A Champagne Experience at Dan Murphy’s

At the Champagne Precinct of Dan Murphy’s in Double Bay, the bottles are chilled and the glasses are sparkling. It’s World Champagne Day and Guy Vaillant, Champagne Specialist at Dan Murphy’s is about to pop the corks.

Dan Murphy’s Champagne Experience
Champagne Experience with Guy Vaillant

Belgian by birth, Guy (pronounced Ghee) is an ex Sommelier with experience in London and Brussels before moving to Australia. He has worked at Armstrong’s in North Sydney, Chicane, Mille Vini and Bambini Trust and ran his own export business before joining Dan Murphy’s four years ago.

Dan Murphy’s has over 400 different sparkling wines on offer. For the occasion, Guy has selected a range of cuvée and grower champagnes and he brings his expert champagne knowledge as he guides the tasting with emphasis on the mid-palate.

Starting with apéritif styles, Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve is a little dry then becomes aromatic and fruity on the mid-palate. 2004 Lanson Gold Label Vintage Brut follows, with its characteristic chalky nose, minerality on the mid-palate and finishes dry. Moving up in texture and complexity, Bollinger Special Cuvée brings notes of hazelnuts and fruit becoming more evident and lingering with a creamy mouthfeel.

Dan Murphy’s Champagne Experience
Guy Vaillant, Champagne Specialist at Dan Murphy’s Double Bay

It is rare to see the word chateau on champagne, Guy explains as he pours Champagne Château de Bligny, a grower champagne made from a blend of 50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Dry on the nose, the wine has a marked toastiness with toasted brioche and lingers beautifully on the palate.

From Bouzy, Champagne Paul Louis Martin Grand Cru highlights the weight of the fruit which gives structure to the mid-palate, intensifying the flavour with a markedly short finish.

The rosé style adds more body and red fruit intensity, and Champagne Duperrey Brut Rosé brings cherry fruit and toasted bread to the mid-palate. A Dan Murphy’s exclusive, it was specifically selected to mark Duc Duperrey’s visit to Australia in the 1800s.

With heady aromas of blue cheese and grapefruit, Champagne Duval Leroy 2004 Blanc de Blancs remains remarkably fresh on the palate with the quality of the 2004 vintage coming through – a superb champagne for all occasions. The tasting ends with Champagne Collard-Picard Cuvée Prestige from a biodynamic and natural grower, a wine with profound aroma, fully-rounded with nuttiness, body weight and a little sweetness on the palate.

Dan Murphy’s Champagne Experience
Champagne on Taste

From fruit-driven to minerality, toastiness, structure and sweetness, the palate has been educated.

Dan Murphy’s has over 400 different champagne and sparkling wines on offer, and with Christmas and the entertaining season nearly upon us, one can benefit from the team’s knowledge and experience to select the best for the palate and the pocket.

Disclaimer: Some products and vintages are not available at all Dan Murphy’s stores.

Dan Murphy’s

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.