Brut Champagne Lancelot Pienne NV

Grapes Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Colour White
Origin France, Champagne
ABV 12.5%

80% Meunier, 10% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir. From 50-year-old vines in Monthelon and Mancy (Côteaux Sud d'Épernay) and 45-year-old vines in Boursault (Vallée de la Marne). 73% from 2016, 27% from their Réserve Perpétuelle. 60 months sur lattes. Disgorged June 2023. Dosage 5 g/l.
This is creamy, and silky, and dense – just a little hedonistic. Grainy texture and grainy savouriness: rye sourdough, spelt flour. A kind of copper burnish in the taste. As if it’s dusted with tamarind and sumac. Lots to hold your attention here and a real foodie champagne.
Drinking range: 2024 - 2030 Rating: 17 Tamlyn Currin - (May 2024)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.

80% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir. 40-year-old vines in east-facing vineyards (mostly mass selection). Stainless-steel vinification, 100% malo. 73% 2015 vintage and 27% from solera reserves. 10 months in stainless steel and 72 months sur lattes. Bottled May 2016. Salty caramel but imbued with citrus peel and a fine smokiness and lovely grip on the end. A touch of sautéed morels with a squeeze of lemon. Real beginning, middle and end to this wine, with masses of precise but generous quince fruit. Spicy finish. Drinking range: 2023 - 2029 Rating: 17 Tamlyn Currin - (Jun 2023)

Ambitious, interesting wine for the money. Mainly 2014 Pinot Meunier based on special vines selected by Gilles Lancelot’s grandfather.
From the Financial Times, Jancis Robinson on the best bubbles for Christmas 2022
Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (Nov 2022)

A cuvée which takes the style of the 'Tradition' and exalts it. Still majority Pinot Meunier, it's from different terroirs. As Gilles put it, this has 'more dried fruit - hazelnuts and apricot'. Deeper gold colour and yes the nuts and dried fruits are there on the nose at once, with a sort of polished wood character, a glowing patination, an autumnal richness. The finish is prolonged by a light bitterness from the Meunier, and being very dry it stays fresh.L&S (Oct 2021)

Champagne Lancelot Pienne

Gilles Lancelot, a qualified oenologist, is the fourth generation of his family to have his own vines in Cramant. It was his grandfather Jean who became the first one in the family sell his own Champagne, shortly after the second world war. Gilles' father Albert married Brigitte Pienne, from another Champagne-producing family, and she brought with her the vines in the south Épernay hills (in Mancy and Monthelon) and the Marne valley.

The 8.3 hectares of vineyard supply all their grapes, so as Gilles says, they know exactly what goes into each bottle. 3 hectares are in the Grand Cru villages of Cramant, Avize and Chouilly, another 2-3 in Mancy and Monthelon, and the rest in the Marne valley, including Bisseuil. The domaine is 60% Chardonnay, 30% Meunier and 10% Pinot Noir. They have 70 different parcels of vines, which demand a lot of attention, but give a wide palette when it comes to blending.

The vineyard is certified HVE3, and the approach is 'balanced viticulture'. The domaine is entirely worked by their own employees and soils and ploughed and only organic fertiliser is used. They try to use only natural treatments to stimulate the vines to defend themselves. Gilles wants ripe grapes in good condition and is, as he puts it, quite slow to pick, but 'but then again you have to preserve the acidity too'. The vinifications are entirely in stainless steel to preserve the purity of their Chardonnay, and the élevage continues until bottling in July - the object being to make wines which are straight and pure, all in delicacy, with freshness as well as aromas and flavours. Malolactic fermentation is a choice - for example in 2017 all the wines went through malo, but in the very ripe vintage of 2018, all were blocked.

There's a temptation, of course, if you are called Lancelot, to refer to the Arthurian legends, and it's a temptation that is irresistible if you then marry a girl whose maiden name is Perceval. As Gilles says, at least they didn't name their children Arthur and Guinevere. But the winery dog is called Hector (Hector de Maris was Lancelot's half-brother). Watch this space - when their son takes over, the domaine may change its name to Lancelot-Perceval. All of which explains the discreet logo and the name of the Cuvée 'La Table Ronde'.

Champagne Crescendo Mixed case

As we are thrilled to welcome new exciting ‘growers’ this winter, we have put together a mixed six at just a shade off our usual case price, so you can really taste your way round.

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