Previously MD at Bragard UK , Jérome Poussin is since 2012, when he set up is own wine distribution company the new musketeer for Sanger champagne, and the UK ambassador for the “Cellar of knowledge” founded by former students of the Avize winemaking school. I will define him as a man who loves the transmission of high values, with a profound knowledge into wines and with a refine palate for food and wine. He made me discover the Sanger selection 2 years ago paired with cheeses from Beillevaire, we were in Knightsbridge, I was rushing as usual but I remember exactly how it feels to have the machecoulais paired with the Générosité noire, the terroir natal with the Comte, and it just became evil with the truffle Brillat Savarin and its 5000 cal a bite. When I left I was shocked by how I loved the rosé de saignée, Tango Paradoxe. I just added them to my list, what else could I do?
S: What is your vision of today’s wine world, and particularly of the Champagne’s ?
I have a huge preference for Champagne, after water… The “Terroir” of the Champagne region is the result of a unique combination of physical factors that local
growers have successfully turned to good account for several centuries now. This global perspective provides an understanding of all the natural and human aspects that underlie the diversity of Champagne wines.
S: Why have you chosen to distribute Sanger Champagne?
“Heritiers et Avenir de la Champagne” / « Heritage and future of champagne” The Origins of Champagne SANGER makes it unique, as its birth took place in a quiet particular environment: the transmission and the sharing of know-how between professionals, teachers and learners, within the High School of Vine Growing of Avize. Since 1952, the pupils of Avize Viticampus, develop champagnes SANGER with their cellar master.
SANGER Champagne is produced by the wine Academy Viticampus in Avize in Côte des Blancs. Viticampus is the winemaking school of Champagne, a large family and an uninterrupted link conveying knowledge, skills, know-how and values across the generations.
SANGER is not just a brand or a bottle. It’s a voyage around champagne, its region, its several terroirs and through 9 different cuvees, with each one having their own identity. To provide grapes, there are 104 former students representing almost all the different Champagne areas of winemaking, with more than 40 villages and 4 counties.
This constitutes an extraordinary oenological wealth, with a yearly production of 130,000 bottles, the profit earned going to the
current future of the school. 80% of the current wine makers, including high-profile names, are former students. Focused respectively on winegrowing and sustainable development issues, the wine Academy has already received accolades about their Champagne Grand Cru SANGER.
Avize Viticampus is putting together training programs and will be inviting sommeliers and managers to be taught about the making of champagne by students
and professionals. An opportunity to add value to the message about education and knowledge for future professionals.
As much as A unique story to tell, it’s all about: Location – Education – Sensation
S: Why London?
Most of Champagne Houses and especially the most renowned one, have from 70% to 80% of their production exported across the planet, it certainly helps to expand their brand’s identity. UK imports over 10% out of a total amount of 350 million being produced in champagne. London is surely the right place to start with, it is known as the world food capital and has a large amount of well-established Michelin star restaurants, where customers are always in search of grower champagnes, advised by professionals’ sommeliers. Also, UK being a leading selling platform for wines around the world and being able to promote SANGER there, it gives a chance to the students to be recognised internationally with the product they have been participating to create. One goes to Harvard or Cambridge, and one gets acclaimed, but what do they produce while studying? The school of Avize Viticampus, offers young generation the ability to learn and share their knowledge with future one, it offers the ability to anticipate for the future of wine growers and know-how.
S: What is your Champagne recommendation and your pairing recommendation?
No matter how many times that you hear Champagne isn’t just for special occasions, most of us don’t get around to buying it until we have something to toast—be it the New Year, an anniversary or some other momentous occasion.
Why? Well, to start with, this is not cheap. Before opening a bottle, you should know what you are drinking. Champagne is a government-protected product that can only be produced in the French winemaking region of Champagne. It’s made of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier grapes. A Blanc de Blancs (white from white) is made solely of Chardonnay; a Blanc de Noirs (white from black) is made from Pinot Noir and / or Meunier
Look beyond the big houses as big Champagne houses buy their grapes from growers. So, what happens when the growers start making their own bubbly? Pretty
interesting stuff, actually! Grower Champagne, often identified as “RM” (Récoltant-Manipulant or grower-producer) on the label, can be more affordable than the big brands. They also tend to be more “Terroir Focused” and artisanal in their approach to winemaking. Of course, that means that the wine may vary from vintage to vintage, but fans of these sparklers say that’s all part of the fun.
Most Champagne houses offer NV (non-vintage), which is more affordable and common than vintage bottling, but a vintage has more depth and character. You
might also want to splurge on a large-format bottle. Jeroboam of Champagne hold 3L, or four bottles. Bigger bottles are to be better for aging because of the lower ratio of oxygen to volume of wine, resulting in slower maturation.
Sure, you might order a glass of Champagne with oysters… but why not with a burger? What about brunch? Marilyn Monroe used to pair French bubbly with potato chips… Champagne shouldn’t be reserved only for fancy meals and it also shouldn’t be limited to fish and hors d’oeuvres.
Enjoy a glass with your main course – it’s actually a great food wine and pairs well with anything salty or fried. Although, be careful with puddings… sugar and fizz do battle on the tongue! As Chef de Cave / Teacher Nicolas Robert says, “SANGER’s range offers to any amateur of champagne the possibility to accommodate their preferences and taste at any level : as an aperitif, with food, for its finesse, power and at any time of the day”.
If you want to know more about Sanger history and Champagne history, please follow this link and watch the video below.
“Champagne problems” is indeed the music Jérôme has chosen for us, it last 22 minutes, so invite your friends, open a bottle of Sanger Champagne, cheers and let move your body…