So I only had a day in Champagne. Better get cracking with the tastings, right? First up for the day were the lads at Pascal Manchin in the gorgeous little village of Les Riceys. Apparently it’s just been voted as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Fair enough I’d say!
Fred took the four of us into the engine room to start with, explaining all the different gadgets and gizmos that go into making Champagne in a modern winery. But I’ll leave the wine geekery for now and just head straight for the tastings.
There are three main grapes that go into making the classic mix in Champagne. That’s Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. As the Côte Des Bar is near as damn it closer to Burgundy than it is the rest of Champagne, Pinot Noir is king round here, followed by Chardonnay. Pascal Manchin are not alone in boring off the Pinot Meunier.
I’m not going to go through all the wines we tasted, but one really stood out head and shoulders for me. They make a rosé champagne from 100% Pinot Noir. That’s really unusual in the grand scheme of Champagne (normally it’s a blend of red and white grapes), and it’s done to highlight the standard of the Pinot Noir in and around Les Riceys. It was amazing. A real first for me in my fledgling Champagne tasting career.
Needless to say I had to beg, borrow, and steal another Paul’s Lazenne bags to carry home my spoils from the morning. The wife and I will be supping on this stuff for weeks to come!