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Christopher Piper Wines
1 Silver Street, Ottery St Mary EX11 1DB, Devon

Tel: (01404) 814139
Fax: (01404) 812100

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Closed Bank Holiday Monday Mon-Fri 0900-1300,1400-1730 Sat 0900-1300,1430-1630

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Champagne

Jean-Michel Gremillet, BALNOT-SUR-LAIGNES, AUBE

Jean-Michel Gremillet's 'grower's Champagne' continues to be extremely well written-up in press reviews but, more importantly, has won over an increasingly large band of supporters in the past fifteen years. These are extremely elegant wines that have undergone a surprisingly long bottle-ageing process that gives them a roundness not often found at this level. The Gremillet family own some prime-site vineyards in the Aube département and their impeccable cellars are situated in the village of Balnot-sur-Laignes, about 50km. to the south-east of Troyes. The Brut Réserve has a firm structure with a lovely soft, toasty fruit and pale straw colour, whilst the Cuvée des Dames Chardonnay has a very fine 'bead' and creamy fresh fruit with a classic bouquet of 'pain-grillé'.

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Veuve Fourny, VERTUS

Madame Fourny and her sons, Emmanuel and Charles-Henry, own 5.5 hectares of 1er Cru vineyards in the Côte de Blancs, practising a mixture of organic and biodynamic viticulture, also pruning very short to restrict their yields. The average age of the vines is thirty years and their chalk-based vineyards are planted with 100% Chardonnay. Only the first pressing (cuvée) is used, all subsequent pressings being discarded. The wines see a minimum of three years ageing prior to disgorgement and a further six months "on the cork". This non-vintage Blanc de Blancs is full, rich and creamy whilst maintaining great elegance and style.

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Pol Roger, EPERNAY

We have been great fans of the champagnes of Pol Roger for many years but, since the 1990's, felt that some of this great house's 'edge' was beginning to look somewhat lacklustre and that they were trading on their previous reputation rather than on their current quality. However, for the past five or six years, there has been a radical change in direction and quality. Pol Roger is one of the few remaining family-owned Champagne houses and the de Billy and Pol Roger families are still very much involved in selection of the final blends. A great deal of this great house's current success is largely down to the discreet work of their new president Patrice Noyelle, along with the brilliant new 'chef de cave', Dominique Petit. These two new arrivals have embarked on a major investment programme which involves Pol Roger holding stocks that are equivalent to five years normal sales but also has resulted in an intriguing mix of traditional and hyper-modern techniques in the wine-making process. They are one of the last major houses to use manual 'rémuage' (rather than gyro-palettes) but they are also pioneers of the advanced technique of 'debourbage à froid' - a state-of-the-art technique for clarifying the must contributes an extra dimension of the purity of flavour in the cuvées. More recently, Dominique Petit has designed and has had built a brand new vinification cellar which incorporates the latest technology and has helped lift the overall quality of the initial wines, prior to secondary fermentation. We feel that another key factor in Pol Roger's overall quality is their unique cellars which are the coolest and deepest of those to be found in Epernay. With a regular temperature of 9.5°C, their cellars are about 1.5°C colder than any others in Champagne. This must have the effect of slowing down the secondary fermentation and maturation process, resulting in a champagne of greater finesse and purity.

With ownership of over one hundred hectares of vineyards, Pol Roger is able to provide itself with about half of its annual purchasing needs. Crucially, these holdings are largely in exceptionally high-quality sites including the Côteaux d'Epernay, the Côte des Blancs (and especially on the Cramant hillsides), Mareuil, and Ambonnay. The harvest generally brings in a third each of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay and this 'assemblage' is reflected in Pol Roger's classical non-vintage and vintage blends. The Brut Reserve White Foil Non Vintage has made exceptional progress over the past five years and is wonderfully seductive, incorporating a purity of aromatic freshness with overtones of citrus zest and freshly-picked flowers. The Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay is creamy, textured and unctuous and is best enjoyed in its youth, when initially released, as it looses some of its charm when aged. We were particularly taken with the vintage Rosé which has an exuberant nose of raspberries, peaches and strawberries followed by a pervasive, yet beautifully balanced fruitiness. The Brut Vintage is widely regarded as their finest wine with a finely chiselled body and long, lingering finish. It has amazing complexity with its figs and lime attack and rouded, mouth-filling creaminess. Cuvée Winston Churchill is a homage to the great man and its total class and ability to age fits its name perfectly. It is a very fine champagne which is up there with the very best 'luxury cuvées'.

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Bollinger, AY

One of our favourite Champagne 'houses' which specialises in Pinot-dominated wines which exhibit considerable complexity. The Special Cuvée (60% Pinot Noir/15% Pinot Meunier/25% Chardonnay) has 50% barrel-fermented wine in the final blend which is the ultimate reason for such overall complexity. The Grande Année (60% Pinot Noir/ 40% Chardonnay) is one of the most 'classic' vintage Champagnes with considerable silky fruit and a genuine balance. RD (Récemment Dégorgé) has the same grape-mix as the Grande Année and is designated for wines that have been disgorged several years after their initial release. This means that the Champagne is aged for ten years, or more, on its yeast, giving a remarkable toasty/ fruity maturity with exceptional floral aromas. The 1990 RD is one of the finest wines they have ever produced and available only in very small quantities.

