Eight drinks were served in total at the Cambridge Wine Merchants Champagne tasting, which will make four posts. Alongside the wines, we also had a selection of cheeses and breads and some slightly spicy meat slices.
When we arrived, we were presented with a Kir Royale cocktail, made this time from a zero-percent Maison Fondée cassis and an Angas Brut, non-vintage, which is Australian. It was too sweet for me, the ratio being wrong at about 1 to 2. This ‘champagne’ is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and the tasting host suggested that on its own it tastes rather appley.
The second also wasn’t technically a champagne, but was called Jansz Brut, from Tazmania in Australia. It’s a 60:40 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with very persistent bubbles for a non-official-region sparkler. The nose was sweet and faintly bitter, the body had chocolate and shortbread and the finish was stunning and lengthy, with citrus, cocoa, pencils and a late potency that left the flavour of apples behind. It’s £12 per bottle, which is pretty good. I marked it eight out of ten.