Anyone for still Champagne? It could be worth a punt

21 September, 2007

Q I am interested in finding out more about the still wines I understand are made in the Champagne region. Are they any good? Will anyone buy them? Where can I source them?

A Non-sparkling wines from the Champagne region normally ≠appear under the appellation Coteaux Champenois and are almost always regarded with suspicion. If the grapes used to make the wine were any good, the ≠inevitable logic goes, why weren't they put into a spark≠ling wine that would sell for two or three times the price?

Having said that, there are some perfectly drinkable examples of still Champagne, mostly reds, and for a curiosity factor could well find a place on the shelves of a specialist UK merchant.

Bibendum offers Bollinger La CŰte Aux Enfants at £210 for a case of six, which is regarded as a very good example of a still Pinot Noir from the region. Only 4,000 bottles are produced in a good year, hence the high price tag.

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Reaching the 50th instalment of Hemmingís Way is hardly the biggest milestone, but I donít need much of an excuse to pour myself a glass of champagne before getting dressed. Itís a better reason than I had for all 49 other instalments, anyway. Not that that stopped me.

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