We have been shipping Champagne from Gilles Dumangin's cellars in Chigny-les-Roses on the Montagne de Reims for over 20 years during which time his wines have fostered a loyal following on these shores. Gratifyingly, the Guardian's wine correspondent Fiona Beckett selected our own label Champagne 'Yapp' as one of her 'Top Five' Grower Champagnes last October, praising it for being both 'super-smart' and 'elegant'. Gilles makes it from a blend of roughly equal parts Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay plus around 1/3 reserve wine that are hand-harvested and vinified in vats before being matured on their lees prior to disgorging and corking. The recently-refreshed label features fabulous artwork of a woman raising a glass by Quentin Blake.
For those conscious of their silhouette, or just like their Champagne on the dry side, Gilles also makes a magnificent 'Extra Brut' that has a minimal dosage of just 2g sugar per litre. It hails from the same blend as the 'Yapp' bottling and has a wonderfully taut and well-delineated structure with an appealing brioche bouquet and elegant orchard fruit palate. Those with a predilection for rosé will enjoy Gilles 'Premier Cru' version that is made from roughly 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier. It has a pale coral pink robe, ripe raspberry aromas, a racy redcurrant palate, a lively mousse and dry finish. Not to be overlooked is Gilles' vintage Champagne which he only produces in years that he deems sufficiently rounded to stand alone. Usually made from equal parts of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it is complex and poised with dried fruit and nut nuances and (at least) a decade's ageing potential.