Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne Lancelot Pienne NV

Grapes Chardonnay
Colour White
Origin France, Champagne
ABV 12.5%

100% Chardonnay, from vines between 35 and 40 years old. 75% from 2017, 25% from their perpetual reserve. 36 months sur lattes. Disgorged May 2023. Dosage 5 g/l.
Caraway and purslane. Reminds me a teeny bit of wasabi! That sweet-bitter green. And then square lines. Abrupt in personality rather than in terms of length. Spice tucked between glass panes of fruit. Kind of laconic in an attractive way.
Drinking range: 2024 - 2027 Rating: 16 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.

100% Chardonnay, 10% from Côtes des Blancs grand cru, 90% from Côteaux Sud. Clay-limestone and chalky soils. 35-year-old vines. Stainless-steel vinification, some of the wine undergoes malo. 70% 2018, 30% from solera reserves. 10 months in stainless steel and then 36 months sur lattes. Disgorged July 2019. Dosage 6 g/l. Like a little lemon cream in the mouth, melting on the tongue. Pretty, light, dancing. Frothy, lacy mousse. True to its name – the wine to enjoy in the moment. Drinking range: 2023 - 2024 Rating: 16 Tamlyn Currin - (Jun 2023)

90% Chardonnay from the coteaux sud d’Epernay (Monthelon, Mancy), which have much more in common with the Côte de Blancs than the Marne valley, and a bit of Bisseuil, which may be responsible for the ripest notes, with 10% of reserve wine from the Côte des Blancs. It's a Blanc de Blancs with ripeness and body, crunchy white fruit, apples, bright citrus, as well as a roundness which makes it an easy choice as an aperitif - the refreshing mineral finish keeps you coming back for more.L&S (Oct 2021)

The NV Brut Instant Present is a pure Chardonnay harvested in the Côte des Blancs and the Marne Valley, 70% of the blend are from 2018, the rest is made up by a perpetual reserve. Freshly crushed white currant blends with reductive smoke, lemon and polenta on the nose. Bright freshness and a lovely pithy lemon streak are highlighted by frothy but gentle mousse, the finish is smooth and fresh, despite the warm summer. Dosage is 6gr/L. Disgorged: May, 2022. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030 Rating: 90 Anne Krebiehl MW, (Nov 2023)

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'.


With every man and his wife on the lookout for Champagne 'deals', it is sad that so many people overlook the best 'deals' of all - high quality, grower-made Champagnes, packed with character, and at prices significantly below any of the best prices you might find for Grande Marque Champagnes.

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