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)
Producer: Champagne J. Dumangin
Wine: Ratafia de Champagne 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
This 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 “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."
Champagne Dumangin, Chigny-les-Roses - Champagne
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 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 in the production process. Further, 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 J. Dumangin 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.