Founded in the 1890s in the picturesque little village of Chigny Les Roses, on the ‘mountain’ between Reims and Epernay, Champagne Dumangin is a boutique grower producing approximately 150,000 bottles of champagne per year. Fifth generation winemaker Gilles Dumangin tends to his family’s five hectares of vines scattered around the Montagne de Reims with the help of his father Jacky. This is the heart of pinot country so its no surprise that pinot noir and pinot meunier feature strongly in Dumangin champagnes – making them fresh, fruity and accessible well-priced easy drinking styles. Gilles says his philosophy is to design champagne for a variety of palates and export accordingly “We’re so small, we concentrate on mature markets and are looking to grow the new fine wine connoisseur. Although I prefer my wines dry, I need to make sweeter wines for most of my customers, but the best champagne for me is the one with the least sugar.”
My first introduction to this brand was the delightful Brut 17, a blend of approximately one third of each variety, with young rather than reserve wines dominating the mix. Named “17” for the vat in which it was first blended, this champagne is a lively fruit-driven cuvee ideal for parties.
Gilles recently made his first trip down under to participate in Vintage Cellars 3rd annual International Wine Fair and showcase his new ‘skinny’ 1er cru champagne (zero dosage) and his 2002 vintage.
Dumangin 1er Cru Extra Brut
Grape variety: 50% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay (including 60% reserve wines, blended with 40% from the most recent vintage)
Plenty of sex appeal here – on opening the bottle it smelt like a box of milk tray chocolates with tropical fruits – banana and coconut on the nose along with lashings of apple and pear and yeasty notes from the pinots. Fresh, fruity and very approachable style at a great quality value price point. (less than AUS $50)
Dumangin vintage 2002
Grape variety: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from 25yr old vines
Vibrant gold, light and fretting, with white flowers, hazelnuts and praline on the nose, this is a rich and creamy example of a great vintage in champagne which just slips down the throat – delicious and great value. (less than AUS $70)
In Australia grower Champagne Dumangin is exclusively available from Vintage Cellars.
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