Bastille Day marks the fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. A quick synopsis to those who went down the economics track at school. At the time France was under the ancien régime, meaning everyone was a subject of the King and all rights and status were based on one’s order: clergy, nobility and Tiers État (The Third Estate). The Bastille, originally built as a medieval fortress, became a state prison – and the symbol of this harsh monarchic rule. The storming of the Bastille signaled the first victory of the people and lead to what would become the ‘Rights of Man and Citizen’; a declaration that states the rights of man should be universal. To her reluctance, Marie Antoinette ultimately let them eat cake.
And what is best paired with said gâteau? Champagne of course! In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, “In victory, you deserve Champagne; in defeat, you need it.”… an all-inclusive marketing slogan for the French Revolution. Founded in 1730, there is every chance that King Louis XVI and the people of Paris were simultaneously raising a glass from Chanoine Frères. Fast forward to today, the same Champagne house has led its own revolution launching Tsarine with one of the region’s first female winemakers at the helm, Isabelle Tellier.
The Tsarine Brut Rosé is an embodiment of the Bastille – movement, esprit, intensity, and joy. Its bottle resembles the folds of a sheer curtain, with a salmon backdrop. A perfumed orchard with Golden Delicious, Jonathan and toffee apples, ripe strawberries and Arnott’s Monte Carlo (think honey biscuit, vanilla cream and a film of raspberry jam). The bubbles a reflection of revolutionary power – with an initial burst they ebb to the surface as individual pearls and leave a soft but lasting impression. Elegant red fruit on the fore, to ripe apples and the taste of that Monte Carlo melting in your mouth. A bolt of acidity then takes centre stage before the flavours return again in a perpetual cycle. “Vive le 14 juillet!” in style with a glass of Tsarine.