Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier Chardonnay
75cl * 12% ABV * Champagne, France
Champagne Mandois is one of the few independent grower houses left in Champagne. Dating back to 1735, their 35 hectares of premier cru, organic vineyards supply 70% of its grapes - an unusually high proportion for a family-owned company. Claude Mandois, the ninth-generation winemaker, strongly believes in the use of oak barrels for making all his wines, but the wood gives a framing, rather than flavouring effect.
Remarkably fresh for the warm 2007 vintage, this is a gentle pale pink in colour. Crisp and elegant, showing strawberry and raspberry, ginger and spice notes alongside some rich, chalky flavours from the high proportion of Chardonnay in the blend (Mandois' speciality). Soft and rounded, it's a great aperitif Champagne, but equally good paired with oily fish or subtly spiced dishes.