The main question I received on Instagram when I posted about choosing champagnes was why someone should choose a vigneron champagne over a well-known big brand. I attended the Vignerons du Terroir event and gained valuable knowledge about vigneron champagnes. I would like to thank Bubbelbroeders for sending me three diverse and excellent vigneron champagnes. With this newfound knowledge, I can share it with you so that you can make informed choices when purchasing champagnes. Spoiler alert: Vigneron champagnes offer better quality and are more affordable. These champagnes are produced by small-scale producers who have their own vineyards and handle every aspect of production in their own facilities.
What are the differences between vigneron Champagne over a well-known big brand?
The differences between vigneron Champagne and a well-known big brand Champagne are primarily related to the production process and scale. Vigneron Champagne is typically produced by small, independent winegrowers who cultivate their own vineyards and make Champagne using traditional methods. Their goal is often to highlight the unique characteristics of their terroir and they may have more control over the quality and style of their Champagne. On the other hand, well-known big brand Champagnes are produced by large Champagne houses that source grapes from multiple vineyards, purchase wines or grapes, and blend them using more industrialized production methods. They often have greater distribution and marketing capabilities, offering more consistent and widely available products. However, they may lack the distinctiveness and character of vigneron Champagnes.
Why is a vigneron champagne cheaper then?
A vigneron champagne might have a lower price compared to other types of champagne for a few reasons. The primary reason is marketing. With well-known champagne brands, you are paying for the reputation and popularity rather than the quality of the wine or grapes. Vigneron champagnes are typically produced by small, independent winegrowers who prioritize quality over quantity and do not invest in marketing. Their production methods are efficient and focused on taste and passion above all else. As a result, vigneron champagnes offer way higher value for money.
How can you see vigneron champagne on the label
To locate a vigneron champagne on the label, simply search for the terms “vigneron” or “récoltant manipulant” (RM). These words indicate that the champagne was crafted by a grower who also made the wine from their own vineyard. This grower handles the entire production process from start to finish.
How and why can you see that a champagne is fresh, the date of the disgorgement
To determine if a champagne is fresh, you can check the disgorgement date on the labels. Disgorgement refers to the removal of sediment from the bottle after secondary fermentation. The disgorgement date indicates when this process was carried out. A more recent disgorgement date indicates a fresher champagne, as it has spent less time aging on the lees. This information may be found on the label or back of the bottle, but it is not mandatory. Therefore, it is important to find a shop that imports fresh champagne and has a high turnover of stock. For example, you could purchase champagne from a local store that stores it upright on the shelves for a year. However, I would not recommend this approach.
Tasting notes for 3 different bubbles from Bubbelbroeders
From Bubbelbroeders, I received 3 different champagnes to taste. All 3 are unique champagnes. We have a blanc de noir made with one of the two red grapes used for champagne, Pinot Meunier, with a low dosage of 2 grams per liter, making it an extra brut champagne, nice and extra dry on the palette. The other red grape they can use to make champagne is Pinot Noir. Additionally, we have 2 Blanc de Blanc champagnes made with 100% Chardonnay, which is the only white grape used for making champagne. One is a Grand Cru brut with a dosage of 5.5 grams per liter. The other one is a Millésime 2018, which means it was made solely with grapes from the year 2018, which was a great vintage, making it even more special. Normal champagnes are made with a blend of different years. My personal tasting notes describe what I found in the glasses, and I also provide links to the Bubbelbroeders website where you can order the champagnes and find more information.
Driant Valentin – le Pinot Meunier – Extra Brut
100% Pinot Meunier – Dosage: 2 gr/l
This great mystic champagne comes in a black matte bottle and has a beautiful, delicate mousse. It has a subtle texture and a light yellow color in the glass. The aromas are strong and very enjoyable, with a delightful, aromatic, and floral scent. It has a pleasant light apple flavor with hints of violets. The palate is delicious and aromatic, with a nice dry acidity and notes of peach and nectarine. It also has a hint of green apple and herbal undertones. Overall, it is a very enjoyable and impressive champagne.
The black matte bottle immediately catches your attention and adds a touch of luxury. It offers a luxurious sensory experience with its intense aromas. It is a delightful and versatile champagne that is suitable for any occasion, from aperitifs to fine dining. Personally, I believe it is an excellent choice to start the evening and leave a lasting impression on your guests, especially when served with some oysters.
