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Really brioche-y champagne

Hi folks,

When I was about 14, I went to my Great Uncle’s house and I had a sip of champagne he was serving. Even though this was almost 20 years ago, I remember it vividly.

At the time I compared the taste to a biscuit base that you might have in a cheesecake. Butter and crushed digestive. I think in ‘wine talk’ this flavour note would be brioche?

I wish I could remember what champagne it was, but I do remember him saying it was reduced in his local wine merchant. I don’t think it was a big name, I doubt it would have been really expensive.

I’ve basically been chasing that flavour in my champagne purchases ever since but haven’t experienced it (although don’t drink it that often).

Anyway, I am shortly to move house and want a really memorable bottle to have when we move in. Does anyone have a suggestion of something on the market now that I can try please?

Thanks all.

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Pol Roger would fit the biscuit brief. And your timing is pretty good, they’ll be lots of champagne offers in the wider world over November.

Suspect everyone on the community is chasing some youthful memory of a wine. I’m still looking for the smothest red silk the northern Rhone ever produced. Like you no idea who the producer was or the vintage.

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For me that profile is Roederer NV with 2-3 years bottle age. Pol Roger a close second.

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Charles Heidsieck N.V

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The extent and intensity of biscuit flavours depends on the length of time the wine spennds on its lees folliwing second fermenntation. . 2-3 years only gives dough and bread flavours. You need probably at least 5 upwards to get those really stromg biscuit flavours.
Charles Heidsieck has a very high percentage of reserve wines going back over 7 years hence their brut reserve tends to have more autolysis than others.

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I suspect you’re going to get every name in Champagne thrown at you here - autolysis is a marker of Champagne - and therefore won’t get you any further on your quest than simply googling ‘Champagne’ :grinning:

However, far be it for me to spoil this show, but I’d say biscuit/brioche 101 is Veuve Clicquot. And I would disagree with Pol Roger, I always find it a little more austere, a bit less opulent.

And using your prima facie evidence of on- offer and not that expensive I would say try Heidseck & Co Yellow Label. Usually on offer, generally what you’re looking for.

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Also it doesn’t need to be Champagne. A couple of years ago I drank (most of) a magnum of 1998 Nyetimber BdB. Amazingly biscuity!

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Thanks everyone! I’ll give the Charles Heidsieck a go I think.

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@Absolutebeginner Hope this thread might help, particularly the house style graphic in the first post…

Champagne house style chart

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I think C Heidsieck is a good choice for this. The 2008 base of this wine has been brilliant recently and definitely shows this character. The only issue I think you need to consider is that ideally you need 2-3 years post disgorgement ageing for these characteristics not to be overwhelmed by others. If you can find a C Heidsieck with a bit of bottle age that would give you a better chance I think

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I hate to say it: Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque

Absolutely fantastic champagne. Last bottle I had was vintage 1982 (birth of first daughter) with smoked salmon sarnies in stoke mandeville hospital & never had a better champagne since. The price is better forgotten, while the memory of the wine still lingers.

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Ruinart…but it won’t be cheap!

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I don’t think you’re going to find what you’re looking for in a standard brut, like @Andrew1990 said the flavours you describe are from the autolytic development so either look for a wine that has spent more than 5 years at least on its Lees or a wine with a large percentage of reserve wine . Also a point to remember, autolytic aromas and flavours don’t continue to evolve once the wine has been disgorged even though the other components do, this is why RD Champagnes are so much in “vogue” .
There are some fantastic grower producers who make their tête de cuvée in this style, unfortunately they can be difficult to get hold of.
With Champagne and ESW, there is a balance to be achieved between retaining the fresh fruit and gaining an autolytic profile, age for too long and you are at risk of losing the fruit , too little and risk having limited depth to the wine.
One of the finest examples I had recently was a 10 year old Nyetimber . Outstanding!
And followed up by a 2012 Vintage Pol Roger

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Had a bottle last week which I bought a year ago. Regret not much ‘brioche’ for us.

Another Heidsieck vote from me. Bottle age seems to bring it out in the NV.

was about to post in the weekend drinking but will put in here

We had a 2005 from Patrick Soutiran - Grand Cru Ambonnay (80% Chardonnay 20% Pinot Noir)

This was showing those notes you mention and my understanding is that it is from high % chardonnay wines that you see more of these characters. In addition, the wine has to have seen a good length of time on lees to see the development as @Leah says - once it’s disgorged the process stops any further development…but other flavours will develop during bottle ageing,

ps the Batailley wasn’t bad either ;).

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#showoff :wink::wink::wink::sweat_smile:

https://www.majestic.co.uk/champagne
Quite a lot of Champagne’s on the site right now, however I believe there will be some further discounting end of the month, early December for vintage!

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Perhaps I’m wrong, but we’ve always found the Wine Society Champagne to be ‘brioche’ and really enjoy it. It is our go to wine when the price gets around the £24 a bottle mark which is once or twice a year.

Bang a few in reserves and take out a year later and it should be lovely.

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was meant to being drunk next Saturday at a nice meal…instead Sunday night with a pre-lockdown drink with the neighbours and a bit of grazing tapas

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