HOW TO SERVE
A bottle of champagne may be kept in the refrigerator... provided it is in the least cold part and for less than 10 days. Before pouring the champagne; the neck must be wiped with a clean linen or the bottom of the cork.
The flutes are then filled, never more than by two-thirds. Avoid the saucer-shaped glass which is unsuitable and ill-adapted to concentrate the aroma. Use fine, long stemmed tulip or flute glasses. The bubbles can there nicely rise to the top of the crown, the aromas are withheld thanks to the narrowed top of the flute. A champagne flute must never be iced, it would indeed "break" the wine. The most important point to remember when serving Champagne is to ensure that your glasses have no trace whatsoever of detergent. This will destroy the bubbles entirely and what is a Champagne without them? So . . . prior to use, you must thoroughly rinse the glasses with extremely hot water and dry with a lint free cloth. This will guarantee a wonderfully effervescent glass of Champagne just as it should be! And when you have finished your bottle remember that turning the empty bottle upside-down in the ice-bucket shows doubtful taste!
The harvest takes place at the end of September, beginning of October.
The pressing is carried out right after the picking for the juice not to be colored from too long a contact with the skins of the grapes.
The "débourbage" or clearing of the juice
The pips and impurities are then removed.
The "fermentation barrel"
1. The alcoholic fermentation
transforms sugar into alcohol and carbonic gas.
2. The malolactic fermentation
reduces any acidity in the wine.
Analysis and first tasting of the wines
From this first tasting the Head Cellarer and his assistants will blend the different vines and vineyards. The "JACQUART taste and character" is here and then expressed.
"Blending barrel" and treatment by the cold
The blended wine is stabilized and balanced thanks to a treatment by the cold.
A further filtration rids the wine of all the suspending matter that may remain.
The wine is then "drawn" in order to be bottled.
Birth of the froth -bubbles- and stacking "on the lees" in the cellar
The bottles are stacked on their sides. The second fermentation, which characterizes the "Méthode Champenoise" -Champagne method- generates the froth, or bubbles. The wine is allowed three years to mature. This goes for a non-vintage Brut, but it is extended for vintage champagnes.
"Remuage" or Riddling
The yeast cells die and come to rest onto the bottom of the bottle. In order to eliminate the sediment the bottles are stacked on racks -or "pupitres"-, neck down, and tilted every day by 1/8 of a turn . The lees are thus brought "down" to the neck of the bottle.
"Dégorgement" or Disgorgement
The neck of the bottle is then frozen. A chunk of ice traps the sediments and is expelled when the bottle is opened. A liquor exclusively made from mature Champagne wines is then added to dose the Brut, extra-dry, semi-dry or dry champagnes. The bottle is then corked, "wired", controlled and labelled.
The blending of grape varieties
The blending of wines from different grape varieties creates Champagne wines rich in contrast and complementary qualities.
Pinot Noir contributes red fruit aromas to the wines, providing strength and body to the blend.
Pinot Meunier is soft and fruity with and intense bouquet; it ages more rapidly and gives the wine its roundness.
Chardonnay is the grape variety that gives the wine finesse. When young it provides floral, sometimes mineral notes. It matures slowly and is the ideal ingredient for the ageing of the wines.