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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > Champagne NV

Winner Details

Champagne: NV

2019  GOLD: 7             SILVER: 12       BRONZE: 7     COMMENDED: 23
2018  GOLD: 4             SILVER: 11       BRONZE: 9       COMMENDED: 12

Twelve months ago we were starting to pen obituaries for non-vintage champagne after two underwhelming years on the trot in the Sommelier Wine Awards. Did the Champenois still see the UK on-trade as important, we wondered? Was the quality still there?

Well, we doom-mongers were too hasty. This year Champagne came roaring back, with a fine performance across the board, but particularly in non-vintage. We found a string of high quality NVs throughout, allowing us to put together a beautifully laddered Gold List, backed up by a vast number of high quality Silvers sub-£25. There were a lot of really good wines here (not least Castelnau, which was our best-priced Gold for the second year running). On this evidence the core of the region’s offering is in great shape.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘They all showed really well. There’s a lot of opportunity within non-vintage champagne. There’s a clear difference between vintage and non-vintage champagnes – the level of brioche, depth and elegance.’ Jim Bass, Scarlet Hotel

‘A good spread cost-wise with a good variety of styles. What really came out was the skill of the blending.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘NV has lost out to prosecco in the North-East. With us, the main seller is prosecco, then vintage champagne – then NV.’ Daniel Jonberger, Rockliffe Hall

‘It’s worth having ultra-dry on a list as a distinct category, as a point of difference, and it’s useful to be able to identify the dosage levels so that people can pair them with the right food.’ Antoin UaRuairc, UK Midland Sommelier

‘Some were doing funkier stuff – a bit oxidative, bruised apple, not totally clean, but it brings flavour, it brings texture and could be interesting with food.’ Laurent Richet, team leader

‘We saw two main styles: the crisper, and then the bolder style. The crisper style is the one people think they like – but actually they’d go for the bolder, more fruit and a tiny bit more RS.’ Tobias Gorn, Boisdale Restaurant

Award winners

Found 49 wines

Sparkling: Champagne – NV

Cour Des Lys, Premier Delice, Blanc de Noirs NV, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

An impressed team of judges elevated this to Gold, with Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants remarking on its ‘bready notes, with some nice complexity, and signs of autolysis’, while team leader Tom Forrest praised its ‘smoky, mineral and toasty aromas, with red fruit, lemon and cooking apple, too’. ‘Lemon verbena, cooked ginger and red apple, as well as some salty notes’ made it the perfect partner for oysters and caviar for team leader Jan Konetzki.

£36.02 Cour Des Lys

Charles Heidsieck, Blanc de Blancs NV, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

‘Excellent winemaking’ was team leader Martin Lam’s first impression of this Gold medallist, speaking highly of its ‘floral and brioche notes’ and describing it as ‘a complex, rich style, and very vinous’. Rockliffe Hall’s Daniel Jonberger, meanwhile, encountered ‘apricot, pear and a touch of musk on the nose, leading to touches of pear and elderflower on the palate, with a supple finish’, and Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn succinctly described ‘beautiful elegance’.

£48.60 Liberty Wines

Angel, Brut NV NV, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

Judges were generous in their praise of this Gold winner, with Hakkasan’s Elena Serban admiring its ‘complex and intense nose, with stone fruit, some nuttiness and toast’, before going on to describe ‘an elegant, long-lasting palate, with good balance of acidity – a wine that can definitely age and develop’. Street XO’s Raphael Thierry spoke highly of its ‘creamy texture, with minerality and a nutty, savoury complexity’, before concluding that it was ‘elegant yet refreshing, with a complex, long finish’. Please contact the winery for further information.

£75.13 Angel Champagne

Laurent-Perrier, La Cuvée, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

‘Elegant, sophisticated and punchy,’ began Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine in praise of this Gold Lister, finding ‘a complex nose with apples and pears complemented by warm citrus and balanced by salinity, with earthy but delicate flavours, good length and perfect dosage’. Impressed team leader Laurent Richet MS described it as ‘a well-crafted, rich wine, with a hint of pastry and biscuit, golden apple, and a chalkiness, too’.

£41.50 Bibendum

Laurent-Perrier, Grand Siècle NV, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

This striking addition to the Gold List was praised by The Gilbert Scott’s Juan Manuel Marcos Perez for its ‘complex layers and good integration of fruit, along with some green walnuts and herbal notes’, while The River Cafe’s Mattia Mazzi was struck by its ‘complex, aged brioche notes, with tarte tatin, almonds and candied lemon peel’. Team leader Martin Lam thought it ‘very nutty, with subtle floral notes and good citrus attack – a fresh and balanced wine’.

