It is hard to believe that 20 years have elapsed since we first shipped wine from Gilles Dumangin at the dawn of the new millennium. Many things have changed since then but Gilles' attention to detail and the quality of his wines have remained unfailingly excellent. Based in the village of Chigny-les-Roses on the Montagne de Reims, the Dumangin family have been cultivating grapes for over 300 years so have had plenty of time to get acquainted with their terroir.
One of the reasons we decided to work with Gilles in the first place was his willingness to produce our own label 'Yapp' Champagne, which has developed a loyal following over the ensuing decades. Made from a blend of 50% Pinot Meunier and 25% each of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it is fresh, fruity and forward-drinking; so is suitable for all manner of celebrations. Gilles' popular 'Extra Brut' bottling is made from exactly the same blend but has a minimal dosage of just 2 grams of sugar per litre of wine. With a lively mousse, a bouquet of brioche and orchard fruit and a whistle-clean, zesty palate, it makes an uplifting aperitif or partner to oysters.
A fine coral-pink rosé is blended from 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier and has inviting summer berry scents and flavours and a persistent dry finish. It has sufficient weight to stand up to canapés and can readily support 2-3 years bottle age if properly cellared.
Gilles only produces his vintage Champagne in the finest years when he feels he can spare the wine without detracting from his other cuvées. The superb 2004 vintage is now fully mature and has received a wealth of positive press such as this from James Suckling: "A whopping 9 years en tirage, this has a super-contained set of complex aromas – toasty yeast notes, grilled almonds and red berries all packed in close and tight. The palate revolves round a core of concentrated lemon-drop flavour and the acidity is a leading element, holding the finish well. Super fine and super fresh for the age. Drink now."