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Once again this year Modena Champagne Experience has brought to the stage the incredible, indeed the incroyable! A very rich selection of prestigious labels offering the chance to experience and delve into all things Champagne. A large representation of Maisons that bring to the glass the rich and long history of a unique territory! There is something for all preferences indeed! Ready to jump into the fray? Let’s go!

Champagne is irrefutably, unequivocally, incontrovertibly the technical wine par excellence. However, anytime the ingredients of vignerons and chefs de cave include passion, flair, creativity, a precise and far-sighted vision, and a pinch of madness, that’s when the magic is ignited and unleashed on the impalpable wave of a thousand bubbles. And Modena Champagne Experience once again this year was able to deliver the incredible, indeed the incroyable!

We left at dawn, the legendary Andrea Petrini and I, a proven couple as far as the Società Excellence event is concerned, an event that brings together importers and maisons largely represented by the Producers themselves, finally numerous in this 2022 edition.

I must admit that I am not a great Champagne expert. However, as an expert taster and with an expert guide like Andrea, I am quick at orienting myself, according to my personal taste certainly, but also with the ability to identify what is excellent because it has all the markings to be defined as such.

The very rich selection of Modena Champagne Experience offers the chance to experience and delve into the entire territory of Champagne, with a large representation of Maisons that bring to the glass the varied history of a unique wine land. Beyond the few strict rules of the production disciplinary, the vision, flair and creativity of vignerons and chefs de cave translate into endless possibilities in interpretation.

I don’t know whether I got lucky, or wisely guided by those who know my personal taste, but interpretations centered on the freshness and crispness of the sip did prevail, with the exaltation of the grape variety, always on display and tremendously recognizable, even in the face of very long periods of aging on the lees. 

The oxidative note, which remains the prerogative of some, was present in most tastings as a very delicate inlay in the background; a further touch of inherent elegance that was never constructed or ostentatious. It is difficult to achieve such balance working in oxidation, so chapeau to those who do!

This year, then, the tasting was much more deliberate and personal. I went back to taste most of the maisons that had most impressed me last year, and the surprises were indeed many! No homologation, labels that beyond their precise elegance bring to the glass a story that is always new, different, and yet always equally engaging.

Just to pick one out of many, it is impossible not to choose the eclectic and unpredictable Quentin Beaufort with its unmistakable blue label. A Champagne that had bewitched my heart last year with a Blanc de Noirs out of the chorus, sharp, vibrant, precise. This wonderful Pinot Noir this time won me over with an originality all of its own and that ability of Quentin to always be over the top in an almost irreverent way I dare say! The kind that wow! And nothing else to add!

We were all literally swept away by a tsunami of sparkling emotions and shivers of pleasure that made everyone happy with its irresistible cheerfulness! A journey from the Montagne de Reims to the Vallée de la Marne, passing through the Côte des Blancs and with a jump further south into the Côte des Bars.

So many peaks of joy, some were of such intensity that I struggled to hold back tears! Here three of them for you:

  • PASCAL DOQUET – Whether Premier Cru or Grand Cru, his Champagnes are as clean as his gaze, as joyful as his smile, and as sincere as the understanding between him and his wife Laure. Chardonnay in all its wonderful, seductive elegance.
  • TARLANT – Brio and elegance, sharp and vertical, grandiose in every sip, in every sense. Energy and light in every glass. It will be hard to oust him from my personal podium!
  • GEOFFROY – My winner by nose over all for the incredible bouquet of its Premier Cru wines! Depth, complexity, finesse, and elegance, but you will not find one of the “classic” Champagne scents. A unique sensory journey! Indescribable!

This is Champagne and praise goes to Società Excellence‘s ability that was able to choose a large representation of excellent maisons from all over Champagne, of all orders and sizes. Including the Grands Classics, which certainly do not need any explanation or narrative that would always be at the very least inadequate compared to the established worldwide fame they enjoy.

Besides the joy of having participated in this unique event, and of having shared the path of this unforgettable day with so many friends and colleagues, what remains in my heart is the overwhelming desire to go and visit the area.

I dream of walking among the rows gently caressing the foliage, to breathe the crisp air that forms and tempers them, and to admire in religious silence the long rest of these bottles that slowly undergo transform to get to us in all their intense beauty and elegant pleasantness. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes! I am already planning the trip, and of course counting the days to the next Modena Champagne Experience.

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