A spectacular Champagne from the Dumangins

Introduce yourself to the wonderful wine of Gilles Dumangin, says Matthew Jukes.


2004 Dumangin Fils, Premier Cru Brut Vintage, Champagne, France (£39, Yapp Brothers, 01747-860423, yapp.co.uk).

I received an email from an old pal the other day and it prompted this column. Gilles Dumangin is a lovely chap and he heads up his family firm in Champagne, making delicious and eminently affordable, hand-crafted wines.

I know this because I bought the wine for my wedding from him five years ago. He went the extra mile by allowing me to adjust the dosage of the Champagne exactly to my specifications not too dry or too sweet, just spot on. He is a very meticulous fellow and he wanted it to be right. I will never forget this and I have followed his wines closely ever since.

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When I had the chance to taste his new 2004 vintage, I had high expectations. This is a large, but very good harvest in Champagne, but many wines lack drive and definition. Gilles has clearly endeavoured to make a memorable wine in 2004 because his version is nothing short of spectacular.

The Dumangins have spent 350 years perfecting their craft in Champagne and there can't have been many better wines made here, over three and a half centuries, than this one.I hope that you faithful MoneyWeek readers feel compelled to introduce yourselves to Gilles he's one of us.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com).

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.