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Non-vintage Champagne over £10

Find out who won the trophy for over £10. And the winner is...

Herbert Beaufort Carte Or Brut Tradition

The Beaufort family have owned and worked vineyards in Bouzy since the 16th century, but for more than 400 years they sold the grapes, not wine.

In 1900, however, Marcellin Beaufort began selling Bouzy Rouge and even won a medal in Paris in 1907.

As the economic crisis of 1929 saw many of the Champagne houses that regularly purchased grapes going bust, Marcellin’s son Herbert took the plunge and started selling his own Champagne at the tender age of 19. This was very early days for grower Champagnes as most vignerons formed cooperatives at this juncture.

Herbert Beaufort decided to emphasise the origin of his Champagne by displaying Bouzy prominently on the label, which was a brave move at a time when most Champagne customers had barely heard of Epernay or Reims.

He sourced one of his cuvées from the lieu-dit of “La Goutte d’Or” and using a golden label he played to this theme by naming it “Carte Or”.

Although Bouzy is probably the most famous Pinot Noir cru in Champagne, it has historically grown about 10 per cent Chardonnay, thus Herbert decided to make his cuvée a microcosm of Bouzy itself by adding 10 per cent Chardonnay.

Today this cuvée is comprised of 90 per cent Pinot Noir exclusively from the lieu-dit of “Les Juliennes” and 10 per cent Chardonnay from “La Goutte d’Or”.

The Champagne tasted for this trophy was a blend of 2008 with hefty 40 per cent reserve wine from 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2002. Vinification took place in stainless-steel tanks, there was no malolactic and the dosage was a healthy but balanced 8.5 g/l to preserve freshness and elegance.

Availability UK £30 M&S; US N/A

Website www.champagne-herbert-beaufort.com

Telephone 33 (0) 326 57.01.34

Written by Tom Stevenson

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