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Our “Champagne of the Month” for June 2016 is the cuvée Carpe Diem – Extra Brut from Champagne Grongnet, located in the pretty village of Étoges at the south-western edge of the Côte des Blancs.
Cecile Grongnet has taken over the reins of the family business from her father and has at her disposal 18 hectares, predominantly planted with Chardonnay along with Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and a little smattering of Arbane, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc.
Carpe Diem Extra Brut consists of 70% Chardonnay (which includes a little Arbane, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc) and 15% each of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. Malolactic fermentation is prevented before a long period of ageing in foudres, before the bottles are secured by the traditional means of ficelage.
An attractive golden colour, on the nose there are floral notes with white fruits and spices such as liquorice and white pepper which then gives way to the oaky aromas of vanilla. In the mouth, it is sumptuous with initial hits of lemon zest, green apples and gooseberries before offering honey, caramel, cinnamon, pâtisserie and crème anglaise. It has a long and rich finish, reminiscent of spiced rum - utterly delicious.
Price circa €25