Aristocratic glitter in a champagne - Champagne de Venoge
Dear readers, during one of a fragrance appreciation event, someone has said to me “if you have a good nose in perfume, you are probably good in appreciating wine and champagne.”, this statement might probably be true, as the fact that both perfume and champagne enthusiast like myself, I do think that our nose can only be trained skillfully by experiencing different sensational fragrant and taste, as the result, the more you experience some unique and beautiful fragrant, the more you can master your olfactory sensitivity and becoming an expert connoisseur. To me, finding something rare, precious and luxurious things is just a passion of mine, therefore, I always go after some rare niche fragrance when it comes to perfume, so as for champagne, it’s always a quest for me to look for something unique and beautiful, something that raise above from the mass market product, without any heavy advertising but very focus on producing something from the heart and heritage, with much artisanship and savoir-faire, lately I came across a very understated yet reputed champagne house, Champagne de Venoge, which produces some of the most qualitative and luxury champagne which I would like to share with you here today.
Founded by a Swiss gentleman, Mr. Henri-Marc de Venoge, in 1837, who left his home country Switzerland and settled in Epernay, Champagne, he designed the very first colourful and illustrated labour of Champagne history, after passing down the champagne know-how, business and history to his family over the last century, the champagne by de Venoge has been recognized by elite French society and European aristocrats, the house has even won the Grand Prix d’Excellence at the Universal Exhibition of Philadelphia in 1876! Fast forward to nowadays, the Hôtel de Venoge has moved to 33 Avenue de Champagne in Epernay, marking their continuous commitment to refinement, nobility and distinctive image of the champagne house, succeeding the valuable and traditional champagne making know-how, and bring it to present time with aristocratic elegance and majestic glory.
Before going down to their exquisite champagne, let’s take a short visual tour here to explore their Hôtel in Epernay! The mansion is jaw-dropping spectacular and tranquil at the same time, to me it feels like visiting a blue-blood French aristocrat’s home with certain second empire elegant flair but very discreet and understated luxury, the warm welcoming and classic interior of the living room which expresses a mix of Neoclassicism and French imperial style of the past, a scholarly atmosphere, with the Beaux-Arts elements and upholstering, which makes one feel homey, and a feeling of some unspeakable and invisible treasure to be found inside, and it’s right, the Hôtel de Venoge did hold a genuine treasure, it’s their wine libraries of Champagne that composed of nearly 20,000 vintage bottles, they have been kept discreetly so if you are a wine historian, this place will possibly intrigues you a lot!
So, after talking so much about the history and the house of de Venoge, what about their champagne? Do they live up to the house’s image and legacy with such glory and quality? Yes Indeed! And today I have picked two of my favorites here; the first one is their “Princes Extra Brut”, the unique inverted-heart shape bottle has got my heart at the first sight, resurrects the mythical Champagne Princes created in 1864 by Joseph de Venoge in honor of the Princes of Orange, this elegant champagne recalls the crystal flasks in which European aristocracy used to decant their champagnes in the early twentieth century. Made with 35% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Meunier, this Cuvée “Princes Extra Brut” opens with an incredibly elegant bouquet from white flowers and fruits, the light golden yellow palette is clear and glitz, it’s smooth in the mouth with medium to full-bodied complexity, then it became aromatic and spicy; the fragrant of white peach, pear and a hint of nutty taste at the opening makes this a pleasant drinking champagne as aperitif or just a relaxing downtime at home when you are reading a history book or a novel.
While the second one, is the imperial looking “Louis XV Brut”, a bit of history here, the creation of this champagne literally serve as the celebration of the historic act of King Louis XV of France in 25th May 1728, he made a viticultural history by issuing a decree allowing only wines of Champagne to be both shipped and marketed in bottles, the document was the most precious gift the king has offer to the Champagne region, and the bottling meant that the sparkle created during fermentation could be preserved only for wines from Champagne, marking the birth of Champagne as we know it today.
Made with 50% Pinot Noir (from Verzenay, Ambonnay etc.) and 50% Chardonnay (from Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Orger, Avize etc.), this Cuvée champagne is the ultimate enjoyment for champagne connoisseurs, it’s a vintage of 1995 with deep golden yellow hue, the elegant fragrant included Vanilla, Brioche, lemongrass and a hint of spiciness, giving the finesse of aromas and an elegant minerality, both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay presented in this champagne is well-balanced with complexity, sophisticated and smooth at the same time, it offers a multi-layered sensation, like reading a glorious history of a French Comté or a French aristocrat.
As the Valentine’s day is just around the corner, just when you were thinking of which champagne that you are about to pick for your romantic dinner, you might want to add up some aristocratic glamour with a bottle of Champagne de Venoge, as a little sparkling surprise to your love one.
Image courtesy of Sino Vantage Wines Asia.