Most Admired Champagne Brands 2017: 16-30

03 February, 2017


It’s now 40 years since Alain Thiénot, then a courtier in Champagne finding good sources of grape supply for other producers, bought his first vineyard – 6ha in the Grand Cru of Aÿ. He added plots in the Grand Cru of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and these formed the basis for the house of Thiénot, founded in 1985.

From the outset, the aim was wines dedicated to gastronomy and the on-trade. The vineyard holdings have been built to around 30ha in the best premiers and Grand Crus over the years and this supplies more than 80% of the grapes needed for producing around 350,000 bottles. This is a family operation, now run by Thiénot’s son, Stanislas, with his sister Garance also involved. Her meeting with street artist Speedy Graphito was the catalyst for a colourful, limited-edition magnum of Thiénot Brut NV, a wine that, thanks to four years ageing and a 45% portion of reserve wines in the blend, is a step up from most non-vintage offerings and especially good in magnum.

The three high-quality vintaged family cuvées, are all serious, age-worthy wines, a fact recognised in second releases of Cuvée Alain Thiénot, now on the celebrated 1996 vintage. The new 2008 ‘Garance’ Blanc de Noirs, a mix of Aÿ and Mailly Pinot Noir, really impressed when tasted in December.

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.