A relative newcomer to the world of sparkling wine, Champagne Thiénot was established in 1985 by Alain Thiénot. Given that many of the great names in Champagne can trace their history back centuries it speaks volumes that a comparative youngster has gained such a foothold in the minds of Champagne drinkers.
Last night Berry Bros. & Rudd hosted a tasting of five different cuvées from this House at their Wan Chai office. The portfolio was well represented with the following wines; NV Thiénot Brut, NV Thiénot Brut Rosé, 2005 Thiénot Cuvée Stanislas, Blanc de Blancs, 2002 Thiénot La Vigne Aux Gamins, 2007 Thiénot Cuvé Garance, Blanc de Noirs.
Located in Reims and now run by Alain’s two children, the House produces an eponymous cuvée for each member of the family involved with the business, all of which are vintage expressions. The Cuvée Alain Thiénot is a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend and this is only produced in exceptional vintages. The cuvées named for each child are single grape expressions with Chardonnay used for Cuvée Stanislas and Pinot Noir for Cuvée Garance, producing a Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs respectively.
The standouts for me were the 2005 Cuvée Stanislas, Blanc de Blancs and the NV Brut Rosé. The Blanc de Blancs, sourced completely from the Côte des Blancs, was very perfumed with that richness offered by a sparkling wine made completely with Chardonnay grapes. Toasty aromas sat alongside tarte tatin, brioche and poached pear and this continued on the palate with bitter almonds and a burst of fresh lemon juice on the finish. The balance between a creamy mousse and crisp acidity was just right and I would quite happily sip away on more than one glass of this Champagne.
The rosé by contrast was altogether more delicate with an appealingly pretty nose of subtle red fruits that continued on the palate as strawberries and red cherry. The mousse was creamy and the red fruits were nicely offset by hints of marzipan. On the palate I found a very definite sense of structure whilst retaining an overall elegance and grace. This is a rosé that is really rather enticing in character and guaranteed to have you refilling your glass without even realising it!
The tasting was bustling from start to finish and in Hong Kong where the market is so completely dominated by red wine it was exciting to see a large number Champagne enthusiasts out enjoying themselves.
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