Most Admired Champagne Brands 2017: 16-30

03 February, 2017


The major brand in volume terms in the Champagne Thiénot group, Canard-Duchêne is pushing sales towards the 4.5m bottle mark. This could not have been done without the re-energising which has taken place over the past decade. Product innovation has been part of that process and a visit to the winery in Ludes with group managing director Stanislas Thiénot revealed a new organic, single vineyard wine, Parcelle 181.

This wine comes from a 12ha site of organically farmed, Ecocert certified, south-facing vineyard in Verneuil on the north side of the Marne Valley. It’s a 43% Chardonnay, 36% Pinot Noir, 21% Pinot Meunier blend, with some of the Chardonnay oak fermented, aged four years and Extra Brut in style. Bright and fresh, though not aggressive, this oak only imparts a subtle creamy texture. Winemaker Laurent Fédou has been experimenting with Argonne and Montagne de Reims oak barrels produced at the Jérôme Viard tonnellerie based in Cauroy les Hermonville to the north west of Reims.

Thiénot says that, while only about 250ha of 34,000ha in Champagne is farmed organically, interest is growing. Canard, with ‘organically certified’ champagnes in both its Léonie and Authentic ranges – around 120,000 bottles – is well placed to benefit from this trend. It’s a good way of recruiting new consumers and adding value.

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