Every Saturday TheChampagneSommelier will ask 5 questions about 5 coeur de bouteilles to friends and Champagne lovers from near and far. This Week we took a bubbly chat with Australian Champagne lover Lucy Edwards. Merci Lucy !
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Having worked in the industry since 2009, Lucy is a self-confessed champagne nerd.
When she joined the French Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne to help grower producers looking to import to Australia, she fell in love with champagne, not because of the glitz & glamour but because of the undeniable mix of art & science required to create the world’s most prestigious wines, the dedication to traditional winemaking and the gracious hospitality of the champenois.
Over the past 10 years, Lucy has consulted to houses such as Jacquart, Pertois-Lebrun & Grande Charte, and was a pivotal in driving and developing Vranken-Pommery Monopole’s brands in Australia and South East Asia for over 5 years. She now runs a wine consultancy business CED Agency, helping small producers from throughout France to promote their wines in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
Which Champagne would You treat your parents or in-laws?
‘My in-laws are French and are spoilt for choice, so something with a little unusual never goes unnoticed. And having a microbiologist with a specialisation in Pinot Noir in the family means that very few wines will hold much mystery for them.
An interesting wild card would be Marc Augustin Cuvée Gaia: a vintage rose de saignée which is aged for 24 with “geo-maturation”. The bottles are buried underground for two years before being disgorged, which Marc sees as a metaphor for gestation. He also has some really interesting grape growing practices which take biodymanics to the next level: crystals are dug in the corners of the vineyards, they play music to their chardonnay and pinot vines (and the vines grow toward the speakers), the harvests are done by women only (to not mess with the fertile energy of the vines).
Some people may be sceptical, but I’m sure my in-laws would be intrigued.‘
Which Champagne would You treat your lover?
‘My lover hails from Burgundy, and has a soft spot for luscious Pinot Noirs which are far from my usual crunchy Côte des Blancs wines. Therefore, we meet in the middle, and I love sharing hidden gems from the Côte des Bars with him. Drappier Père Pinot has been a recent discovery that we have both enjoyed immensely, and is an interesting blend of 25% Pinot Noir, 25% Meunier, 25% Pinot Blanc and 25% Pinot Gris. Blood orange, passionfruit and strawberry compote… stunning.
I was fortunate enough to discover this wine after a virtual masterclass I hosted with Charline Drappier during the 2020 lockdowns, and regret not having purchased more.‘
Which Champagne would You treat your boss?
‘I work for myself, but I believe that my work wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without the people that I work with. I would treat my business partners to something that I love and believe represents the epitome of Champagne’s elegance: an aged blanc de blancs. One of my recent revelations is Pertois Lebrun Le Fond du Bâteau 12: organic chardonnay from Antoine & Clement Bouret’s crown jewel vineyard of Chouilly, fermented in oak and stainless steel, and then aged sur lattes for at least 7 years. I was very proud to introduce the Pertois-Lebrun range to Singapore in 2020 and enjoy a few bottles with some very knowledgeable collectors here.‘
Which Champagne would You treat yourself?
‘I’m very interested in the forgotten varietals of champagne, and have been wanting to try Duval-Leroy’s 2008 Petit Meslier. This grape is a cross between Gouais Blanc and Savagnin is planted on less than 100ha throughout the region, and some say it will grow very well in a future with global warming. The wine is aged in oak with bâtonnage, and disgorged after 10 years with 4 grams dosage. Although the first vintages were seen as over oaked by some, the 2008 has just been released and is sure to take drinkers on an interesting journey.‘
Which Champagne would You treat a dream guest, and why, and who’s is Your dream guest?
‘I have always been fascinated by the story of Madame Pommery, who despite all odds built the house up from nothing. She created the first brut champagne, gave her employees retirement funds, medical support and childcare in the work place. She also became a war hero when she threatened Prussian soldiers with a riffle hidden under her crinoline to save POWs and later joined forces with a man who set up a Wild West themed “saloon” near Reims in the 1880s. So many questions!
I have been cellaring a 1990 Jeroboam of Pommery Grand Cru which I plan to open for my 35th this year. I think this would be an interesting one to taste with her, and it is only in recent years that we have started ageing champagne for extended periods of time.‘
What piece of music would you listen to drinking wine in question 5 ?
‘A catchy 1990s inspired piece by Australian duo Client Liaison: Champagne Affection. The clip is a classic too.‘