims. From this time on it went from strength to strength: by the early sixteenth century, the wine of Ay had become so highly prized that it was said to be 'the ordinary drink of Kings and Princes. It was not until the seventeenth century, however, that the first sparkling wines made their appearance, and not until the nineteenth century that Champagne came to be synonymous with sparkling wine. neither were the numerous special techniques essential for making Champagne all discovered by discovered by one person - notwithstanding the extraordinary feats popularly attributed to Dom Perignon nor at any one time.

The evolution of the present day method of making clear sparkling wine using the second fermentation took over 200 years. Champagne is a wine that appeals to the broadest senses, rather than to the particular. It is the overall impression it leaves in the mouth after it is swallowed which matters most .It is true that the greatest Champagnes are wines of extraordinary finesse, balance, and above all else length of flavours, the intrinsic quality of these wines is on a par with the greatest of the still white or red table wines. Just as the Burgundians place special emphasis on the bouquet, the Bordelais on the palate and structure, so the Champenois claim the finish and, in particular, the aftertaste as a special feature of their wine. Not that all Champagnes taste the same, there is a world of difference between a Pol Roger and a Krug,a Taittinger and Bollinger, let a alone between a vintage Champagne of one of the grandes marques and a non vintage, "buyer's own brand" from one of the cooperatives. Yet the overall consistency of the quality and style and non - vintage Champagne from the grandes marques exceeds that of any other category of wine in any region - an astonishing achievement, given the marginal climate in which the Champenois grow their their grapes, and the fluctuations in supply and demand which they so skilfully manage from making viewpoints.

Assemblage known as blending is the most critical stage of the long and delicate process which makes the finished Champagne. It is the art that made Dom Perignon the most famous oenologist of his day, indeed, perhaps the famous winemaker in history. Blending involves a detailed knowledge of the past, present, and future of the materials, and requires highly specialized tasting skills which can see beyond the often hard, acidic, thin, and chalky base wines that give only a barest glimpse of how they will taste once they have been blended, undergone the second fermentation, benefited from contact with yeasts during years of maturation on the lees, and been adjusted for sweetness using liqueur d'expedition.

The task demands the mental skill of a chess grand master as literally endless permutations and combinations are considered. The blenders at Moet & Chandon typically have 300 different base wines from any one vintage to deal with the possible permutations are beyond calculation. one of the most fascinating, and important aspects of Champagne is the use of "reserve" wine held from earlier vintages. It may be held in magnums under slight gaseous pressure, in stainless steel, or less commonly in oak.

Champagne house's such as Krug have reserve wine of up to twenty years old, although in diminishing quantity with age. They will usually be held over from vintage years,and,tasted on their own, can be superb. reserve wines can be used at three stages in the making of Champagne. They can be incorporated in the primary ferment, then most commonly and importantly at the time of  blending or assemblage along with the liqueur de tirage, and least importantly because of the tiny volume with the liqueur d'expedition . All the Champagne houses privately acknowledge that the quality and style of their reserve wines have a powerful influence on their overall house style, but tend to downplay this importance publicly.

Vintage champagne is strictly directed under European Union legislation, eighty five percent of the wine must be from the stated vintage year, which would allow generous incorporation of reserve wine. Under the appellation controlee of Champagne, the wine must be one hundred percent from its stated vintage. So reserve wines are customarily used in the blending of vintage Champagne - and to its great benefit-just as much as with non-vintage wines. The Champenois and the Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne are ever alert to emphasize their unique combination of terrior and climate. Champagne is France's northern most vineyard region. Without the special properties of its chalk soil, free - draining and sun reflecting, it would be a very doubtful area for ripening grapes.

At Chancellors Cellars we have assembled an extensive range of famous Champagnes for you to select.