£146.15 Bibendum

Taittinger, Brut Réserve NV, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

For The Gilbert Scott’s Juan Manuel Marcos Perez this earned its Gold medal with ‘floral notes of acacia and iris, combined with some peaches and nectarines, orange peel and a biscuit, cereal note’, while team leader Lionel Periner enjoyed its ‘green apple and a hint of pear, leading to a dry palate with good structure, and more ripe pear flavours’. Fellow team leader Martin Lam added praise for its ‘good citrus balance and taut finish’.

£27.59 Hatch Mansfield, Matthew Clark

Castelnau, Brut Réserve NV, Champagne, France

Gold medal winner

As judges awarded this champagne a well-deserved Gold medal, James Fryer of Woodhead 17 was impressed by ‘green apple skin on the nose, leading to some nuttiness on the palate, along with taut acidity and Granny Smith notes, leading to a slightly oxidative character on the finish’, while team leader Jan Konetzki enjoyed its ‘lemon yoghurt and white almond notes, as well as some sea salt, with fine, creamy perlage’.

£25.49 Castelnau Wine Agencies

Palmer & Co, Blanc de Blancs NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘Prickly white peach and green apple on the nose’ was followed by ‘crisp malic acidity, some brown pear and the slightest bread note’, according to Woodhead 17’s James Fryer, while team leader Carlos Ferreira concluded that this was ‘a very well-balanced champagne’.

£36.13 Bibendum

Duménil, Grande Reserve Brut NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

Rockliffe Hall’s Daniel Jonberger described notes of ‘peach and fresh grass, with a light touch of oak in the background’. ‘Minty, with some ripe stone fruits and apple notes – a good aperitif wine,’ said Tomasz Kuszneruk of Pavilion Wine.

£22.93 Davy's Wine Merchants

Devaux, Cuvée D NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘Complex, elegant and balanced’, thought Hakkasan’s Elena Serban, who described ‘stone fruit and a nutty character, as well as some elderflower, and a salty, mineral note, too’. ‘Bright, with an apple-core finish,’ concluded team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£32.50 Liberty Wines

Devaux, Ultra D NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

Antoin UaRuairc of UK Midland Sommelier noted some ‘brioche on the nose, along with green-skinned fruit, leading to a lively mousse and a long aftertaste’. ‘Mineral, crisp and dry, with green apple and stony minerality,’ added team leader Tom Forrest.

£33.90 Liberty Wines

Drappier, 1er Cru NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘A fleshy, mushroom nose, leading to a palate that’s elegant and intense, with strong citrus and tart strawberry notes, with some very good tension and chalkiness, and a clean finish,’ described Mattia Mazzi of The River Cafe.

£25.35 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Palmer & Co, Brut Reserve NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

The Royal Automobile Club’s Michael Fiducia described ‘lifted aromas of stone fruit cobbler, along with some balanced freshness, depth and length’, while team leader Martin Lam appreciated its ‘floral, creamy notes, with a biscuity edge, and a generous, citrus palate’.

£25.64 Bibendum

Duval-Leroy, Pur Chardonnay, Blanc de Blancs NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘Yeast aromas lead to a complex palate that gives both green fruit and a touch of biscuit, leading to a long finish,’ said Daniel Jonberger of Rockliffe Hall, while The Royal Automobile Club’s Michael Fiducia liked its ‘honeysuckle nuances and some added citrus-peel freshness on the palate’.

£28.06 Amathus

Lanson, Paul Drouet, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘Honey, stone fruit and autolytic notes on the nose, with golden fruit and guava on the palate, as well as some broad acidity and a breadiness, too,’ said James Fryer of Woodhead 17. ‘An easy-drinking champagne, and well balanced, with creaminess and good acidity,’ added Clément Loubeyre of The Cross Kenilworth.

£18.09 Majestic Commercial

Collet, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘A dry, savoury wine that’s smooth on the palate, with some vanilla and lime peel notes,’ said Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair, while The River Cafe’s Mattia Mazzi described it as having ‘weight, balanced by zingy acidity’.

