Jancis Robinson - 17.5 Points
"Blend of Champagne grapes. Colour of Victoria plum skins, ie light tawny. Smells rather like apricot eau de vie with that woody aroma of spirit. Sweet, powerful but so deliciously scented on the palate: orange and rose and dried apricots. Scrumptious." - (Julia Harding MW)
Silver Award Concours Général Agricole de Paris 2020
Producer: Champagne J. Dumangin
Wine: Ratafia Champenois Non-Vintage - 375ml
Varietals: 55% Pinot Meunier (for fruit), 35% Pinot Noir (for structure) and 10% Chardonnay. Aged for at least 5-7 years.
Nose: Cinnamon and spices with ripe tropical fruits, figs, nuts, baking and brown sugar
Palate: Nice amount of fruit with great richness and nutty notes
Food: Cheese, melon, chocolate desserts, reducing sauces for duck
Cellaring: Drink now
The Dumangin family can be traced back to working in the vineyards since the 1650's. Champagne Dumangin was created by Hippolyte Dumangin in the 1890s in the 1er Cru village of Chigny-les-Roses. Jacky Dumangin, three generations later, perfected the characteristically feminine Premier Cru champagne range. His son, Gilles Dumangin, 5th generation of successful winemakers, expanded the domaine by introducing several high-end cuvees that helped position his domaine.
The installations for pressing and making the wines have been awarded the quality label by the CIVC. His press of 2000Kg (4409 pounds) combines modernism and tradition and is one of only two made of this type in the world. It crushes the grapes ever so delicately, with less pressure and more respect for the grape, adhering to the family philosophy of never "stressing" the grapes at any point during the production process. Gilles Dumangin is one of the few producers in Champagne who utilizes enamel tanks in which the porosity maintains a signature yeast component cuvee after cuvee.
Champagne Dumangin J. Fils has more than 13 acres in the prestigious Montagne de Reims and is considered a classic recoltant-manipulant (grower producer) who carefully controls every aspect of production, from picking to bottling, to hand riddling.
Ratafia is an ancestral method of preserving fruit
juice in the same way that salting was used to preserve meat.
Four parts - First, in oak casks from Crozes-Hermitage. Second,
aged Soléra style - ancestral method of maturing and gradually
assembling different vintages, generally used for the great Port
wines. Third, the cask is closed tight and left outside where it is
subject to changes in temperature. Fourth, in stainless steel
tanks. Can be cellared for 25 year.
Ratafia Champenois - Dumangin
Ratafia Champenois (formerly Ratafia de Champagne) is a spirit made by fortifying Champagne must (process called mistelle). This s an ultra rare specialty from Champagne is a blend of half brandy made from Champagne and half grape juice from the region. The Dumangin is then aged for seven years in a combination of vessels including used Crozes-Hermitage barrels. The result is a semi sweet aperitif cut from the same mold as Pineau de Charentes.
"Brilliant use of the juices on each champagne press on top of the Champagne appellation. The grape juice is “preserved” by adding a neutral champagne alcohol. The particularly complex blend of Ratafias solera aged, “vino santo” style aged, tank aged (minimum 4 years aging) brings wonderful fruity aromas as well as a very distinguished wood note.".
The Montagne de Reims lies on a deep bed of chalk where the subsoil is predominately limestone. The outcrops of sedimentary rock (75% limestone) alre also composed of chalk, marl and limestone proper. This type of subsoil provides good drainage and also imparts that particular mineral flavor found in certain Champagne wines. The region is located around Reims Mountain, from Reims to Épernay, and contains nine Grands Crus villages. Its soils are chalk-based, with striations of loam, lignite, clay, sand, silt, and marl.