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Mot & Chandon - EPERNAY

Some people think that the first Moët was a Dutchman called Le Clerc who got very excited when the English tried to prevent Charles VII from entering his city. This 15th century firebrand led the mob at Rémois shouting 'Het moët zoo zijn' ('It must be so') and was known as Monsieur Moët ever afterward. More likely, though less romantic, is that Claude Moët established the company in 1743 after spending 27 years dealing in wines from the Champagne district. Today the house of Moët & Chandon is owned by the luxury goods company LVMH and makes around 2 million cases of champagne.

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Laurent Perrier - TOURS SUR MARNE

The house of Laurent Perrier dates back to the early 19th century when the Laurent family sold up their cooper's business and moved into the remains of an 11th century abbey at Tours-sur-Marne from where they sold their own Champagne. The son of the family, Eugene, married Mathilde Perrier and on his death in 1887 she renamed the firm Veuve Laurent-Perrier. She, however, died heirless and the company was purchased by Marie-Louise de Nonancourt, the sister of that other Champsgne name, Henri Lanson. But it was not until after the Second World War (during which Madame Nonancourt walled up the entire stock so well that the occupying forces never found out) that Laurent Perrier made a claim for fame. At that time the house was ranked a mere 98th among Champagne producers but Bernard de Nonancourt has raised the company so that now it is one of the top Champagne producers.

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Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin - REIMS

The remarkable Madame Clicquot (1777-1866) is often considered the first businesswoman of the modern era. Born Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin, she was widowed in 1805 at the age of 27. Veuve Clicquot ( Veuve means widow in French) defied every convention of the day to take the helm of her late husband's small Champagne house. She enlisted help wisely, took astute risks and made important technological innovations (including the invention of remuage or riddling), leading the House to world renown. One of her most significant triumphs was sending a secret shipment of her Champagne to Russia in 1814 in defiance of Napoleon's blockade--a great success. Today the House of Veuve Clicquot is among the most prestigious Champagne firms. Its extensive vineyard holdings, many originally purchased by Madame Clicquot, stretch throughout the top-rated areas of the Champagne region and are unparalleled in size and quality. As in Mme. Clicquot's day, bottles age in the House's vast, vaulted cellars in Reims, portions of which were constructed some 2,000 years ago by the Romans.

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Krug, REIMS

One of the reasons that this 'boutique' Champagne house is so special is that, since the 1860's, Krug has been continuously run by a father-and-son partnership which has allowed the house-style to be carried forward without a break. The Grande Cuvée undergoes an extraordinarily strict selection process and all the wines are aged in small 205-litre Argonne oak barrels (a fairly neutral oak). Made from 25-35% Chardonnay, 45-55% Pinot Noir and 15-20% Pinot Meunier, the final blend receives about 40% reserve wine from up to ten vintages going back as far as 15 years. The wines are then left on their lees for a further seven years before release. The wine has a beautifully fine bead, aromas of dried fruits, roasted nuts and toast and a very wide range of ripe, unctuous fruit flavours. The 1988 vintage is magnificently opulent with a creamy, peachy silky fruit and beautiful balancing acidity. The Clos de Mesnil wines are made exclusively from Chardonnay and come from 1.87 hectares of unique vineyard planted in 1971. It is unquestionably remarkable with a luxurious, extravagant acid-balanced fruit and a sensational finish. It would be our desert-island Champagne if it were not for the fact that there is not enough of it produced to keep us going. We'll just have to take the Grande Cuvée instead!

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TXOMIN ETXANIZ Tzakoli Blanco
TXOMIN ETXANIZ Tzakoli Blanco
Just say it slowly !

A lively and refreshing white wine from Rias Baixas in Spain, with characteristics of zingy lemon, green apple and white blossom, with a mouthwatering acidity.

The leading producer of DO Txakoli, the Txueka Etxaniz family has been dedicated to vine growing for generations.
Txomin Tzakoli
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Gourmandises Rosé, Domaine de Montine, Southern Rhône
Gourmandises Ros, Domaine de Montine, Southern Rhne
This is a pale raspberry-coloured rosé with quite excellent freshness and surprising weight.

Gourmandises
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2014 CPW
Christopher Piper Wines Ltd. will not sell to anyone under the UK legal drinking age of 18 years. To purchase products on the site you must be eighteen years of age or more.
You must ensure that the details provided by you on ordering or at any time are correct and complete.

Registered Company 1509601 Christopher Piper Wines Ltd, 1 Silver Street, Ottery St Mary, Devon, EX11 1DB. All rights reserved. You must be 18 or over to order.