£25.70 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Alfred Gratien, Brut Classique NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘Singing fruit and delicate brioche notes on the nose, followed by a balanced, creamy, rich palate with fine bubbles,’ said Scarlet Hotel’s Jim Bass, while team leader Carlos Ferreira thought it would be ‘perfect for cured salmon with avocado’.

£31.88 Enotria&Coe

Lallier, Grande Réserve, Grand Cru, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘Elegant, balanced and juicy, with hints of golden apple and pineapple,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, while The Glasshouse’s Adam Michocki described ‘ripe lemon, yellow grapefruit and pomelo notes, as well as a chalky, saline palate – a food-friendly wine’.

£22.00 Boutinot

JM Gobillard, Baron de Marck, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Silver medal winner

‘Rounded, citrus and creamy, with a nice brioche feel,’ said team leader Martin Lam, while Daniel Jonberger of Rockliffe Hall described notes of ‘green apples and lime, leading to a dry palate, with fresh pear notes’.

£21.85 Enotria&Coe

Gardet, Brut Reserve NV, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

This showed ‘very good balance, with apple jam and toasted bread on the nose, leading to some citrus fruit and pineapple on the palate’, according to team leader Carlos Ferreira.

£22.08 Alexander Wines, House of Townend, Connolly's Wine Merchants

Charles Heidsieck, Brut Réserve NV, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Warm digestive biscuit and lightly caramelised peaches lead to a fresh, warmingly rich palate, with good length and a mineral finish,’ said Michael Fiducia of The Royal Automobile Club.

£34.20 Liberty Wines

Duménil, Amour de Cuvée, Blanc de Noirs, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Juicy apple and orange zest, along with some lemon curd and white flowers on a delicate palate,’ said team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£31.10 Davy's Wine Merchants

Serge Mathieu, Brut Cuvée Prestige NV, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Elegant, with some good lemon and floral aromas, and a hint of nuttiness, followed by a palate that’s dry, with good balance of acidity and flavour, and a great finish,’ said team leader Lionel Periner.

£32.50 Bibendum

Veuve Clicquot, Yellow Label NV, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Some oak on the nose, along with red apple, lemon and bread notes, leading to a dry palate with some big acidity’ was how team leader Carlos Ferreira summed up this champagne.

£47.08 Matthew Clark

Taittinger, Nocturne, Sec NV, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Fresh yet elegant, this has lovely balance of flavours, with baked apple and toffee notes,’ said The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones. Team leader Tom Forrest described ‘light, sweet notes of honeyed apple, some minerality, and a bit of caramel, too’.

£27.59 Hatch Mansfield, Matthew Clark

Irroy, Carte d'Or, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Bronze medal winner

‘A pretty wine, with delicate fruit, some honeysuckle and fine bubbles on a refreshing, clean palate with good citrus and a slight sweetness – great value,’ said Scarlet Hotel’s Jim Bass.

£20.63 Hatch Mansfield

Gremillet, Sélection, Brut NV, Champagne , France

Commended medal winner

Alexandre Bonnet, Noir, Extra Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£30.44 Matthew Clark

Joseph Perrier, Cuvée Royale, Blanc de Blancs NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

Gardet, Blanc de Noirs, Brut Premier Cru, NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

Le Chapitre, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£23.75 Wine Source UK

Deutz, Extra Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£34.00 González Byass

Forget-Chemin, Carte Blanche NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

Duval-Leroy, Brut Réserve NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£25.68 Amathus

Drappier, Brut Nature, Zéro Dosage NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

Gremillet, Blanc De Noirs, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

Guy Laforge, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£18.95 Boutinot

Duval-Leroy, Brut Organic NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£31.22 Amathus

André Jacquart, Expérience, Premier Cru, Blanc de Blancs NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£30.43 Top Selection

Joseph Perrier, Cuvée Royale, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

Janisson, Blanc de Noirs, Grand Cru NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

Lacourte-Godbillon, Mi Pentes, Premier Cru NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£32.09 Bibendum

Lacourte-Godbillon, Terroirs d'Ecueil, Premier Cru, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£27.88 Bibendum

Castelnau, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

JM Gobillard, Grande Réserve Premier Cru, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£28.26 Enotria&Coe

JM Gobillard, Tradition, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£26.63 Enotria&Coe

Alexandre Bonnet, Blanc de Noirs NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

£27.02 Matthew Clark

Taittinger, Prélude, Grands Crus, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

Taittinger, Les Folies de la Marquetterie, Brut NV, Champagne, France

Commended medal winner

 

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