Champagne has never really been my forte. While I live and breathe wine, this was the one drink that truly escaped my palate. Gin, now, that would have made sense. I got into the gin game quite late as well, though I have to say, Tanqueray London Dry Gin, left quite an impression.
What, especially stood out for me with this gin was its juniper focus, which came from a recipe of four botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica root and licorice. Simply put, it delivers flavours and character far beyond pine or Christmas tree. It imparts floral, citrus, and even black pepper spice notes and it does this without support of any of the other botanicals. Better late than never, right?
So, imagine my surprise when a champagne house based in Epernay in the north of France blew my mind… I wasn’t fully prepared, especially when I dug a little deep to find my new obsession is from one of the most awarded house of champagnes, Charles Mignon.
The portfolio begins with the Premium Reserve Brut, while Hymne à L’Amour is a less dry cuvée, which I learnt is every girl’s best friend. Both feature the two pinots (noir and meunier) and chardonnay while all others omit the Pinot Meunier. Next come the Premium Reserve Premier Cru Brut and Rosé.
I was, especially taken by the Premier Cru, which on the nose displays peach and honey flavours followed by white flowers, butter and brioche notes. On the palate, it had the same white flowers, but also developed citrus notes, which made me appreciate its freshness all the more. It was full of character and elegance.
The Brut was also a favourite of many who graced the tasting at the Ambassade de France à Nairobi. On the nose, it initially displayed citrus notes (lemon and grapefruit) followed by floral notes (white flowers such as acacia), honey and fruit drop.
On the palate, the freshness of the chardonnay and richness of the pinot noir enhanced its full-bodied elegance, developing honey and grapefruit aromas.