After 20 years as a buyer for historic London wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd, Master of Wine Simon Field now acts as a freelance consultant to numerous publications. He’s also been sharing his expertise with the IWSC, acting as a judge during their 2021 tastings.
During his time at the tasting table, Field was lucky to sip wines from across France and eastern Europe. ‘But it was Champagne which provided some of the most memorable examples,’ he said.
Out on top was the Palmer & Co Brut 2012. ‘It came as no surprise that the wines from the great 2012 vintage were singing, and it was terrific to see Palmer (both the 2012 and the NV) on song,’ said Field. He was impressed with how this up-market co-operative was able to shine in a manner ‘formerly reserved for only the negociant Champagne house’. Tasting notes for this particular fizz mention freshly baked brioche and notes of tropical fruit.
The large Champagne houses didn’t disappoint, though – Maison Mumm’s RSRV 4.5 Grand Cru Brut NV offered hints of sherbet, marshmallow, lemon posset, mango, creamed peaches and ripe orange. Field was equally impressed with some of supermarket Champagne offering from blind tastings, too. The Co-op Les Pionniers Brut 2012 won a Gold medal, after all, as did Tesco’s Finest Premier Cru Brut NV.
Read on to see Simon Field MW’s top eight Champagne’s from the IWSC 2021.