My introduction to Champagne Boizel is one that I actually cannot tell you about quite yet – but I will in due time…I promise. (Lights. Camera. Action.)
However, my subsequent visits to the house, first as a guest during Champagne Week to taste their ‘vin clair’ alongside vintage champagnes and then as a part of an English speaking tour with a private tasting, were both remarkable.
Champagne Boizel originally opened its’ doors in 1834 under the name of Champagne Boizel-Martin linking husband, Auguste Boizel and wife, Julie Martin, together on the label and as co-owners of the house, which was unusual and uncommon for the time. Today, brothers Lionel and Florent (who are sixth generation) work alongside their mother, Evelyne, to continue the traditions and pursuit of excellence that the house is known for.
The family owns 7 hectares of vineyard land and purchase another 65 hectares to craft their champagnes. Champagne Boizel only uses the ‘cuvée’ (best juice) to make their champagnes. Champagne appellation law states that a producer can release their champagne to market after 15 months, but Champagne Boizel believes in never rushing, so they keep their ‘Brut Réserve NV’ for three years before releasing it to market and some of their other champagnes, such as their ‘Blanc de Blancs’, is kept for four years.
The Roques-Boizel family strongly maintains its’ traditions but is also open-minded and future focused to the evolving world that is oenotourism. The house holds tours in both French and English daily from Monday to Saturday and welcomes visitors into their beautifully refurbished boutique and tasting room which re-opened May 2018 – truly a beautiful space.
Tasting Champagne Boizel May 27th, 2019:
Champagne Boizel Brut Réserve NV – a very friendly and welcoming champagne made with the three principle champagne varieties: 55% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 15% Meunier. This is not your average non-vintage champagne as it boasts 3 years of aging on lees as well as the inclusion of 30% reserve wines. This champagne is nicely structured with flavours of stone fruit, white flowers and a hint of lime zest that is held together with balance.
Champagne Boizel ‘Grand Vintage’ 2008 – a perfectly harmonious blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay. This champagne is flirty and evocative with 8 years aging on lees as well as only 4 grams/litre of dosage. Delicately balanced with flavours of almond tarts, caramelized oranges and a hint of honey, this vintage champagne is delicious and has more aging potential for at least another 5 -7 years.
Champagne Boizel ‘Joyau de France’ 2004 – this is the houses’ ‘tête de cuvée’ or prestigious offering – for good reason. I could have spent an hour with this glass of champagne discovering its’ complexities and uncovering layers of depth. As you know, I enjoy vintage champagne and this ranks very high on my personal favourite list. With 13 years of aging and only 3 grams/litre of dosage, this beautifully crafted champagne is made with 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir. There is depth and structure alongside complexity and balance – flavours of fresh peach, dried apricots, hazelnut, lemon zest and brioche. The finish is beautifully long with toasted notes expressed mid-palate. Stunning.