You Gotta Love New Champagnes

By / Wine + Drinks / March 19th, 2014 / 3

One of the great things about my job is meeting new producers and tasting their wines … none more exciting that a producer of sparkling wine, or Champagne.

Sparkling wine is a funny thing, people flock to it like flies to … well you know … and even if you know nothing about wine it’s seems ingrained in most people that you should start with bubbly before you taste anything else.

The thing about meeting a Champagne producer is that they have probably been around forever; they’re just now getting around to our shores.  Take for example my most recent tasting with Gilles Dumangin, of Dumangin J. Fils, who have been around since 1884 and who have been growers for 5 generations.  Their vineyards are primarily Pinot Meunier, which seem to go against the Pinot/Chardonnay mold we think of when we think of Champagne.

Having tasted the entire line coming into Canada I can tell you these two were my favourites and worth searching out where and when you can.

Dumangin Le Rosé 1er Cru ($57.60) – Champagne, Franc

Odd to meet a producer whose production is 50% rosé, but after tasting this one I was not surprised.  So delicate with raspberry, lemon and great acidity it’s no wonder this is their “signature wine”.  Worth tasting once … and then buying some for any special occasion that comes along.

Dumangin 2004 Le Vintage ($79.90) – Champagne, France

9 years in bottle seems a long time but when the wine comes out like this you want them to all be like this.  2004 is considered a “great year” and this wine shows a complexity of biscuit/brioche yet still with enough citrus zest to keep it fresh and lively.  Truly decadent.

For more wine suggestions, see our other #WineWednesday posts.

Michael is an award-winning journalist: Promoting the Promoters Award Cuvée 2010 and Ontario Wine Awards Journalist of the Year 2012.  He is also a national and international wine judge - Ontario Wine Awards, All Canadian Wine Championships; Best of Riesling — Germany; Essencia do Vinho — "Top Wines of Portugal".  He is currently the President of the Wine Writers Circle of Canada and the wine columnist for Ottawa Life and Grand magazine as well as regular contributor to Tidings, and Grapevine ... his reviews have also appeared in the LCBO Vintages magazine. Michael has also added a YouTube channel to his activities where he reviews bottles of great Ontario wine on a weekly basis. In whatever he does, it is Michael’s desire to educate, inspire and encourage others to grow their own love and enthusiasm for wine – and to realize that it is their palate that ultimately makes the decision.

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