Recently Second Helping got the chance to sit down with Florent Roques Boizel, a sixth generation family member of one of the oldest luxury Champagne houses, for a tête á tête whilst tasting the wines they have officially launched in Australia. Before talking about the wine itself and the charming Monsieur Boizel, let’s have a refresher course in Champagne.
The basics of bubbly.
- Champagne can only come from Champagne, France. Spain has Cava, in Italy you’ll find Spumante and Prosecco, and in the new world wine regions (Australia, California, New Zealand and so on) you’ll get sparkling wine.
- The two main towns for Champagne production in the region are Reims and Epernay and together are the centre of the Champagne world. All major Champagne Houses are headquartered at one or the other.
- More than 75% of the bubbly that is drunk comes from the big Champagne Houses. They buy rather than grow their grapes through long term contracts with independent growers in the Champagne villages. Their special talent lies in the crafting of cuvees with a timeless style that is unique to the House in question. Every cuvee – or blend – draws on the strengths of particular grape varieties, vineyards and vintages.
- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier are the three main varietals used in Champagne. Rosé Champagne is usually made by leaving the pinot noir juice in contact with the grape skins just long enough to turn pink.
- The amount of residual sugar determines the wine’s category of sweetness. Ranging from demi-sec (“half-dry,” which is actually quite sweet) with 33-55 grams of residual sugar per litre, through to extra-brut (“very dry”) at less than 6 grams of residual sugar per litre.
- Vintage Champagne is named for a specific year that the grapes were harvested, on the premise that in that year they were of extraordinary quality and could produce Champagne by themselves without being blended with wine from previous years.
Thanks to its terroir, which represents its climate, its chalky soil, and hilly lands, the Champagne region of France has made quite a name for itself. It is associated with haute bourgeoisie, romance, and celebration. There clearly is no wine more evocative than Champagne, the king of sparking wine.
Positioned on the prestigious Ave De Champagne, Champagne Boizel is the story of one family, over five generations and their inextricable link to their vineyards in the heart of the Épernay region of Champagne. Founded in 1834, Boizel is reputed for producing wines that are delicate, complex and a true expression of the Champagne region and its grandeur.
Boizel has launched in Australia with its most famous and popular Champagne, thought of as the ambassador of the house and the true expression of its savoir faire and skill – the Brut Réserve, a cuvée obtained by a precise blend of three Champagne grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It has an RRP of $99.
Straw gold with tiny bubbles, the expressive fresh nose opens on white flower aromas and is followed by an elegant fruity ambiance with notes of white peach, apricot and hints of citrus fruits. In the mouth, the texture is seductive, fresh and well balanced.
Three other wines from its collection have been released in Australia, including a rosé, the Grand Vintage 2004 and the Joyau de France 2002.