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edited by Sue Courtney

Wine Reviews
Jacquart Champagne

© Sue Courtney, August 2002

Jacquart Champagne is imported into New Zealand exclusively by Regency Imports. The wines are available at selected restaurants and wine stores and by mail order directly from Regency.

These delightful Champagnes offer excellent drinking at a value for money price.

Jacquart is considered by some as the new boy on the Champagne block. The company is only 40 years old. It is a growers' cooperative with 3000 hectares of vineyards, the majority in the Grand Cru and Premier Cru areas.

Growers own it so everything is controlled from the ground up. They have 600 pressing stations so as soon as the grapes are picked it is not far to take them to press.

I joined Regency's Anne Batley for an exquisite tasting. Here's what we indulged in -

Jacquart Blancs de Blanc 'Brut Mosaique' 1995
Pale lemon straw coloured with yeasty aromas that show a hint of oxidation as the wine warms up - so drink this well chilled*. Full rich bready yeasty flavours with lifted lemon zest. Fills out really well in the mouth with a rich toastiness, hints of peach blossom and a dry nuttiness. Very long flavour that lingers with a delicious dryness. Quite a robust chardonnay with plenty of flavour and toastiness coming from the age. $60.

Anne says the Blancs de Blanc really lasts well. The chardonnay gives the finest bubbles. In the Jacquart range, chardonnay is a dominant grape.

Jacquart Brut Tradition NV
There are slightly pink tinges to the lemon hued 'onion-skin' coloured wine. It's creamy, easy to drink and a little sweeter than the Blancs de Blanc.
Full-bodied flavour with plenty of fruit, effervescence and toasty acidity. Hints of strawberry, hints of peach and an earthier, yeastier flavour then the B de B. And yes, with the addition of Pinot, the bubbles are slightly bigger. Fruity and toasty with a fruit salad connotation and a touch of herb on the finish.
It warms up as it sits in the glass on the table and the full-bodied character of the chardonnay comes through. It is rich and wine-like and I actually preferred this wine when the initial chill had gone . $40.

Jacquart Brut Mosaique (blue label)
Lovely lemon biscuit flavours. This is a very classy, dry chardonnay with the freshness of pears lingering on the finish. Full-bodied and mouthfillingly rich with the sweetness of ripe peach, the subtle earthiness of pinot and the lingering flavour of pear. There are hints of ginger too on the front of the tongue later and a full rich creamy toasty flavour. Rich and toasty with great finesse. Earthy and rich with an intriguing hint of candied herb. This was my favourite. $45.

Jacquart 'Rose Mosaique' NV
A blend of 50% pinot noir, 40% chardonnay, 10% pinot noir.
What a romantic wine! Delicate salmon pink in colour with glints of copper. This is pink champagne at its best. Exquisite lemon toastiness but with the sweetness of wild strawberry and a touch of herb. Earthy, full-bodied and toasty with a long full bready finish. This was probably the most flavoursome wine in the line-up. I find it has more finesse and toastiness than the Brut Tradition. Drink well chilled - it becomes quite creamy if it warms up. $50.

*Champagne is made to be drunk well chilled but if you sip slowly on the wine it cannot help warming up in the warmer room temperature.

Hints on serving Champagne
Long and narrow 'flutes' are best but think about the length of the stem. Very long stemmed glasses can be awkward for big breasted women.

Keeping the bubbles in an open bottle of Champagne
After pouring yourself and your lover a glass of champagne, stopper the bottle straight away. Simple 'hat' type stoppers work well. For keeping champagne over a longer period, try something like the 'Bouchon gard'bulles'. This contraption pumps air into the bottle, putting pressure on the wine so the bubbles cannot come out. When the bottle is reopened, the waft of air comes out - just like when the wine was first opened.

Where to Buy
Contact Anne Batley -

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