The Global Masters Wine of the Week: Champagne Castelnau 2006
Every week, we select a wine that picked up either a Gold or Master from our competition series, and tell you why the judges loved it. Enter the Global Masters, and this could be your wine.
The deadline to enter this year’s Champagne Masters is around the corner, so this week we wanted to share with you one very good reason why all producers, from grandes marques to growers, should enter.
Due to the blind tasting format, and the quality of judges – who comprise solely MWs, MSs and senior buyers – this competition, like others in the Global Masters series, gives all entrants a chance to shine.
And, nestled among a selection of famous names in last year’s tasting was this outstanding vintage fizz from Champagne Castelnau, a grower-cooperative brand with ambition and a brilliant, if low-profile, winemaker in Elisabeth Sarcelet, one of the few female cellar masters in the region.
Owned by Coopérative Régionale des Vins de Champagne (CRVC), it is worth noting that Elisabeth also makes American rapper 50 Cent’s US$1,000 Champagne, called Le Chemin du Roi, and she was also the creator of the sparkling wines for Angel Champagne – another celebrity-backed fizz, launched initially with Mariah Carey’s support.
In contrast to such labels, however, last year’s outstanding Champagne in the vintage category comes in a remarkably unshowy package, carries no famous associations and offers extraordinary value – retailing for under £50.
Exciting the judges was its combination of ripe, almost exotic fruit – 2006 was a warm vintage in the region – along with a delicious finish, combining a classic Champagne chalky dry sensation, along with a lovely toasted brioche character, a result of the extensive period this fizz has spent ageing in contact with its lees in the cellars of Castelnau.
Indeed, if you want a rich style of Champagne that’s ready to drink, and you’re happy to forego a famous historic marque, then I can’t think of a better pick right now.
The wine: Champagne Castelnau Brut Millésimée 2006
The source: Champagne
The grape(s): Chardonnay (50%), Pinot Noir (30%), and Pinot Meunier (20%)
The style: A brut vintage Champagne
The price: Around £45
The medal: Master – The Champagne Masters, 2018
With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, the Global Wine Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known corners of the New World.
It’s a competition dedicated to making winners out of winemakers.
Alternatively, please click here to enter the Champagne Masters 2019.