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  • Writer's pictureThe Scoffers

Champagne Canard Duchene Millesime 2012

There are hundreds of glasses of sparkling gone past these old lips. From cheap nasty fizzy muck we could barely afford as teenagers in a country town, to some of the world's most beautiful and expensive tipples - Cristal, Krug Rose and the Ace of Spades - Armand de Brignac Champagne. I like to think I know a bit about the three grapes used to make them, and the process of turning juice into the drink of royalty and rock stars.

There is a range available to us commoners, sitting around the $50-$80 a bottle, the kind of stuff you take to a good party or a fancy dinner, or when you are trying to seduce someone new and want to do it with bubbles. You know them - Veuve, Mumm, Taittinger, Moet & Chandon, Piper Heidsieck, Pommery and so forth.

This little black duck has a love for an interesting Maison, and I have been quiet about the fact all the Coles brands stock it. It is Canard Duchene and for the price, in my mind it is far and away the best in the market. In 1868, Victor Canard and Léonie Duchêne created their house, driven by a bold vision to reveal the exceptional potential of their hillside village, located in the heart of the Montagne de Reims. Canard was a cooper, making barrels and Duchêne was the daughter of a grower. They met, they fell in love and started the Maison.

It became a favourite, like a number of others, of the Imperial Court of Tsar Nicholas II, and the label was given the opportunity to display their coat of arms. They celebrated 150 years in 2018, and even though the only remaining part of Victor and Leonie's work is the limestone cellars, they still have much of their heritage to be proud of.

But enough of the history lesson, to the drinking. Most of the aforementioned French Fizz is non vintage - it was not made from a single year. This little baby is a 2012 Vintage and for the price, that makes it even more attractive. Champagne is only made from three grape varieties - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. This is a blend of all three with 46% Pinot Noir, 41% Chardonnay and 13% Pinot Meunier.

The colour is a pale golden hue, and there is a superb, very fine bead. As the multi award winning Tyson Stelzer might tell you, the finer the bead, the better the fizz. The nose of Champagne should always tell you what to expect. Floral notes of white and citrus flowers, the smell of spring, with a healthy note of fresh brioche and sesame. To taste, it is oh so lovely. Beautifully textured with great freshness and fruit-driven in style with subtle vanilla overlays. It's balanced, well-structured and I could drink it all day long.

The best thing about this is the price. Finding vintage Champagne at $60-$70 is a steal and I suggest you get on it. I know I am whacking the plastic to make sure I make it through lockdown with enough of this. It truly is my lockdown salvation.

RRP $60-$70 at Coles owned retail

FRANCE | 2012 | Reims |12%ABV

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