Sip Champagnes: 10 top wines from this new UK importer

Sip Champagnes is a specialist Champagne importer established by Peter Crawford in 2020. Peter has been travelling to the region for 20 years, but recently the stars aligned and he decided to start bringing some Champagnes in. ‘It became clear SIP was needed in the UK because it’s such a mature market, and the small producers just can’t find a way in,’ he says. ‘I started SIP to champion these producers.’ Now they are up to 52 wines with another five coming in This is about as big as it will grow, he says. Most of the producers in the range have no existing UK representation, but a few have some but not with these cuvées. They try to work with the best in each range rather than carrying everything.

This tasting represented the upper end of what they do.

Champagne Goutaube-Boillot Clos des Monnaies 2011
12% alcohol. From Damery in the Marne, this is mainly Pinot Meunier. Lovely complex aromatics of pear, ripe apple and spice. Powerful, complex palate is linear and spicy with nice intensity of citrus fruit. Powerful expressive and structured with lovely mandarin, marmalade and a touch of lime. This is really impressive. 94/100

Champagne Didier Herbert DH1 Pinot Noir Extra Brut 2017
12% alcohol. Lees ageing under cork. There’s a hint of oak on the nose with some savoury spiciness. Has some vanilla and cedar, with powerful cherry and pear fruit, as well as some apple. Finishes with a spicy citrus finish. Distinctive stuff. 92/100

Champagne Georges Remy Premier Cru Les Muits 2017
12.5% alcohol. Based in Tuxières, next to Bouzy. Brut Nature, 100% Chardonnay. Full yellow/gold colour. Concentrated and powerful with lovely spicy citrus and appealing textural pear, apple and honey notes. Some oxidative notes but they work really and the overall effect is one of harmony and precision, with depth of flavour. 94/100

Champagne Maurice Vesselle Les Hauts Chemins Grand Cru Bouzy Extra Brut 2011
12.5% alcohol. 100% Pinot Noir. Complex nose is nutty and woody with some spicy notes. Savoury and detailed. The palate is powerful and nutty with some aniseed and spice, as well as rich orange peel, lemon and cherry fruit. Lots of flavour here. Rich and gastronomic. 92/100

Champagne Demière Egrég Or 2010
12.5% alcohol. From Fleury La Rivière, half way along the Vallee de Marne. 100% Pinot Meunier vinified in large oak, no malolactic. Has some nut and spice on the nose, with a touch of almond. The palate is bright and lively with a nice citrus core and some keen acidity, as well as a touch of manadarin and cherry. Lovely acid line here, with bright fruit and good precision. 93/100

Champagne Penet-Chardonnet Coline & Candice Grand Cru Extra Brut 2009
12.5% alcohol. Complex, lively and intense with bold citrus, a touch of peach and keen acidity. It tapers beautifully on the finish with a mineral streak and some fine oak influence that integrates well. Very stylish. 94/100

Champagne Gaspard Brochet Tome II Pinot Noir Extra Brut 2018
12% alcohol. Cousin of Emmanuel Brochet, this comes from Le Mont Benoit. Very fine and structured with nice acidity and some pear and citrus fruit. Has some cherry and fine herbal hints with crystalline quality. Youthful with a hint of aniseed as well as the nice fruit. 93/100

Champagne Famille Delouvin Fauve Brut Nature Symbiose 2014
Chardonnay (75%), Pinot Meunier (25%). Expressive and aromatic with bright citrus and pear on the nose as well as a twist of apple. The palate is structured and powerful with good acidity and nice structure. Great precision with fine spiciness. Such tension and vibrancy here, but also some depth and slight oxidative hints. 95/100

Champagne Domaine Vincey Chardonnay d’Oger Grand Cru Le Grand Jardin 2014
12.5% alcohol. Brut Nature, no malolactic. Last time they will use clear glass. Complex nose of apple, lemon and liquorice. Complex and precise with some sweet citrus and a touch of herb. Good acidity with some sweet lemony notes as well as herbs and even a bit of honey. There’s bass and treble here. 91/100

Champagne Domaine Rousseaux-Batteaux Louvois Grand Cru Le Mont Extra Brut 2016
12.5% alcohol. Old vine Pinot Noir. Concentrated and intense with good structure. Refined citrus fruit with a linear personality and good acidity. Has a touch of pear and apple, with lovely intensity of flavour and a tapering finish. Structured and very fine. Wonderful stuff. 95/100