Champagne: What to drink in Australia in Autumn 2022 Part 1: Pierre Gimonnet, Pol Roger & Duval-Leroy

Champagne: What to drink in Australia in Autumn 2022 Part 1: Pierre Gimonnet, Pol Roger & Duval-Leroy

Barry Weinman 3rd April 2022

The title for this series of articles is very specific to a point in time for an important reason. Non-vintage Champagne is not a homogenous product and there are a number of factors that can influence how it tastes.

  • The blend: The majority of the base wine in NV Champagnes typically comes from a single year, with reserve wines added to keep the style and quality consistent. But the characteristics of the base wine changes from year to year which affects the overall taste.
  • How long the wine has been left on lees: For the bigger houses in particular, their NV will be disgorged in batches to meet market demand. More time on lees will subtly change the flavour profile.
  • How long the wine has been sitting in Australia: Once a wine has been disgorged, the characteristics change over time. If a distributor has old stock, or a retailer has slow sales, then the wine will taste differently to a bottle that is fresh of the boat.

So, with the NV wines at least, what I am reviewing below is the wine that is currently available from the wholesaler in Australia today.

These wines were tasted as part of Tyson Stelzer’s fantastic Champagne tasting that is held each year around Australia.


Duval Leroy is a historic Champagne house that was established in 1859 and is still family owned today. These wines were the value standout for the tasting, and it’s worth checking for special prices with your local independent bottle shop.

Given the value on offer, the Brut Reserve is currently our house Champagne here at the Weinman’s.

Duval-Leroy – Brut Reserve – NV. A richer, textured style with decent length and refreshing acidity. Whilst not the most complex wine in the tasting, this is a wine that brings pleasure and can put a smile on your face. Pinot dominant, with four years on lees and 8gms of residual.

Pierre Gimonnet et Fils

The Champagnes of Pierre Gimonnet are notable for being almost all Blanc de Blancs. Even their Rosé starts life as a Blanc de Blancs before the addition of a small amount of still red wine.

Whilst the NV wines have always proved excellent drinking, it was the vintage wines that really stood out this time. There is an excellent article on Wineanorack discussing the house in some detail.

Pierre Gimonnet et Fils – Cuvée Fleuron Brut – 1er Cru – Blanc De Blancs – 2015. A very fine wine where the balance is the key to the success. This is lively, racy and taut, yet still possessing excellent depth and richness. From the Côte de Blancs, 75% Grand Crus, 5gm/l dosage. ($110 from Winesquare)

Pierre Gimonnet et Fils -Special Club – Grand Terroirs de Chardonnay – 2014. As the name suggests, this is really quite special. A Champagne with great richness, depth, intensity and power, with a creamy mouth filling texture. Outstanding Champagne! This is made from old-vines material with the vines between 60 and 100 years old. 5gm/l dosage.

Pol Roger

A house that needs no introduction, and the wines are in top form. The current release of the Brut Reserve is excellent, with a lovely combination of richness, power and balance, but it was the 2013 vintage wine that stood out.

Pol Roger – Vintage Brut – 2013. The key here is the balance. This combines the finesse of the 2013 Blanc de Blancs with the richness of the NV. The result is a sublime wine that is brilliant value at around $125. 60% Pinot Noir 40% Chardonnay, 8gms/l dosage, disgorged December 2019.