Review: Canard-Duchéne Grande Cuvée Charles VII Brut

Canard-Duchéne is a champagne house from Ludes, Champagne. Founded in 1868 by Victor Canard and Leonie Duchéne, the house and vineyard sits within the Montagne du Reims National Park.

The house was provided with the special right to use the Russian Imperial coat of arms as the family emblem, and as such the two headed eagle adorns every bottle of Canard-Duchéne.

The House’s wine style is driven by complex flavours with intense fruit presence.

Showcasing this is the Charles VII range of champagnes, named so to celebrate King Charles VII, the winner of the 100 years war. The complete range is treated to 4 years of maturing within the houses cellars to extract more flavours.

So how does this expression go among a group of regular punters?

Canard-Duchene Charles VII Brut Champagne

Details:

From: Ludes, Champagne, France

Code: NM-137-004

Cost & Source: ~$70 a bottle available from Heinemann Duty Free

Blend Ratio (%): Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier (55/45/0) with 11 g/l dosage.

Aging: 4 Years

Disgorged: N/A

Sipped: November 2017

In the Glass:

Look: Mid golden hue with some of the most energetic and fine bubbles I’ve ever seen.

Smell: The time spent on yeast shows through in a slight fungal note on a mostly dessert wine aroma.

Taste: Charles VII Brut has one of the most complex flavour profiles I’ve ever tried. The slighter higher than usual dosage (sugar added) combined with 4 years on yeast brings out plenty of strength in the flavour.

Introduction has the toasted honeyed notes which quickly passes into a strong, syrupy fruit presence. In among the light citric drive there is a caramelised flavour here – which notes of raisins being dominant. This is tied in with a light peppery spice that sits in the middle of the tongue.

The raisin-like finish is an acquired taste, however – with plenty of yeast notes still in play. Some will find it sweet and pleasant, but others seeking the dry and balanced acid line of most champagnes may find this a bit odd.

Recommendations:

Party Potential: Canard-Duchéne Charles VII Brut is both hard to find and on the upper echelons of cost to make it viable for party supplies. It is also to interesting a wine taste wise – not quite to everyone’s palate. Save this for a single bottle at a special event.

As a Gift: An interesting high-fruit flavoured champagne which will interest most recipients.

At Home: Charles VII will likely be a one time purchase you’ll end up using for a nice dinner with friends over.

Score & Verdict:

5.00/10

A sweet little personality that doesn’t turn off – and gets old a little quickly. Maybe that’s your thing, maybe it’s not. At least worth hanging with out the one time.

At $70 I feel it is average value for the quality.

How did I drink it?

With a few friends after moving house

How did you drink it?

And how did you find it? Let me know!

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