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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Average Review Score: 4.9
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The Finest Bubble Tasting: The Many Styles of Non-Vintage - 25/05/2023

Description & Technical Information
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Thursday 25th May 2023 | 18:45-20:30
Presenter: Nick BakerChampagne Glass 3
Location: The Finest Bubble HQ, 11 Shillingford Street, Islington, N1 2DP
Places are limited to 14 people

18:45 Arrival for aperitif
19:00 Sit down to begin tasting
20:30 Finish tasting

This champagne tasting experience will introduce guests to different styles of non-vintage champagne, highlighting the nuanced characteristics unique to each. Eight champagnes will be tasted in total, across various styles. The experience will be an informal sit-down tutored tasting, taking place at The Finest Bubble HQ in Islington.Champagne Glass 3
Guests will be able to taste, ask questions and expand their knowledge of champagne and hopefully broaden their list of favourites. The tasting will be presented by The Finest Bubble's Nick Baker.

Champagne to be tasted:

Henriot Brut Souverain NV - £38.00

Palmer & Co Brut Reserve NV - £40.00

Taittinger Brut Reserve NV - £44.00Champagne Glass 1

Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV - £50.00

Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV - £50.00

Leclerc Briant Brut Reserve NV - £48.00

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve | Base 2017 NV - £48.00

Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut NV - £52.00

Nick Baker - The founder of The Finest Bubble, Nick has worked in the wine industry since leaving university in 1989, starting in selling and eventually moving onto marketing. He spent a year working with MMD and Louis Roederer before getting the taste for California and heading to Sonoma County for a few years. He set up TFB in 2014, testing the concept of same day delivery in London for Champagne. The website grew quickly and the service is now even more focused: delivering to London within two hours from a range of 600+ Champagnes and English sparkling wines. Nick spends time each year in Reims and Épernay researching new producers and future releases, writing up the news on TFB.

The Finest Bubble Tasting: The Many Styles of Non-Vintage
Expert Reviews
92/100
Essi Avellan MW
“Henriot Brut Souverain NV - Representing a snapshot of the Henriot grape sourcing, the core of this broad blend is in Côte des Blancs Chardonnay, with Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims supporting and Meunier playing a minor role (5%). There's a lovely complexity building up already on the nose: coffee-laden toastiness alongside sweet fruity notes, even of the tropical kind. Yellow apple, yellow plums and lemon juice. The intense palate is bursting with pristine fruit, the silky-smooth palate refreshed by perky acidity. Long, lingering finish of deliciousness. Dosage <8g/l”
91/100
Antonio Galloni
“Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Cuis 1er Cru NV - The NV Blanc de Blancs Cuis 1er Cru is such a classic Gimonnet wine. Light on its feet and gracious, with soaring aromatics and tons of nuance, the 1er Cru is a winner. Bright floral overtones, citrus, brioche and apple are some of the many notes that are delineated in the glass. Among the entry-level wines in this range, the Cuis 1er Cru offers the best expression of the Gimonnet style at an affordable price. I loved it. Disgorged: March 16, 2019.”
92/100
Essi Avellan MW
“Palmer & Co Brut Reserve NV - With the lion's share of Palmer's 350 growers' vineyards being located on the Montagne de Reims, its fruit forms the core of this broad blend. The rest of the grapes come from Côte de Sézanne and Côte des Bar. Bright lemon in colour, with some depth. The overall note is charmingly, sweetly fruity, with an impeccable ground coffee tone adding layers. A complex mix of yellow and red fruit, but there is also a dark spiciness giving an element of interest. The palate is generous, with an age-mellowed velvety texture. However, the overall feeling remains light due to a super-stylish acid line. A remarkable-value non-vintage in an age-complexed, radiantly fruity and luxuriously toasty style. Dosage 7g/l”
91/100
Essi Avellan MW
“Taittinger Brut Reserve NV - This lightly Chardonnay-driven blend benefits from some 30% of reserve wines from the previous two harvests. Pale lemon-green colour. The lovely, fragrant sweetly fruity nose has ripe pear, crunchy red apple and zingy lemon. The palate is light and refreshing, but with a lovely fruit purity and intensity. Lingering silky palate and classy, creamy mousse. There is a lovely easiness and quaffing character to this. Dosage 9g/l”
17.5/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“Leclerc Briant Brut Reserve NV - Based on the 2017 vintage. Disgorged in August 2021. Dosage 4.54 g/l. Very deep copper colour. A really glorious array of wild, floral aromas. Hugely distinctive and the opposite of formulaic with a tiny little bead. Mouth-filling. Tingly on the (dry) finish. So amazingly long with some lemon notes on the end! This is superior champagne that I would recommend to any serious champagne lover. So full of life!”
90/100
William Kelley
“Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV - Based on the 2018 vintage, Billecart's newly released NV Brut Réserve incorporates fully 53% reserve wines, up from just over a third in the past, and incorporates the usual 40% Pinot Meunier in the blend. Offering up attractive aromas of citrus zest, green apple and freshly baked bread, it's medium to full-bodied, fleshy and charming, with a demonstrative core of fruit and a pretty pinpoint mousse, concluding with a saline finish.”
18/20
Julia Harding MW
“Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve - Based on the 2016 vintage. 40% Pinot Noir, 19% Pinot Meunier, 41% Chardonnay. Dosage 10 g/l. This is the first MEC that has some oak influence: 6% barrel-aged for texture. 46% reserve wine, the oldest is Cramant 1996. Average age of reserve wines is 10 years. Disgorged January 2020 and the first vintage to be bottled using the jetting technique and Diam Mytik closure. Full malo as on all these wines, though current winemaker Cyril Brun is keeping some no-malo reserve wines as a weapon against climate change.
Subtle lemony nose. Stony, too, with the merest hint of white blossom, holds up really well in the glass. The smoky, reductive character is very slight but highlights the mineral/stony aspect. The citrus fruit and peel are ripe but there is masses of tension. The mousse is fine and gentle and also lasts really well in the glass. Becomes a little more toasty with air. Deep yet extremely refined, pulling in to a precise finish.”
92/100
William Kelley
“Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV - The current release of Pol Roger's NV Brut Réserve is quite dramatic, bursting with aromas of mandarin oil, honeycomb, elderflower, fresh bread and musky peach. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, it's generous and textural, with a rich core of fruit, lively acids and a pillowy mousse.”
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