On Thursday 15th November 47 Phoenix Masters and Firebirds gathered for a Champagne Tasting at the showroom of Lutron EA Ltd in Finsbury Pavement. The evening was hosted by Champagne Henry de Vaugency – the house that brought us the Cuvée Phoenix we have all enjoyed so much! The tasting was led by Pascal Henry, owner and vigneron of the House of Henry de Vaugency. He was assisted by his UK based agent Jenna Jones and they were both well-supported by Pascal’s wife Delphine and Jenna’s father Geoff. As well as tasting six delicious champagnes we also enjoyed plenty of French cheeses and charcuterie with French bread.
Henry de Vaugency is based in the village of Oger, to the south of Epernay in the Côte de Blancs area. This is on the East–facing slope planted with white Chardonnay grapes. Its wine is sold as Blanc de Blancs without the traditional proportion of Pinot Noir. Hugh Johnson says that “It is a question of taste, but most experienced champagne lovers find Côte des Blancs wine on its own lacks the perfect balance – it’s too light.” That was not this writer’s experience as the wines varied greatly by blending grapes of different vintage.
We began with Carte Noire with which we are all familiar as this is the one that was relabelled as Cuvée Phoenix for us. It is well balanced, both crisp and fresh and makes a perfect aperitif wine. It is a blend of grapes from the 2013, 2014 and 2015 vintages. We followed that with Selection which had a little more colour in appearance, was just as fresh but longer in the taste. That is a blend of 2011 and 2012 vintages. Jenna told us this was the perfect Champagne for breakfast! Next came Manon, which was intense and gold in colour. There were notes of candied fruits and it was also long on the palate. That combines the 2009 and 2010 vintages.
Our fourth wine was Amoureux and here Pascal got in a little trouble with the translation. Nevertheless, it is a lovely wine, fit for lovers, light and elegant with a delicious aftertaste. That is made from grapes from 2009 and 2015. The fifth wine for me was the best. Called Louis and made from a blend of 2007, 2008 and 2009 grapes it is a rich and complex champagne with a touch of brioche. Finally, we tasted a rosé called Rosé d’Agathe which stems from the maceration of Pinot Noir in a must of Chardonnay. This is a very fruity wine and so perfect for dessert.
For those unable to attend on the night Champagne Henry de Vaugency UK can still take pre-Christmas orders if you hurry. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Their prices are as follows, plus a £20 delivery charge per order:
|Price per bottle||Minimum order 6 bottles|
At the end of the evening, Pascal said to John Nugée, Events Secretary, that any member of the Phoenix Masters who was thinking of going to Champagne should certainly drop him a line via the UK agent’s email address above and he would be delighted to arrange a private tasting at their House.
The evening was also marked by the first outing of name badges for the Phoenix Masters. These were welcomed, proudly worn and admired. To get yours make sure you attend the next event of the Phoenix Masters.
Past Master Marketor