Champagne Cru New Zealand – newest Champagne importer
Champagne Cru - the newest Champagne importer in NZ. Seven months in the making, finally in October 2021 the first shipment landed, just before Christmas. It's a busy time for Champagne drinking, a few of the range had quickly exhausted. Luckily new stock is due to arrive the first week of March.
They have selected three grower Champagne brands debut in NZ, they are Roger Manceaux, Charles Hubert and Vauversin.
Roger Manceaux - established in 1785, a family-owned independent grower based around Rilly la Montagne near Reims. 80 plot totalling 12 ha of vineyard, scattered around five classed growths: Mailly Grand Cru and first crus in Rilly la Montagne, Taissy, Villers-Allerand and Trois-Puits. Three varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, were used to produce approximately 90,000 bottles a year in their modern winery in the traditional way.
The range are all Premier Cru (1er Cur) include: Cuvée de Réserve Brut, Nature – Zéro Dosage, Rosé Brut, Grande Réserve Brut, Blanc de Blancs Brut and Millésime 2012.
Charles Hubert - The label was founded in 1984 by the current owner Charles Hubert's father; however, Charles's grandfather produced Champagne in the cellar long ago and made his vintages available to a small group of local clientele. They are based in Ambonnay, on the same street as Egly-Ouriet and Mumm Perrier-Jouet Vineyards and Research.
After finishing his oenology and viticulture training, young Charles took over from the family. Charles is the current President of the Supervisory Board of the Ambonnay Wine Cooperative and has served on multiple champagne committees since his take over in 2009.
They produce eight Champagnes, made in the purest Charles Hubert family tradition, born from a subtle blend of know-how, combining tradition and modernity, and their exceptional terroir. Four of the range are available in NZ, Tradition, Prestige, Blanc de Noir and Blanc de Blanc. The Prestige 2013 offers excellent value, rich in autolysis and layers.
Vauversin - The Vauversin family has been making wine in the Grand Cru village of Oger in the Côte des Blancs since 1640. Three hectares of vines only produce Chardonnay, with an annual production of 18,000 bottles. Laurent is the fourth generation produce under its own name, responsible for converting the vineyard to organic and certified in 2014, the first in Oger.
All champagnes are vinified with local yeasts from the wine and are not filtered. Little sulfur usage (less than 35mg / l) and the riddling occur by hand in the natural cellar.
Three wines available in NZ: Ordage, Original and Orpair
Read my reviews below and find yourself a new Champagne to try.
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Champagne Roger Manceaux Premier Cru Brut Cuvee de Reserve NV, FranceSparkling Wine from France - ChampagneReview Date : 06-Dec-2021Bright, pale straw yellow with some depth, even colour throughout. Consistent and fine bead. The nose is softly full, featuring creamy autolysis, bruised apple, citrus fruit and peels and a toasty underlay. Medium-full bodied, the palate filled with rich aromas of toast, creamy custard, lemon balm, lemon peels, baked apple unfold with a hint of oyster shell minerals. The palate is refined with chalky oyster shell minerals, flows with great energy and vibrant acidity. The toasty richness and creaminess compliments each other and lingers to linearity. This is a balanced, generous flavoured NV Champagne that offers great value. 45% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier and 30% Chardonnay, 8g/l dosage, MLF, 12% alc. 18.5+/20 pts (94 pts) Dec 2021 RRP $59.95
Champagne Roger Manceaux Premier Cru Brut Rosé NV, FranceSparkling Wine from France - ChampagneReview Date : 06-Dec-2021Bright, peach-pink with some depth, even colour throughout. The bubbles are very fine and persistent. The nose is soft, growing in richness, aromas of baked strawberry tart, ripe stonefruit, cherry syrup melded with creamy autolysis. Medium-full bodied, flirtatious aromas of raspberry, baked strawberry tart, cherry syrup and nectarine enriched by toast, pastry and a creamy veil. The fruit is succulent and expressive, supported by a vibrant acid line, along with chalky minerals provide a light grip. Creamy & toasty autolysis are well-proportioned, broaden the palate and add interest. This is a juicy, well-balanced Brut Rosé with generous berry fruit and creamy autolysis. Match with venison tartare and crispy-skinned salmon over the next 3-5 years. 85% Pinot Noir and Pinot Menunier, 15% Coteaux Champenois (still wine made from Pinot Noir), 8 g/l dosage, MLF, 12% alc. 18.5+/20 pts (94pts) Dec 2021 RRP $59.95
Champagne Charles Hubert Grand Cru Brut Tradition NV, FranceSparkling Wine from France - ChampagneReview Date : 06-Dec-2021Bright, pale straw yellow with some depth. The bubbles are fine and consistent. The nose is softly full and expressive, aromas of shortbread, cereal interweave baked apple, lemon rind and yeasty autolysis. Medium-full bodied, a broad palate filled with biscuit, cereal and baked apple with cinnamon, lemon and lemon peels and creamy lees. A hint of sweetness balances the acid tension and broaden the palate; subtle spices added interest. The baked apple and yeasty autolysis bring richness and comfort to a sustained finish. This is a rich flavoured Champagne with baked fruit and pastry details. Match with roasted chicken and shallot tarte tatin over the next 3-5 years. 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay. NV blend of 50% of reserve wines (2016 and 2017) and 50% of 2018, 12%, full MLF, minimum 24 months on lees. 18.5/20 (93 pts) Dec 2021 RRP $59.95
Champagne Charles Hubert Grand Cru Brut Cuvée Prestige 2013, FranceSparkling Wine from France - ChampagneReview Date : 06-Dec-2021Bright, pale yellow with a gold hue, even colour throughout. The bubbles are fine, slow and persistent. The nose is immediately full with rich aromas of toasted brioche, croissant, double cream, underlying preserved lemon, stonefruit and a hint of nut. Full-bodied, richness filled the palate, lemon sherbet, preserved lemon, dried pineapple and stonefruit have a vibrant and intense core, unfolding nougat, toasted brioche and pastry. Thanks to the bright acidity, the flavours are concentrated, rich yet vibrant; a light layer of chalky minerals contributes to elegance and the mouthfeel. The acid tension drives a long, lingering finish. This opulent Prestige Champagne shows vitality, vibrancy, and a satisfying, long, fresh finish. Match with kingfish and butter-poached scampi over the next 8 years. 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay. 19.5-/20 pts (97 pts) Dec 2021 RRP $89.95
Champagne Vauversin Grand Cru Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Original NV, Oger Sparkling Wine from France - ChampagneReview Date : 06-Dec-2021Bright, even, moderate yellow, youthful. Very fine, consistent effervescent. The nose is elegantly expressive and voluminous, aromas of brioche, whipped butter and marzipan underlying peach, nectarine and citrus peels. Medium-full bodied, aromas of peach, nectarine and preserved lemon shows purity, followed by integrated, balanced nuances of toasted brioche, creamy whipped butter and marzipan linger with a subtle hint of spice. The mouthfeel is almost unctuous, adorned by chalky minerals, and very smooth, creamy mousse fills the palate. The wine has lovely pure fruit and excellent intensity, providing a lasting, rich closing. This is charming and well-proportioned Blanc de Blancs with concentrated flavours and purity. Match with cheese souffle and butter-poached crayfish over the next 5-8+ years. 100% Chardonnay, assemblage in 2017, Nov 2020 disgorment, 5 g/l dosage, 12.5% alc. 19+/20 pts (96 pts) Dec 2021 RRP $84.95