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.
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).