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Wine buying across France

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Finding Jacques Lassaigne

Montgueux, France

The day I eventually got to Montgueux started one very hot morning at my sisters place in a tiny hamlet called Outines. Although Outines is in the Champagne region it's actually ni where near the Champagne vineyards, mainly located to the north around Epernay and Reims. So this is where I headed for to go and meet Pierre Larmendier the winemaker at Larmandier Bernier at Vertus. Pierre is a really friendly guy and welcoming, within 5 mintues of meeting up we were in his kanckered Renault 5 on the way up to his Grand Cru vineyards on a perfect southern slope. Great Champagnes but the only snag to buying is that they are already sold in the UK. My approach to buying is to find what I call the undiscovered "gems" of the wineworld, they are out there but they aren't easy to find. This makes it a tougher job for me but all the more rewarding. Following the visit to Vertus I head into Epernay for some lunch. Next stop is off to see David Leclapart in Trepail who rents a small piece of grand cru land just outside the village. I really liked the approach that David takes to wine, very small amouts and all done by hand. The Champagne's were very good. As a buyer it's really easy to get caught up in the moment and think that all the stuff you taste is great but it's when you get home you have to ask the same question. If it still tastes great back home you know you've got a winner. I manged to hold off placing an order as there were a couple of other winemakers that I was going to see that day, including Jaques Lassaigne in Montgeuex, and Jacques Beaufort in Ambonnay. Ambonnay was the next stop en route to Montgueux, in fact it's not far from Trepail. Calling into see Jacques Beaufort was an interesting one, I had called beforehand to say I would be visiting but when I turned up it was, I think, his missus that answered the door and pretty much said that he wasn't around and that was that. A shame as I had heard really good things about this champagne and I knew it wasn't being sold in the UK. I did ask if I could just try a little of the Champagne but that didn't work either so I left, if I had a tail it would have been firmly between my legs.
So having dropped my sister off back at Outines I got on the way to Montgeuex, I was so glad I had aircon the temp was over 30 degress for sure and really dry heat. Although it didn't take that long to get to Troyes finding the right turning for Montgueux was a nightmare and seemed to take ages, in fact it did take ages. Just as I was getting anoyed with the map and about to throw it out the window I got pulled over by the traffic police, I didn't think I was speeding but I probably was. My french wasn't good enough to make a decent excuse and the policeman was telling me what I had done wrong but it didn't sink in. I did take this change to ask him about where Montgeuex was and the guy pointed to a turning that I had just passed. To my amazement he let me go with no ticket and I was on the right road to finding Jacques Lassaigne!

The Jacques Lassaigne vineyards are located right at the tip of the hill of Montgeuex, it's a perfect spot, in fact this place is older then the soils of the grand cru sites around Epernay. The other thing is that it's real low key, none of the other big names around just a very peaceful village.

permalink written by  SIPWine on November 3, 2008 from Montgueux, France
from the travel blog: Wine buying across France
tagged France, Champagne, JacquesLassaigneChampagne and Montgueux

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Chablis to meet Olivier De Moor

Chablis, France

So I get the Eurostrar to Paris then a fast train to Dijon and pick up some wheels from the Station and without delay I'm hitting the road to Chablis

permalink written by  SIPWine on November 8, 2008 from Chablis, France
from the travel blog: Wine buying across France
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