Philippe Jamesse • Treasure of Champagne

Philippe Jamesse has tasted more champagne than any human on the planet. The Frenchman is an encyclopedia of the world’s greatest sparkling wine

No one – as far as I am aware – has tasted more champagne than Philippe Jamesse.

Even more importantly, the Frenchman has tasted those same champagnes over and over again on a regular basis.

Philippe Jamesse is an unparalleled encyclopedia of Champagne.

For 18 years – joining in 2000 – Jamesse was Chef Sommelier and Chef de Cave of Champagne’s finest hotel and restaurant Les Crayeres. He then left and is, today, working as a consultant.

Every day in his professional and personal life, champagne is just a touch away from Philippe Jamesse.

I first met the quitely spoken Jamesse 20 years ago when he began working at Les Crayeres.

I have patronised the Reims restaurant for about 30 years.

At the time, Gerard Boyer was their chef.

Together with his wife Elyane, the couple started at Les Crayeres – the hotel and restaurant – in 1983.

During his two decades there, Boyer maintained three Michelin stars for the restaurant, which he had earned at La Chaumerie where he was previously. Michelin stars belonging to chefs rather than restaurants.

The wine list – particularly the champagnes – at Les Crayeres has always been outstanding. And not overpriced for its quality and provenance.

Philippe Jamesse, I observed the times I visited, was an exemplary sommelier. He was, of course, very knowledegable concerning Champagne but also other wines. More importantly, the Chef Sommelier was discreet and incredibly efficient.

One time, ordering a white Alsace (following the champagne), Jamesse apologised and replaced the corked bottle of old Riesling in no more than the time it took me to sip the remaing half glass of bubbly.

Discretion and quiet efficiency are the hallmarks of great sommelerie (or any other vocation).

Philippe Jamesse has this inherent talent to offer advice only when it is required. Otherwise, the diners would just be having a great time.

No stress, no fuss, just pure, unmitigated pleasure over a meal and delicious bottles.

Luckily for us, Philippe Jamesse’s expertise extends to designing what, for me, are the most beautiful glasses in the wine world.

If there was only one wine glass I need to savour champagne, white, rosé, red, or fortified wine with, a Philippe Jamesse design from Lehmann Glass would do it all, thank you very much.

Cheers!

Lehmann Jamesse Prestige Blanc White Wine

Lehmann Jamesse Reference Grand Rouge 77

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