Driving into the Pommery Champagne house, I was immediately blown away by the austerity of the grounds. Ornate French gates welcomed us into the refurbished provincial Chateau that was juxtaposed by a blow-up fruit installation – tres incredible.
Walking through front door, I learnt that the Champagne house was hosting an art exhibit called Gigantesque. The lobby area showcased an upside oversized elephant, an oversized dining set, oversized cork, setting the tone for what was to come.
Our first Winery Tour and I was already impressed. The contrast between the luxury Chateau of Pommery and the intriguing extremist art was intoxicating. The historic underground cellars were established in the 18th century and are today acting as a canvas to this confronting, modern, new-world art.
Our tour guide, Thierry made a thoughtful comment where her stance on the modern art exhibit is that it heightened the visual experience of the winery visitors as without it, patrons would just be looking at plain oak barrels and old bottles. She also commented that she would be upset to see the exhibit go in one month.
Time for the tasting. I had heard of Pommery Champagne before, and had seen it being sold in bottle shops around Melbourne however, I had never had the privilege of trying Pommery Champagne. We began with their entry-level Non-Vintage range. The strategy of the Pommery NV was “consistency, finesse and vivacity”. The bubbles were tight, brioche on the nose and I believe this was a Brut.
We then moved on to the 2006 Vintage. This was much more complex due to aging 9 years on lees. Much creamier than the NV however, maintained the refinement in the bubbles. This wine was creamy with dried fruit flavours.
And for the grand finale, Pommery did not disappoint with the 2004 Louis, self-proclaimed as the “best of the best”. The palette contained notes of apple and sweet spice, with a tasty finish of biscuits. By far my favourite for the day.