Popping Corks with the Champagne Guys
It’s an exciting time of year. For those who don’t know, I’m in the process of launching something big in the wine world – due to hit the market in around June 2016. So after a day of hopping from accountant to wine tasting, it was lovely to round-up business with a drop of bubbly with the Champagne Guys in the Tasting Room on Green Street in central Bath.
The Champagne Guys, who started as bloggers, are true sparkling enthusiasts. Presenting a free tasting of wonderful Champagnes upstairs in the atmospheric surroundings of the tasting bar, alongside a selection of nibbles, cheese and strawberries, it was hardly surprising to see the venue buzzing with winelovers.
Nicholas and Carlos, the duo behind the brand, started me off on their Salmon 100% Meunier NV. I always find Pinot Meunier an interesting grape. It creates wilder, more characterful wines, and it was nice to see it balanced with lees ageing in the NV house blend to create a complex, biscuity wine with green pear and citrus fruit. Alexandre Salmon, the winemaker, calls it a champagne ‘for every moment’. I think it would be stunning with posh fish n’ chips.
In reflection the rosé sparkling from Salmon – also 100% Meunier – was pretty similar in character to its white sibling. A little more bitterness from its colour, showing more grapefruit notes, and a real vivid pinkness to its colour. There’s a charm in pink bubbly you just don’t get in the “ordinary stuff”.
Champagne Guys: The drama of sabrage
While I enjoyed the Guy Charbaut Blanc de Noirs, a 2009 vintage Champagne with really elegant red fruits and a salted caramel nose, the real star for me was the Lasseaux Blanc de Blancs 2010. Coming in a strangely medieval-esque bottle with a real greeny yellow colour, I didn’t expect huge things, but I was intrigued. Having now tried it, I have to say it’s a very good Blanc de Blancs. Buttery from its lees, plenty of fresh grapefruit, citrus notes, creamy peach and a beautiful length, it’s one of those Champagnes to kick back, sip and while away the afternoon hours.
You’ve got to give credit to Nicholas and Carlos. It takes some guts to enter the Champagne market and fight your corner. But with great wines like this, they’re off to a bloody good start.
Have you booked yet?
Join Ben and guests at Barton Street Wine Bar on Thursday 5 May to taste fine Italian wine and artisan cheese. Only 4 places left! Book now.