Ayala Champagne Brut Majeur NV France 750ml x 6

Ayala Champagne Brut Majeur NV France 750ml x 6

Ayala Champagne has a pale gold in color with a fine mousse, the Brut Majeur is aromatic on the nose. On the palate, it is well balanced and shows great style and complexity. Pinot Noir gives the wine richness and a long finish while Chardonnay, from the finest soils of the Côte des Blancs, adds delicacy, liveliness and freshness. Pinot Meunier, predominantly from the Marne Valley, gives the wine its appealing fruitiness and roundness. It should be aged no more than 2.5 years on the lees.After disgorgement, the Brut Majeur rests in the cellars for at least another 3 months.It has an alcohol 12%vol   acidity 4.6 g/l   ph 2.96 g/l dosage 8.5 g/l. In terms of food pairing....Delicious as an aperitif, Brut Majeur is also the perfect wine to serve throughout an entire meal. It pairs perfectly with seafood: terrines, scallops, lobster, crab and fish, especially salmon. Brut Majeur also goes extremely well with beef carpaccio, white meats, stews and white pudding (“boudin blanc”). Soft and mouldy cheeses such as Boursault, Coulommiers, Chaource, Brie and Brillat-Savarin are rich accompaniments. Fruit based desserts such as crumbles and tarts pair well with Brut Majeur as do desserts with almond paste and frangipane pastries such as the French “Galette des Rois”. CONSERVATION 2 to 3 years and its blend consists of Pinot Noir 45%, Chardonnay 35% and Pinot Meunier 20%. The origin of the crus’ excellent quality is a credit to its restrictive selection from the beginning. A blend of Pinot Noir from Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Louvois, Bouzy, Tours-sur-Marne, Verzy, Rilly. Chardonnay from Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cuis, Vertus & Rilly. Pinot Meunier from Venteuil, Cerseuil, St Martin d’Ablois, Chavot. The AYALA-blend has an extremely high average rating of 93% on the “échelle des crus” scale. 80% of this cuvée is made from the 2004 vintage; the remaining 20% are reserve wines (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay).





QTY:

$765.55


Ayala Champagne Zero Dosage NV  France 750ml x 6

Ayala Champagne Zero Dosage NV France 750ml x 6

Ayala Champagne “Zéro Dosage NV Brut is always the best expression of the elegance of a great Champagne House. AYALA takes every step to make it one of the finest champagnes. To show the exceptional quality of our Brut Majeur, AYALA has created, “Zéro Dosage”. Zero Dosage is exactly the same blend as our Brut Majeur but with absolutely no dosage: a quality wine expressed in its most pure style. The blend consists of Pinot Noir 45%, Chardonnay 35% and Pinot Meunier 20%. The origin of the crus are good indications of the quality of the wines by their restrictive selection. Pinot Noir from Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Louvois, Bouzy, Tours-sur-Marne, Verzy, Rilly. Chardonnay from Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cuis, Vertus and Rilly. Pinot Meunier from Venteuil, Cerseuil, St Martin d’Ablois, Chavot. The AYALA-blend has an extremely high average rating of 93% on the “échelle des crus” scale. Of this cuvée, 80% is made from the 2004 vintage, the remaining 20% are reserve wines (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay).

Ayala Champagne “Zéro Dosage is Pale gold in color with a fine mousse, the wine is extremely aromatic on the nose. On the palate, it is quite dry and shows great style and complexity. Pinot Noir gives the wine its richness and a long finish while Chardonnay, from the finest soils of the Côte des Blancs, adds delicacy, liveliness and freshness. Pinot Meunier, mainly from the Marne Valley, gives the wine an appealing fruitiness. Ideal ageing 2.5 years on the lees. The Zero Dosage rests in the cellar for 2 to 3 months after disgorgement. Its alcohol consists of 12%vol acidity 4.6g/l   ph 2.96g/l  dosage 0.0g/l

Ayala Champagne “Zéro Dosage is ideal as an aperitif, it pairs perfectly with seafood, caviar, scallops, lobster, crab, salmon; sushis and Asian food are also very good pairings. The Zero Dosage compliments soft and mouldy cheeses such as Boursault, Coulommiers, Chaource, Brie and Brillat-Savarin. Pairings with desserts include crumbles with red berries or figs, almond paste and frangipane pastries such as the French “Galette des Rois”. Zero Dosage can also be enjoyed after dinner with a cigar. And for ladies, it is also the perfect “diet champagne”!

