After three months in London, I was fortunate to escape the confines of lockdown and head to a remote area of Provence at the end of June. Once the two weeks of self-imposed quarantine were over, the first thing I did was pay a visit to one of my favourite restaurants, La Bastide St Antoine in Grasse.
The choice this month is Billecart Sous Bois. I first tasted this Champagne on the 26th November 2019, when we hosted a dinner with Billecart and it became an absolute hit. Ever since we started our Champagne Friday themes, I have wanted to incorporate it into our Champagne Friday tasting. As a team, we are all still working from home, but hopefully, by the end of next month, this may be changing.
It is with mixed emotions that we are celebrating Champagne Friday. Today we have a lot to celebrate as we have just announced that Stannary Wine has bought wine importer Domaine Direct, which is a huge moment for us as a company and makes our future even more exciting. We started ‘Champagne Friday’ on Friday the 21st of February. The concept of Champagne Friday was a way of bringing some friendly fun into the office and share it with our customers. Today I really miss celebrating with colleagues in person and I miss catching up with friends.
The story of Barolo and Barbaresco starts with Nebbiolo. Nebbiolo is a temperamental variety. It buds early and ripens late, making it susceptible to spring frost and autumn rain. It wants limestone soils and south or south-west exposure and like Pinot Noir it is terroir specific and likes to be in the upper parts of the region, while avoiding the top.
Burgundy law is full of quirks. For example the Premier Cru vineyard of Santenots when producing Pinot Noir must be labelled as Volnay, but if planted with Chardonnay it is labelled as Meursault. Musigny is a Grand Cru for both white and red wine, but there is no Premier or village classification for white Chambolle Musigny, so any Musigny Blanc not deemed ‘good enough’ by the producer must be declassified as Bourgogne Blanc, while Pinot Noir grapes can be declassified to 1er Cru Chambolle Musigny.