Every Friday 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 Burgundian Champagne lover Romain Genty. Merci Romain!
I’m 27 and grew up in Burgundy in a family that was not related to the wine sector but that had a decent cellar. I moved to Reims, Champagne for my studies and co-founded a champagne tasting club at my university, hosting tastings with Deutz, Bollinger and other great producers, mostly maisons. The champagne that made me fell in love with Champagne was Bollinger la Grande Année 2012 and the real founding moment in my champagne journey was my encounter with Anselme Selosse in Avize : from the long talk about his philosophy to the tasting of the most tremendous champagnes, it was an afternoon that I will never forget. I then created a website to write about things related to wine (articles about appellations, vintage reviews, food pairing, glassware, etc). My favorite regions are champagne, burgundy and more recently Loire since I have a growing passion for Chenin which is a truly magical grape variety.
Which Champagne would You treat your parents or in-laws?
‘I don’t have in-laws but for my parents, knowing my mum’s taste, I would go for blanc de blancs, something pure and elegant and looking at champagnes that I adore and that I haven’t made them discover yet, I would pick Pascal Doquet ‘Le Mesnil’, perhaps 2008 or a previous vintage more approachable at the moment. Every champagne from Pascal that I have tasted was so precise, intense, chalky and salty, the kind of experience that you want to offer to your loved ones.‘
Which Champagne would You treat your lover?
‘I would treat my lover with Bollinger ‘R.D.’ 1988 or 1976. The seduction power of James Bond and a true meaning for me since Bollinger has a special place in my heart and champagne journey. I’ve tasted 88 in magnum two times, it has the perfect Bollinger style and I’ve tasted 1976 earlier this year with two different disgorgement (one in 2014, one in 2020), it’s still youthful and luminous, as well as a lesson that acidity is not the key to great aging potential ! And wouldn’t it be fantastic if love aged as well as Bollinger ‘R.D.’ ? 😉 ‘
Which Champagne would You treat your boss?
‘To impress my boss, I would serve Krug ‘Grande Cuvée’ with some age, for example 162nd or 163rd edition. It’s a maison, a prestigious name but first and foremost a huge wine, a blend of up to 190 wines from 10 to 15 vintages and it stays enough time in Krug’s cellar to be perfectly enjoyable as soon as it is released (which is not the case for Dom Pérignon P1 for instance, in my humble opinion). With Krug ‘Grande Cuvée’, you take no risk and you position yourself as a connoisseur, a person of taste and a person who values his boss.‘
Which Champagne would You treat yourself?
‘I think I would treat myself with Chartogne-Taillet « les Barres » (Meunier planted in 1952) or Tarlant « les Vignes d’Antan », two champagnes elaborated by producers that are among my favorite, which are very talented and produce champagnes of the highest quality with a balance, an intensity, a feeling of plunging in the soil that I truly adore. And these two cuvées are franc de pied which is very very very rare and made possible thanks to sandy soils that phylloxera doesn’t like. Tasting one of these cuvées is a special moment, a moment that I would like to spend alone to meditate (and that I would also like to share with people who matter to me).’
Which Champagne would You treat a dream guest, and why?
‘One of my dream guest would be Henri Cartier-Bresson, he went on the field during so many decisive moments of the second half of the 20st century : his photographic report of the liberation of Paris is incredible, he met Gandhi a new hours before his death, he went to the Soviet Union right after Staline passed away, he went to Cuba just after the missiles crisis, he met all the major french intellectual figures and he was such a talented photographer !
I would treat him with Substance from Selosse. Once again, a true meaning for me, and it would give me the opportunity to defend grower champagne, explain the philosophy of Anselme Selosse and the solera technique that has inspired the creation of substance : each year he adds wine from the harvest (always coming from the two same plots) to some barrels and tanks in which you find wines that go back to 1986 to replace the quantity that is taken to fill 3000 bottles every year in such a way that the young wine represents about 22% of the total quantity (of course, the quantity of wine from 1986 is now very very small). The old wines educate the young wine, the young wine refreshes the old wines and Anselme believes that it erases the vintage effects to emphasize the characteristics of the terroir. I hope that I would bring some interesting knowledge to my guest that I would probably annoy with my thousands of questions !’
[ what piece of music would you listen to drinking wine with Your dream guest ?]
‘Let’s be dramatic and listen to Wagner’s Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, it would be the end of the evening, the aria is powerful and deeply moving, Substance would definitely match.‘