Champagne Tasting at The Wine Watch
Friday, November 16, 2012 - 07:00 PM
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I don't have a sense of entitlement or that I deserve this. You'd be surprised at the lack of competition between nominees - I think a lot of it's imposed from the outside. Can I have my champagne now?
Yes! Everyone can have their Champagne now- it's time for our annual Sparkling wine and Champagne tasting here at the Wine Watch.
All sparkling wines are not created equal and Champagne along with some of the finer examples of sparkling wines made with this same method established over the last few hundred years in France's northernmost wine region are the only examples of bubbly that you will find on the table tonight.
Champagne is the name of a region and therefore anything inside the boundaries of Champagne can use this name on their label, everything else is just sparkling wine. The important thing to look for on the label when it comes to sparkling wines outside of the Champagne region is the method of production and if the words, methode champenoise are there were in business, this means that the sparkling wine in the bottle is made with the same standards that are used in the great wines from the Champagne region of France.
The secret to the finest tiny bubbles is that the secondary fermentation that adds the pop to Champagne happens in the bottle that you are serving it out of. This is a very expensive and labor intensive method, most of the entry level sparklings made with this method spend 3 years aging before they get to the retail shelves. The top level wines aka "Tete de Cuvee" sparkling wines can see 8-10 years or more in the cellar before release, the current release for most of these top level sparklers like Louis Roederer's Cristal are 2005 vintage or older.
This is our 4th annual Champagne and Sparkling wine tasting at Progresso Plaza and this event has become one of the most popular that we do all year. There will be over 50 Champagnes and Methode Champenoise sparkling wines available to taste this evening and Wine Watch Catering's Toni Lampasone will be here serving up a few tasty treats to accompany the bubbles.
We will have stations set up both inside the store and outside in the courtyard to accommodate a maximum of 75 tasters, the fee for this tasting is $45 + tax. Can you think of a better way to start the week-end? For reservations call 954-523-9463.
4th Annual Champagne and Sparkling Wine Tasting at Wine Watch
Friday November 16th
Champagne Alfred Gratien
NV Alfred Gratien Brut Champagne
Price: $52.50 Sale $46.20 Case $536
This is a small artisan house with only 25,000 cases total production, they purchase most of their fruit 65% only premier cru and Grand cru used and they do own 2 hectares of vineyard. No second pressing used in this label 100% oak aging and barrel fermenting but none new just to allow a bit of oxidation. No malolactic fermentation and this wine is 2007 base with 15% 2006 vintage, a blend of 45% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Meunier and 10% Pinot Noir. Gratien uses old barrels from Chablis up to 20 years old. Aged for 6 months on the yeasts with no batonage used. A good amount of toasty brioche and nutty aromas to the nose, this wine spends 4 years on the yeasts, fresh fruit quince and apple fruit with notes of ginger spice. Smooth creamy mousse on the tongue with nice fresh fruit and a firm underbelly of acidity keeping things fresh and lively along with a nice dose of minerality, chalky, sea shell like. Finish 40+ Excellent
NV Alfred Gratien Rose Brut Champagne
Price: $68.75 Sale $60.50 Case $701
They add Grand Cru Pinot Noir from Bouzy 12% red to the blend for the color. A blend of 2008 and 2007 disgorged in January 2012, although the cryptic numbers on the foil mean nothing to the lay person you have to have the special Alfred Gratien decoder ring to figure this out, I wish more people would put this information on the back label in clear English, Chinese, French, some recognizable language. Strawberry and red cherry fruit, red plum and rose petal floral notes red licorice spice, very pretty bouquet. A tangy red berry fruit on the tongue around 9 grams per liter of residual and this number changes every year based on the acidity of the vintage. A good amount of the rose floral nuance through the finish nice freshness and balance through the finish. Finish 45+ They have decreased the dosage 5 grams in the last decade with this cuvee, like so many of the Champagne houses have decided to make dryer styles of bubbly the last decade. Excellent +
Champagne Barons De Rothschild
Barons de Rothschild Brut Champagne NV
Price: $99 Sale $87.12 Case $1010
