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BBR in grower Champagne push

Fine wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd aimed to introduce more customers to its grower Champagne portfolio with a dedicated tasting last week.

Speaking to the drinks business, Simon Field MW one of BBR’s buyers explained that after developing a following for the merchant’s Spanish and Rhône ranges, “[we] felt the next logical step was to do this so customers can get a feel for grower Champagne.”

BBR has had quite a large range of grower Champagnes for some time – eight wines from different villages being listed as long as eight to 10 years ago explained Field – but what the wines offer is often so different to the grandes marques that finding a following among clients has taken some time.

“Growers cross the Rubicon between vins de Plaisir and vins de terroir,” continued Field pointing out that their lower dosages, occasional lack of malolactic fermentation or use of oak can make them an acquired taste, more “vinous” and gastronomic than the more usual image of Champagne as a drink of celebration.

He admitted it “took us a while to be confident to present them” but added that as “even the grandes marques are lowering their dosage,” acceptance of that style of Champagne was growing.

After the tasting he told db: “The feedback from the customers has been positive, evidenced by both enthusiasm and orders on the night.

“I was impressed by their knowledge, their curiosity about the different villages and an over-all interest in the minutiae, including disgorgement dates and sugar levels.

“The growers, in turn, were impressed by the customers, so there was a lot of mutual satisfaction on the night and a definite glow that accompanies a successful event! To be repeated.”

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