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MoneyWeek, 24 December 2009 – NV Waitrose Blanc de Noirs Champagne

NV Waitrose Blanc de Noirs, Champagne, France (£18.99, Waitrose).  With the strong euro playing havoc with European wine purchases and the Champenois having their worst year of sales in living memory there is a lot of flux in the prices and more importantly the quality of Champagne on the shelves this Christmas.  You will, no doubt, have spotted some pretty big names going very cheap, but my advice is to avoid these deals.  Many of these wines have not been ‘made’ for the UK consumer and they will have been ‘parallelled’ into the UK from grey markets.  I would always recommend drinking a truly serious, small grower Champagne, with the right amount of bottle age and the correct ‘dosage’, over a Grande Marque which has been rushed into the shops and is tasting all knees and elbows.  Alexandre Bonnet, in Les Riceys, in the Aube region of Champagne, makes this Champagne for Waitrose and it is a truly beautiful.  With lustrous notes of wild roses on the nose and a sensual, captivating palate, this is a very attractive wine and one that will seriously impress your pals.  It is rich enough to handle all party food, most starters and even the noble turkey, too.  This is your emergency Champs for Christmas and the New Year – take my advice, this wine is a real find.

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