When I launched the Winehog, I decided to focus almost exclusively on Burgundy, and to tone down all the other wines I have tasted over the years.
I’m a geek when it comes to Mosel wines of the 1990s and Bordeaux from the 1980s to the mid-’90s, but circumstances meant that my interest in these areas waned for a while.
One area, however, has remained close to my heart: Champagne – old, young, classic, or vin nature, and the development in Champagne of new, talented, small growers really appeals to me.
I have therefore decided to enlarge my focus to include Champagne, making the region my secondary focus, after my beloved Burgundies of course.
Champagne! Let’s go and be seduced!
Seduced by Champagne
I am a geeky kind of guy. And what do geeks do? We geek out. Wine is about taking time to explore, enjoy, and find the hedonistic gems – the Champagnes d’émotion.
Being in a rush to meet deadlines doesn’t bring me insights or the love for an area and its people. That’s why it’s impossible for me to cover more than one region – Burgundy – as I know I would lose some of the love for the hedonistic gems and the fine people here.
I need time to explore and be seduced. And running back and forth between Pauillac and Vosne-Romanée, while producing countless ratings and notes, would not do for me. Actually, it defies the very idea of indulgence and the love story I need with the areas I am covering.
Burgundy is the love of my life. But the seduction of Champagne could be a welcome sensual diversion, as it won’t require a full-time rating attack on the region to explore the geeky stuff.
My take on Champagne
You will be able to follow me on my journey through Champagne, exploring, studying, and learning to love the region and the decadence found in Reims and its beautiful, hilly surroundings.
I will look for wines that seduce me, lure me into a love affair with decadence and hedonism. I am not seeking to taste all or rate all, on my way to the next Bordeaux vintage.
Champagne deserves to be taken lightly, but also seriously, as it was intended. Champagnes made without a hedonistic intention don’t really interest me.
I am not a full-blown Champagne expert. But just be clear, I have tasted my share of Krug, Cristal, Churchill, Comte de Champagne, and old Dom Perignons (where even the whites were great).
I started to drink Selosse before it was widely known (at 30 euros retail!), when it was possible to properly enjoy large gobs of it without attacking the Danish Central Bank to finance the purchase.
Among my greatest Champagne experiences I count the 1973 Dom Perignon and Krug Collection 1973; these deserve to be mentioned as the foundation of my passion, as do a Krug 1988 enjoyed at Les Crayères in Reims when Gérard Boyer was still creating his gorgeous food in the kitchen, and from time to time telling off the waiters on the outskirts of the restaurant. This was back when people were allowed to show temper, edge – and character.
Please note: I am not entering Champagne to try to repeat the glories of the past. I am here to explore new producers, new cuvees, new and exciting stuff just like I do in Burgundy. The bottle below illustrates my story. I’m looking to find more like it.
I need to be seduced, I need to feel tempted by a flaming flirtation. To be honest, even tasting the same, average, Chambertin grand cru day in and day out is not for me!
So follow me on my Champagne journey!