Sip on the choicest bubbles above the clouds with Singapore Airways

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A journey with Singapore Airlines (SIA) on First and Business Class wouldn’t be complete without a champagne in hand. SIA’s ongoing programme in Suites and First Class, A Celebration of Champagne, enhances this experience by adding five exceptional Champagnes to its selection, available on rotation since June 2023.

This month, customers can look forward to trying the Champagne Egly-Ouriet Vieillissement Prolonge (VP) Extra Brut Grand Cru 2016, an outstanding wine from an iconoclast grower Champagne brand. Grower Champagne is made and bottled by the same people who grew the grapes. These family-owned houses are typically smaller in size and adept at crafting small-batch, terroir-specific Champagnes via select vineyards in a handful of villages.

A coveted Champagne known for its rich intensity and satin texture 

Francis Egly, a fourth-generation owner and winemaker, first started crafting wines under his family name in 1982. Today, Egly-Ouriet is highly sought-after amongst wine acolytes, and almost always sold out at its stockists.

Egly-Ouriet is a grower Champagne popular among the discerning. Photo: Egly-Ouriet

Give it a few minutes to unfurl notes of truffles, praline and nougat, and let it seduce you with its satin texture

Their vineyards are concentrated in Ambonnay, known for the best pinot noir grapes across the Champagne region. This particular label, the Vieillissement Prolonge (meaning prolonged ageing), is a blend of 70% pinot noir and 30% Chardonnay, sourced from top tier (grand cru) vineyards. True to its name, the wines age for an extended period of lees – in this case 87 months – before they are released on the market. The result is a powerful, structured wine.

Egly’s wines are celebrated for their purity and precision. The Vieillissement Prolonge is outstanding – it is rich, intense and textured, with baked apple tart and honeyed notes. Give it a few minutes to unfurl notes of truffles, praline and nougat, and let it seduce you with its satin texture.

Other Champagnes featured in A Celebration of Champagne

Aside from the Egly-Ouriet, A Celebration of Champagne also featured four other Champagnes on board since June 2023. This included three exclusive grower Champagnes – Henri Giraud, Vilmart and Cie and Champagne Geoffroy – and the iconic Charles Hiedsieck, a producer Champagne.

Where grower champagnes are akin to soloists, a producer Champagne is more like an orchestral ensemble. These brands own a legion of land across the chalky terrains of Champagne and buy additional grapes from several grape growers. Each parcel of fruit acts like a musician, lending a different note to the wine. The winemaker’s job is akin to that of a conductor who shapes the sounds of this ensemble.

Find out all about the featured Champagne pours for SIA’s First and Business class customers. Photo: Singapore Airlines

“We chose these wines to showcase how Champagne growers are connected to the vineyard and their land”

Each of these artisan wines were selected by SIA’s panel of wine experts for their uniqueness and exclusivity. “We chose these wines to showcase how Champagne growers are connected to the vineyard and their land,” says SIA’s wine expert and Master of Wine, Jeannie Cho Lee. “We want customers to delve deeper into each terroir to understand and appreciate the vineyards from where the grapes are grown.”

Learn more about these four Champagnes here:

1. Delicate notes from an oak barrel-aged process

Vilmart & Cie’s Vilmart Grand Cellier d’Or 2018 is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% pinot noir sourced from 50-year-old vines. Notes of mandarin oranges, lemongrass and vanilla emerge as one sips this Champagne. They are gradually followed by hints of toasty hazelnuts and shortbread, as well as a chalky minerality.

Vilmart Grand Cellier d’Or 2018. Photo: Vilmart & Cie

“Our philosophy is to make wine first and bubbles afterwards,” says Laurent Champs, the fifth-generation owner and winemaker of the Vilmart family. Champs is a firm believer that an exceptional Champagne is built on the base of a stellar wine.

This wine undergoes a 10-month ageing process in oak followed by 42 months in the cellar. The oak is a non-negotiable part of Champs’ winemaking process, as he is convinced that it adds roundness, complexity and density to the wine.

The Vilmart & Cie Champagnes are aged in these beautiful oak barrels. Photo: Vilmart & Cie

2. A voluptuous top blanc de blanc aged for six years

The Volupté Blanc de Blancs 2016 is Champagne Geoffroy’s best cuvée, a pure Chardonnay expression sourced from Cumières, a village otherwise renowned for red grapes – save one parcel that delivers exceptional Chardonnay grapes.

SIA’s wine consultant Oz Clarke describes the Volupté as “one of the most voluptuous blanc de blanc Champagnes” – and rightfully so. This 100% Chardonnay wine is created with the highest quality first press juice.

On the palate, it is full of rich tropical fruits like pineapple and lychee, followed by toasted brioche pastry notes. The chalky soil of Cumières brings a lick of minerality to this zesty yet luscious wine. Six years of ageing develops biscuit and pastry notes, giving the wine a gorgeous complexity.

3. Power and finesse in this blend of pinot noir and Chardonnay

Henri Giraud is celebrated for two things, which are evident in its MV 18 Aÿ Grand Cru: the intensity of the pinot noir from its home base of Äy, and the oak barrels that it sources from the nearby Forest of Argonne which lend powerful flavours to their wines. They are what this house – managed by the twelfth-generation owner Claude Giraud; his son Emmanuel; and son-in-law and winemaker Sébastien Le Golvet – takes prides in showcasing.

Photo: Henri Giraud

“We want you to taste the purity of Äy,” says the winery’s spokesperson, Stéphane Barlerin. He explains how Äy’s terroir shows through in its signature raspberry notes.

This emblematic cuvée of the house nods to the 2018 vintage on which it is based. A blend of 80% pinot noir and 20% Chardonnay, this wine brings together other aged vintages to add complexity and depth.

The MV 18 Aÿ Grand Cru invites you in with beautiful floral aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle, which leads into concentrated, complex flavours of berries, stone fruit, brioche, nutmeg and white pepper.

4. A prestigious producer Champagne that consistently tops blind tastings

The only producer Champagne in this programme, Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 2007 is a prestige cuvée – the house’s finest product. Made in the blanc de blanc (meaning “white from whites”) style, this pour uses 100% white Chardonnay grapes compared to other Champagnes that may include two other varietals, pinot noir and pinot meunier.

The Blanc des Millénaires 2007 is a consistent favourite amongst experts. Photo: Charles Heidsieck

“In blind tastings, Charles Heidsieck keeps coming out on top for its sheer quality and depth”

Blanc des Millénaires is only produced once every few years when the weather conditions are just right for Chardonnay. The 2007 vintage – a year of exceptional Chardonnay – was the seventh time that this wine has been crafted since its inception in 1983. You’ll find a melange of ripe citrus notes of lemons and grapefruit on the nose, leading to an expressive palate of lemon curd and alluring salinity that flow languidly on the tongue.

Chardonnay from five top growth vineyards in Champagne’s Côte des Blancs district is selected for this wine, each contributing their signature characteristics such as minerality and richness, before the wine is aged for 15 years in third-century UNESCO World heritage-listed chalk cellars.

As SIA’s wine consultant Lee explains the choice: “The reason is simple: In blind tastings, Charles Heidsieck keeps coming out on top for its sheer quality and depth.”

To learn more about the A Celebration of Champagne series or our wine experts, visit here.



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