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After spending so much of the summer watching Blake Edwards films on rainy days when I should have been basking in sunshine, I am now fully prepared for a mild Indian summer.  Of course, to luxuriate in the style akin to that of David Niven in the inaugral Pink Panther movie, one needs a burst of fizz and considering the exceptional quality of pink champagnes, why not make that fizz a pink one!



I write this with more than a little verve since having been invited by importer Daniel Dancygier to taste the five pink champagnes that he is currently offering for sale to his ever-growing number of private customers.  We are all now aware of the power of pink wines, not just on the growing sales figures of wine retailers but also on our thirsty pleasure seeking palates due to the increased effort in production and its resultant effect on quality.

There is also the glam aspect. When I arrived at Le Saint Julien (A restaurant worthy of own post!), the gaggle of pink bottles, cooling, supported by a plate of pink French biscuits certainly had its alluring sense of grandeur and fun!

Daniel Dancygier offers a very attractive and niche service to those of us that enjoy good wines, and when it comes to organised tasting events, have a hint of the hedonist about them.

Daniel’s career was formerly in banking but being a Frenchman with a palate and passion for appreciating fine wines at very fine prices, there was simply no more room for the strict curves of financial figures. He has a certain air of enlightenment when he imparts this. About the wine he is offering he says, “I only drink and sell very good wine and I know each wine and the producers very well. None of these wines will ever give you a bad head or stomach; these are all very high quality Champagne’s!”  When I’m drinking wine in enthusiastic company and without a spittoon, the experience is always heightened and Daniel is certainly enthusiastic and, thankfully, devoid of any spitting apparatus!

The range of style on offer was very interesting and provides a rare opportunity to really pin point what one likes in a Champagne. The tasting was ordered by the percentage by volume of Chardonnay in each wine starting with the least.  The tasting notes are presented here in the same order:

1.    Lemaire Rasselet (85% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Noir)

Good body and fruity – a nice opener – not my pick of the bunch but a very fine party wine

2.    Pierre Mignon (65% Pinot Maunier, 15% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay)

Hints of summer fruits with a more full bodied and toasty aroma. A very good champagne but not the favourite.

3.    Etienne Chere (1/3 Pinot Meunier, 1/3 Pinot Noir, 1/3 Chardonnay)

Good body with a balance of fruit and acidity – a great wine for parties and celebrations. Beware though large quantities could be drunk!

4.    Didier Herbert (20% Pinot Maunier, 30% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay)

Slightly bitter and certainly an odd one out in the mix.  I had a desire to pair this with a dozen oysters!

5.    Chapuy (15% Pinot Noir, 85% Chardonnay)

This was a winner with us all – very light fruit and balanced acidity – the real quality was in the elegance of the wine.  Such finesse makes this a choice sparkle for a special occasion or romance perhaps?

To summarise, I think it is fair to say that rosé Champagne is worth the special attention lavished upon it, not least because it is harder to make but also because it has the spiritual power to lift the vibrancy of any occasion.  Of course, I tend to adhere to the adage that decadence comes when the plight for pleasure seems risky. With that in mind I am reaching for one more bottle of Chapuy!

For more information or to even indulge yourself in a taste of fine pink, contact Daniel directly:

Daniel Dancygier
ASAP
020 8989 0753
www.asapa.net
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