 





QTY:

$798.55


Billecart Salmon Brut NV 750ml x 12

Billecart Salmon Brut NV 750ml x 12

Billecart Salmon Brut NV....Fresh, new black-label stock.Non-vintage French fizz does not get better than this. This stock has just arrived in the country ensuring these are crisp fresh bubbles further enhancing this great offer. Seriously, anyone in the market for Champagne, Billecart represents the best value buy.Near-clinical winemaking techniques, closer to the New World than traditional Champagne, produce a distinctive but extremely user-friendly wine style. Crystal clear lemon and ripe apple aromas are repeated on the crisp, almost crunchy, palate through to a long, translucent finish. James Halliday.The new packaging emanates from a Paris designer, and has been adopted across the Billecart range. It is a classic example of label change which gives brand managers a bad name. However the wine in the bottle is as good as ever, with perfect balance and poise, offering a seamless mix of ripe apple, brioche and a subliminal hint of honey, followed by a lingering finish.94 points & Halliday’s Top 100The Weekend Australian November 20-21, 2004





QTY:

$1171.45


Billecart Salmon Rose NV 750ml x 12

Billecart Salmon Rose NV 750ml x 12

Billecart Salmon Rose NV ...There are few pleasures in life better than Rose Champagne,a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier, the colour lives up to the name..





QTY:

$1750.79


Bollinger Cote Aux Enfants  Champagne 1999 Limited France 750ml x 3

Bollinger Cote Aux Enfants Champagne 1999 Limited France 750ml x 3

Bollinger Cote Aux Enfants Champagne comes from a small plot of 70 acres, located in the heart of the terroir of Aÿ one of champagne's Grands Crus. Exceptional for its exposure and the quality of its soil, it is exclusively planted with Pinot Noir. This vineyard is specifically cultivated, with a green harvest that reduces the yield down to 8,500kgs per hectare.At the harvest, the grapes are sorted 'à la clayette' and the harvest completely destemmed.

Only made from the 'jus de goutte', (Free-run juice), this is the first juice following the running-off of a tank after alcoholic fermentation. It is also called free-run wine. The wine macerates on its skins for 10 to 12 days. It is then aged for a maximum of two years, in 205 litre oak casks, which are three to five years old.Originally, Champagne was reputed for... its red wines. It is also said that it ousted the wines of Burgundy from the table of Henri IV. The most renowned were those of Aÿ and indeed it was usual for all red wines from Champagne to be reffered to as 'Vin d'Aÿ.

The red coteaux champenois (the denomination that describes still wines from Champagne) from Aÿ. 'La Côte aux Enfants', therefore constitutes a return to the origins of Champagne. It is only produced in exceptional years from a small plot, 'la Côte aux Enfants', ideally located in the heart of the terroir of Aÿ and planted with pinot noir.

It shows what could have been red wine from Champagne a few centuries ago at the time of their splendour.





QTY:

$2088.85


Bollinger La Grande Annee France 750ml x 6

Bollinger La Grande Annee France 750ml x 6

Bollinger La Grande Annee Gift Set is a blend of 65% pinot noir from Reims and 35% chardonnay from the Cotes des Blancs. The wines are first fermented in four year old oak barrels to enhance the aromatic complexity and allow gentle oxidation to increase the ageing capacity of the wine. The wines have at least five years on lees under cork before disgorgement.

This is a cracker of a wine, it’s layered and complex with freshly baked bread, lemon tart, apple pie, cinnamon, spice, toast and a whiff of smokiness. There is a comforting richness on the palate which is full of mineral laced citrus fruits, spice, chalk and herbal hints. It’s fresh, vivacious, displays harmony and a refreshing acidity on the lingering finish.





