In celebration of Global Champagne Day on Friday 28 October 2011, Australian Champagne Day Ambassador Jayne Powell (aka Champagne Jayne) hosted a “Sunrise on Global Champagne Day” event at the American Club in Sydney.
And the champagne corks popped around the globe.
The “taste n tweet” session saw a select group of Australian lifestyle media, bloggers and corporate clients taste eight exclusive champagnes that ranged from growers champagne to prestige cuvées and share their experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #ChampagneDay.
Champagne Jayne, a leading consumer champagne expert and independent reviewer, led each tasting in her inimitable style and was joined by special guest Ed Carr, Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemaker, and Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine Winemaker of the year 2011. Together, they shared their perspectives on the various styles of champagnes as guests’ tweets were projected onto a large overhead screen.
Twitter stream for #ChampagneDay on the big screen
Tweeting during the tasting
The tasting was a journey through the Champagne region, with each glass of bubbles building in complexity and flavour.
The first ‘Happy Champagne Day’ toast was made withChampagne Pierre Gimonnet Blanc de Blancs, a 1er cru from the village of Cuis made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. A growers’ champagne we previously tasted at one of Champagne Jayne’s events, it has a yeasty brioche aroma on the nose, fresh and crisp on the palate with citrus notes and slight acidity. This is a lighter style of champagne that goes well as an apéritif and as an accompaniment to seafood.
Next was the Paul Bara Grand Cru Rosé (Blanc de Noirs) a Pinot Noir made from the grand cru village of Bouzy. Rosy pink in colour with strawberries on the nose, it delivers classic rosé fruit to be enjoyed in summer.
Ed Carr, Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine Winemaker of the year 2011
“I can never drink Taitinger without thinking of James Bond”, Champagne Jayne said as lead the tasting of the next bracket of grandes maisons de champagne. In her upcoming book, Champagnes… Behind the Bubbles, a chapter entitled Champagne 007: Secret Agent of Seduction is devoted to 007 chronology and the champagne houses in the Bond films.
Taittinger Brut Reserve is made from 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir, an elegant and pure champagne which exudes class. It has a brightness and freshness which makes it a good apéritif style wine.
Next along the tasting journey was Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, dubbed as a gastronomic champagne made from a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinot Meunier and 25% Chardonnay. Further highlighting the differences between the bubbles, this drop has fresh oven-baked brioche on the nose and earthy, buttery and mushroom characters.
Duval Leroy Rosé is crafted from a blend of 1er cru 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay and has a vibrant pink colour. With cherries and light fruit on the nose, it has a well-balanced vinosity on the palate.
Throughout the taste and tweet session, Champagne Jayne regaled guests with anecdotes and interesting facts from her soon to be released book, Champagnes…. Behind the Bubbles which was recently reviewed on Gourmantic.
The book takes a reader on a journey from the history of champagne during the Roman times to modern day popular culture and is a wealth of information for champagne novices, enthusiasts and professionals.
The Prestige Cuvée tasting bracket started with Pommery Cuvée Louise 1998, a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir made from grand cru grapes sourced from the towns of Avize, Cramant and Ay. 65% Chardonnay 35% Pinot Meunier are blended to create an elegant prestige cuvée with fruity tones and a medium-to full bodied palate with tropical citrus flavours. A later vintage of this Pommery was one of the favourites from the CIVC Champagne Bureau Tasting we attended earlier this year.
Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 1999 is made in the pre World War II style that Churchill was known to prefer. A full-bodied champagne with robust flavours and a lingering palate.
And for the finale, Armand de Brignac, voted the number one champagne in the world by Fine Champagne magazine, was a fit toast with which to end the tasting on Global Champagne Day. Produced by Champagne Cattier, and bottled in distinctive gold bottles with an Ace of Spades label, this luxury cuvée is made with 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier and aged sur lie for a minimum of 5 years. Full-bodied with peachy notes and fruit character, it is a little sweeter on the palate than expected and exudes complexity.
View of Sydney from the American Club
The event was held on the 14th floor of the American Club which has sweeping views over Sydney, the Royal Botanic Gardens and parts of the harbour. More photos of the guests, as well as Ed Carr and Jayne Powell below.
Sunrise on Global Champagne Day with Champagne Jayne took place from 3pm to 5pm in Sydney, just before sunrise on the other side of the globe for Global Champagne Day celebrations. Tickets were available by invitation only.
For a photo gallery of the event, visit Gourmantic on Facebook and “Like” the page.
The American Club
Level 14, 131 Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Gourmantic attended the event as a media guest.
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