Hacking Champagne (with a blog)

ChampagneFrance

Last weekend we decided to drive out to Champagne to buy some of the local drink. It is known as “Champagne”.

Before heading out, I wrote a post on my friend Loic’s blog asking which was the best Champagne. Responses – some highly detailed – poured in, including 34 replies to the post here and 19 here.

Among those responding was Jean-Emmanuel Simond, who is a reputed connoisseur of wines with an office near our home. Jean-Emmanuel kindly offered to meet for a coffee and we discussed the Champagnes recommended by the blog, those with the best ratings in the excellent book we have used by the Revue du Vin de France and those he himself recommends.

Triangulating between the book’s highest rated champagnes (which I mapped below, with full interactive version here), Jean-Emmanuel narrowed it down to three Champagnes of great interest: Anselme Salosse, Egly-Ouriet and Janisson-Baradon.

Champagne Book

We finally chose Janisson-Baradon as best fitting our criteria of a small producer with history (5th generation), a great Champagne (16.5/20 in our book) and as a bonus, his son, Cyril Janisson, is even a blogger. I posted a call on the blog for people to help track him down and heard back from Cyril on Friday that he would meet us the next day.

Like most Champagne houses, Janisson-Baradon is normally closed over the weekend, but Cyril was so amused by the way I found him that he agreed to open specially for us.

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