Sunday, 26 February 2012

Guy Charbault

There’s a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia….

There’s a lot of Champagne in Champagne. So without further ado I give you.

Guy Charbault. 3rd generation growers based in Mareuil-Sur-Ay in the Marne valley. They are a smallish house producing a bit over 200,000 bottles a year (0.76%Moet). Their vines are mostly in the Marne valley in the villages of Mareuil-sur-Ay and Bizeuil, though they source some Pinot Meunier from the Aude.

Their viticulture is mostly organic, though they do employ ‘l’insecticide de confusion sexuelle’ colloquially known as the ‘l’entraitement de Shoreditch’ and reserve other spray in case of problems.

Guy Charbault are typical of a large section of the Champagne market, exporting across Europe, but also selling a lot of wine to the, mainly, Belgian hoardes that descend annually looking to fill their boots with bubbles.

If I was being very cruel, I’m not, but mainly because I’ve a glass of nice rose Champagne in my hand and I’ve just had a lovely breakfast, I’d call it commodity Champagne. I don’t think anyone is ever going to seek out Guy Charbault wines, or write breathless blog posts about them (this one excluded), but that doesn’t stop them from being worthy of serious consideration.

They’re substantially cheaper than the big houses, cellar door prices ranging from €14 to €18. Now if that doesn’t say everyday drinking Champagne to you, then you obviously have a better control of you bank account than I do.

A lithe and racy Blanc de Blanc, a nice fruity (dare I say it Moet style) Selection Brut, a Vintage offering that mimics the style of the NV but with more oomph, a rose de saignee (a surprisingly bold winemaking choice) that would be more than would more than happily grace my glass as I lounge on a riverbank come summer. Only a mildly disappointing 1ere cru Reserve Selection marred the range, it was a bit heavy on the autolytic yeasty toastiness without the power of wine beneath to balance it.

Full tasting notes and pretty pictures of the bottles here.

So there you go, family owned, good bubbles, and the satisfaction of knowing that every time you drink a bottle Bernard Arnault, a man much richer than either you or me (unless you happen to be Bernard Arnault, in which case hi) sheds a solitary lonely tear (probably not true, but I like to pretend).

Xavier Charbault
Guy Charbault, 12, rue du Pont, B-P 24, 51160, Mareuil-sy-Ay.
+33 3 26 52 60 59

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