Riesling, Champagne, France

Riesling is a white grape that is famous for its intense aromatics and crisp acidity. Riesling was the most planted white grape in Australia until the early 1990s when Chardonnay took over. Riesling flourishes in the Clare Valley, particularly Watervale, around the Polish Hill River, and in the cooler Eden Valley. Riesling is also being grown with increasing popularity in the Western Australia regions Albany, Frankland River and Porongorup. Australian Rieslings are noted for their citrus/lime fruit flavours in their youth and a smooth balance of freshness, lanolin and acid as they age. Australian botrytized Rieslings have immense levels of flavour concentration with beautiful acid and structure.

Riesling was first planted in New Zealand in the 1970s and has flourished in the relatively cool climates of the Marlborough, Central Otago area and for late harvests in the Nelson region.

Alsace is famous for producing outstanding Riesling from dry austere to Vendages Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles. They tend to be fuller, more savoury and viscous wines than those of other countries.

In Germany, Riesling constitutes around 20% of total plantings. The best examples are planted on south-facing slate-rich slopes. Germany produces many different styles from dry perfumed wines with racy, mineral acidity to exotically lush flavours of their great late harvest wines.
Champagne is a wine region to the north-east of Paris where wine has been grown since the Romans first planted in the 5th century and the region is most well known for the Sparkling wine that goes by the regions name.

Champagne is made from 3 grapes. The two red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the white grape Chardonnay. All three are commonly blended though a ‘blanc de blanc’ meaning ‘white from white’ indicates that only Chardonnay was used. Conversely a ‘blanc de noir’ or ‘white from black’ indicates that the two red grapes were used.

A common misconception is that Champagne was invented by Dom Pérignon. Although this is not the case, he made considerable contributions to the quality and production methods used in the region. The very first bottles of Champagne were created by accident, and coined ‘the devil’s wine’ for all the popping corks. Sparkling wine in Australia was referred to as Champagne but this practise has long been disallowed.

Methode Champenoise is the traditional method by which Champagne is produced and if you see Millisime on a bottle, it represents the fact that the wine comes from a particular vintage rather than being blended, which is the more common practice.

Icons such as Dom Pérignon and Krug are world renowned, but we find as much pleasure in the smaller Champagne houses such as Gosset and Jacquinot. Magnums are perfect for the festive occasions and half bottles are also available.
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  1. ONLINE TASTING PACK - FRENCH WINE NORTH, SOUTH, EAST AND WEST, 4 WEEK COURSE

    **THIS ONLINE TASTING IS OVER**

    This pack contains a bottle of 12 different wines to be opened during a series of 4 online tastings held throughout late August and early September 2020.

    Across 4 weeks we will ... Learn More

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    Campbell Mattinson
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