More information about this wine: https://bubbelbroeders.nl/product/driant-valentin-le-pinot-meunier-extra-brut/
Pierre Domi – Les Hautes Roualles – Brut – Millésime 2018
100% Chardonnay – Dosage: 6 g/l
This Blanc de Blancs is very enjoyable. It can handle a large glass, displaying beautiful wood tones. In a smaller glass, it’s a bit more reserved and shy. It has a nice medium yellow color with a fine mousse thats not very present. The aromas are of lemon zest, orange, vanilla, oak and concentrated apple, reminds me of apple cider.
On the palate, there are concentrated flavors of apple and lemon zest, with a hint of orange and a slight nutty flavor. It leaves a very pleasant aftertaste. Overall, it is a very enjoyable wine with medium acidity.
You can feel the ripeness that comes from the oldest vines (150 years) and taste the rich history with every sip. The unique character of this wine makes it a perfect pairing for dishes with salty flavors, such as lentils, chorizo, and hake stew. It’s also a delightful champagne for breakfast due to its delicacy. However, it is equally stunning when savored on its own, sip by sip, to fully appreciate its historical significance.
More information about this wine: https://bubbelbroeders.nl/product/pierre-domi-les-hautes-roualles-brut-millesime/
Paul Sugot – GRAND CRU VIEILLES VIGNES – Brut
100% Chardonnay – Dosage: 5,5 g/l
What an amazing wine, with a delightful aroma! It is a very nice gastronomic champagne that also stands out in restaurants.I had the chance to taste wines from Paul Sugot’s winery at the Vigneron du Terroir event, but tasting it at home is even more impressive.
The present mouse is superb, with a medium yellow color. The aroma is wonderfully elegant, with notes of brioche, butter, and even some croissants. It has delicious woody notes, as well as hints of vanilla and coconut. The palate is very rich, with toasty brioche, buttery croissant, apple, pear, lots of spices, and herbal notes. It has medium (+) acidity and a nice dry finish with a long aftertaste.
This Grand Cru Champagne is exclusively made from vineyards aged between 48 and 110 years old, and it has been aged for a minimum of 10 years. It is slightly more robust than most champagnes, making it an excellent choice to pair with a delicious fish dish or some tasty French cheeses. Because of its unique characters, this is not your average champagne; this is a real treat. If you want a more accessible champagne, go for the Paul Sugot Blanc de Blancs Brut, or start with this one before trying the Paul Sugot Grand Cru Vielles Vignes Brut. You will be amazed!
More information about this wine: https://bubbelbroeders.nl/product/paul-sugot-blanc-de-blancs-brut-grand-cru/
What are the different reasons to choose a vigneron Champagne?
There are several reasons why choosing a vigneron Champagne is a better option compared to a well-known big brand:
- Authenticity and craftsmanship: Vigneron Champagnes are made by independent winemakers who are passionate about their craft. They often have a long family tradition and a deep understanding of their vineyards, resulting in wines that truly reflect their unique terroir and winemaking style.
- Attention to detail: Vigneron Champagnes are usually made in smaller quantities, allowing the winemakers to carefully monitor each step of the production process. From hand-harvesting the grapes to meticulously blending the wines, giving the wine the time to age, every detail is considered to ensure the highest quality.
- Diversity of styles: Vigneron Champagnes offer a wide range of styles and flavors. Each winemaker has their own creative approach, resulting in a diverse selection of Champagne that caters to different preferences. Whether you prefer a crisp and elegant Blanc de Blancs or a rich and complex vintage Champagne, you can find something unique and exciting from a vigneron.
- Supporting small producers: When you choose a vigneron Champagne, you are directly supporting small, independent winemakers. These winemakers often face challenges when competing with big brands. Your purchase helps sustain and preserve family-owned vineyards and their traditional winemaking methods.
- Affordable Quality: Unlike big brands that allocate substantial budgets to marketing and advertising, vigneron Champagnes prioritize the quality of their wines. As a result, you can frequently discover exceptional Champagne at a more reasonable price compared to well-known brands.
In conclusion, choosing a vigneron Champagne enables you to appreciate the passion, skill, and variety of styles that independent winemakers bring to their wines. It is a choice that supports small producers and provides a distinctive and genuine Champagne experience. So, the next time you are looking for Champagne, consider exploring the world of vigneron Champagnes.
Thanks, Bubbelbroeders, for sending me these champagnes and educating me about vigneron Champagnes. Cheers!
More information about Bubbelbroeders: www.bubbelbroeders.nl