QTY:

$1500.00


Bollinger La Grande Annee Gift 1999 France 750ml x 6

Bollinger La Grande Annee Gift 1999 France 750ml x 6

Bollinger La Grande Annee France...Grande Annee, the name, signifies that Bollinger's vintage champagne is only released during 'great' years.The Grande Annee blend comes only from a particularly fine harvest. When such a harvest occurs the House selects its best wines, cru by cru and grape variety by grape variety - the key to the particular year. Each wine is individually fermented in oak casks prior to blending. On average, the blend is composed of 65% pinot noir and 35% chardonnay.The "Grande Annee" always ages for a minimum of five years in its bottle, magnum or jeroboam corked with a traditional cork.





QTY:

$1500.00


Bollinger La Grande Annee 1999 Jeroboam 3Litre x 1

Bollinger La Grande Annee 1999 Jeroboam 3Litre x 1

Bollinger La Grande Annee Magnum 3 Litre... This is a cracker of a wine, it’s layered and complex with freshly baked bread, lemon tart, apple pie, cinnamon, spice, toast and a whiff of smokiness. There is a comforting richness on the palate which is full of mineral laced citrus fruits, spice, chalk and herbal hints. It’s fresh, vivacious, displays harmony and a refreshing acidity on the lingering finish.The vintage began after a winter where temperatures plunged to -20 degrees Celcius yet the summer months were very hot. The Grand Annee is a blend of 65% pinot noir from Reims and 35% chardonnay from the Cotes des Blancs. The wines are first fermented in four year old oak barrels to enhance the aromatic complexity and allow gentle oxidation to increase the ageing capacity of the wine. The wines have at least five years on lees under cork before disgorgement.





QTY:

$1403.09


Bollinger Special Cuvee NV France 750ml x 6

Bollinger Special Cuvee NV France 750ml x 6

Bollinger Special Cuvee NV....Extremely fresh with an intense lime -lemon flavored palate the bubbles give a creamy texture and the yeast autolysis adds another dimension. The Special Cuvée is the purest expression of the Bollinger style; of its craftsmanship and its singular conception of what champagne should be. It is, therefore, on this wine that the House of Bollinger shows how it is different from other Champagne Houses, asserts its qualitative policy and by which it asks to be judged. Whether or not you particularly like the unmistakeable Bollinger style, you have to respect it. Pinot noir (60 per cent) and pinot meunier (15 per cent) drive the wine, augmented by fermentation in old oak barrels. The result is a complex spicy, bready, toasty, baked apple bouquet, the palate complete and round, with an unexpected touch of delicacy, and a pleasing, dry finish. Rating: 94 out of 100, James Halliday Pale golden in colour with yeasty aromas on the nose. Very dry but with toasty flavours in the mouth. Round and richly flavoured, full bodied and mature, with perfect balance between firmness and freshness, length equal to its richness, and with a persistent fine bead. In champagne terms, this is the definitive "masculine" style. The high percentage of pinot noir ensures a full-bodied, rich style and the addition of 5 to 10% reserve wines (each aged up to fifteen years) give complexity and depth. Yeast on the nose, dry and toasty in the mouth, with great length and perfect balance.





QTY:

$988.68


Bollinger Special Cuvee Gift NV France 750ml x 6

Bollinger Special Cuvee Gift NV France 750ml x 6

Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut Gift NV France.....Pale golden in colour with yeasty aromas on the nose. Very dry but with toasty flavours in the mouth. Round and richly flavoured, full bodied and mature, with perfect balance between firmness and freshness, length equal to its richness, and with a persistent fine bead. In champagne terms, this is the definitive "masculine" style. The high percentage of pinot noir ensures a full-bodied, rich style and the addition of 5 to 10% reserve wines (each aged up to fifteen years) give complexity and depth. Yeast on the nose, dry and toasty in the mouth, with great length and perfect balance.





QTY:

$878.68


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