Monday, December 7, 2015

Champagne - Not Just for New Year’s Eve

Champagne has long been the go-to for celebrations – the bubbles, the sense of occasion, even the pop of the cork. But a not-so-well-kept secret amongst wine professionals is that Champagne is also a food wine par excellence. A quick Google search reveals wine writers touting sparkling wine as an ideal match with macaroni and cheese, pumpkin pancakes, or steak.

Langdon Shiverick is proud to represent two Champagne producers who are part of the movement towards smaller, estate-grown wines that has become fashionable in the region. As opposed to large houses that purchase most of their fruit, grower producers have a greater degree of control over their fruit and the resulting wine more fully expresses the variation between vintages.

Founded in 1968 in the southerly village of Allemant in the heart of the Cotes des Blancs, Champagne Bernard Rémy debuted on the domestic market in France in the early 70’s to excellent reviews. With time and success comes expansion, and in 1983, Rémy built his own winery on premise to facilitate the purchase of more hectares of vine in other areas in Champagne. Now, 50 years after its inception, Rémy holds no less than 11 hectares under vine in prime parcels of Champagne, including Grand Cru areas. The sophistication of the wines and approachable price points highlight Champagne Bernard Rémy’s persistent quest for perfection in each aspect of their product.

New to our portfolio, Laforge-Testa was founded in 1900 by Emile and Léone Laforge. Originally, the winery was a supplier for Moët Chandon, however, after World War One, Emile and other local winegrowers collaborated to found a local union for the production of Champagne in the Marne Valley and Laforge-Testa was born. So strong are their ties to the union that they still ferment and partially age their wines in the co-op, though the grapes for their bottlings are kept separate from the other growers’ production. The family has long supported the growing of Chardonnay in the Marne Valley, a part of Champagne more famed for its Pinot Meunier, and currently Chardonnay vineyards make up 40% of the winery’s holdings. Today, Larforge-Testa is run by the fourth generation of the family and continues to provide estate-grown Champagne at an excellent value.

Enjoy Champagne through the rest of this holiday season and to toast the New Year. Then continue the good times into 2016 with bubbles making a regular appearance as an aperiftif, with dinner, or even at brunch!

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