March Mission Impossible

Diary Date: March Mission Impossible – EST Champagne night.
Last week I accepted Mission Impossible – my objective was to taste and appreciate 21 Champagnes in under 3 hours. Fifteen finely dressed distributors lined up around the EST dining room to demonstrate their prestigious property(non-vintage & rose Champagne styles) as grateful guests dashed excitedly from one tasting stand to the next. Unfortunately I only got to sample two of EST’s famous canapes (1 crab, 1 quail) but I can report they were both delicious.

Some Champagne buffs like me were disappointed that the format of the event did not allow for any educational component as we always love to learn
new details about our passion (rather than being seated serenely at tables with waiter service and an expert host to guide us through the flowing Champagnes in some sense of order, it was a free for all polite herd at a bustling wine fair more reminscent of the annual Taste NZ trade tastings than a Champagne night) but by golly did I have a good time tasting this fabulous selection of wonderful Champagnes in one place. No-one seemed to really care that we didn’t get to rinse our
glasses between Champagnes or that we were poorly fed.

My favourite stand out wines of the night were (1) Larmandier Bernier ‘terre de vertus’ a fabulous 1er cru bio-dynamic Champagne from Vertus in the Cote des Blancs and (2) the recently released Bollinger NV rose from grand cru village Ay and Gatinois – the grower’s own wine – he supplies grapes to Bollinger too.

I’ll definitely be going back to this tasting next year – so I’ll hopefully see you there. To find out more about Merivale Group events visit

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