Based in the Cotes De Blanc this is a 10 year old brand uniting the three branches of the Rothschild family; Eric from Chateau Lafite, Philippine from Charteau Mouton and Benjamine from Chateau Clark. The winemaker is Jean Philipe Moulin, formerly at PJ joined the Barons in 2007. Production is only 500,000 bottles a year and they released 250,000 bottles on the market this year in 50 coutries around the globe. The blend here is 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir. The Blanc De Blanc is 100% Grand Cru and the Rose is made from the same Chardonnay base wine as the Blanc De Blanc with the addition of 15% red Pinot Noir. They use up to 40% reserve wines in the cuvee from Mesnil, Cremant and Verzy, aged 4 years for the whites and 3 years for rose, 2007 is the main vintage for the Brut and then some 2005 and 2006 reserve wines. The rose is one year younger, 6 months after disgorged they are released. Only first pressing juice is used in the blend the rest is sold off, they also have a low dosage 5% for the brut and 6% for the Rose and Blanc de Blanc. No wood, very pure mineral driven style and they source most of the fruit. This Brut NV is mostly 2007 and this will be in the market for the next year or so at the distributor, a pretty bouquet of white flowers apple and pear fruit with almond like nutty aromas of brioche, nice development of aromas. Smooth silky bubbles on the tongue with a nice concentration and tangy minerality showing on the long finish very fresh and bright. Finish 45+ Excellent +
Champagne Barons de Rothschild Blanc De Blancs NV
Price: $125 Sale $110 Case $1275
They use small tanks to keep all the parcels separate they bought an old cellar in Vertu, built in 1825-1890 and they still use riddling racks here, meaning they riddle by hand. A flinty mineral notes to the vanilla spice white flowers and pear and apple fruit and lemon citrus. Smooth and creamy mousse on the tongue with very mineral driven finish very bright and fresh finish. Lovely creamy sea shell like minerality Most Excellent
Champagne Barons de Rothschild Rose Brut NV
Price: $125 Sale $110 Case $1275
They produce their own winery to make the rose to make 50-150 hl of red juice a year from Verzany Grand cru, short maceration 4 days to avoid tannins, a hint of red fruit aromas. The same white blend as the BDB, and this is a 2008 base, 1 year younger than the other pretty raspberry and wild strawberry like fruit with notes of rose petal and red licorice spice. A nice infusion of red berry fruit, plum and Excellent +
Champagne Charles Heidsieck
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne NV
Price: $56.25 Sale $49.50 Case $574
Piper Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck sold about a year ago to EPI, a French luxury good corporation they own a vineyard in the Cotes du Luberon, owner of company in his 1990's. They have redesigned the package but they still have Regis Camus at the helm who was named sparkling winemaker of the year for the 7th time in a row this year, he has been there since 2004. This wine sees 3 years of aging with a high percentage of reserve wines 40% up to 10 years old, now sourcing their grapes from only 60 growers, they cut this number down to make a more precise and consistent style. A very rich style of champagne, hazelnut and toasty brioche with dried fruits apple and apricot like fruit, nice complexity on the nose, you really notice the reserve wines and the 36 months of aging. A very smooth and creamy wine on the palate with nice evolution, toasty brioche and almond like nutty flavors on the finsih, good freshness and length on the finish. Finish 45+ Excellent +
Charles Heidsieck Rose Brut Reserve Champagne NV
Price: $77.75 Sale $68.42 Case $793
A pretty nose of strawberry/raspberry like fruit, rose petal floral notes and a slight yeasty note to the bouquet, there are 20% reserve wines in the blend here. A creamy texture on the tongue with bright raspberry and strawberry like fruit, notes of marzepan and a fresh clean finish with minerality coming through at the end. Finish 40+ Excellent
Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires Brut Champagne 1995
Price: $187.50 Sale $165 Case $1913
A very rich and powerful bouquet of toasty brioche, hazelnut and a good amount of dried/candied fruits, pineapple, apricot and peach showing lovely development, rich and creamy mousse on the tongue with that nutty highlight showing through the finish, developed but still nice freshness to the end and that tongue tingly mineraltiy showing up at the end. Finish 45+ Most Excellent
Gosset Brut Excellence NV
Price: $37.50 Sale:$33.00 Sale $383
(92 Points) Refined and creamy, with delicate acidity that finds fine balance with the layers of poached apple and pear, lemon cake, ground ginger, smoke and almond cream flavors. Very elegant. Drink now through 2020. 28,000 cases made. –AN Wine Spectator Issue: Dec 31, 2011
Gosset Rose Brut Champagne NV
Price: $76.50 Sale:$67.32 Case $781
(90 Points) A fresh, lively rosé, with a light grain to the texture and notes of juicy white cherry and raspberry fruit mixing with hints of almond, smoke and spice. Citrusy acidity leads to the lightly chalky finish. Drink now through 2018. 1,000 cases made. –AN Wine Spectator, Issue: Dec 31, 2011
Henriot Souverain Brut Champagne NV
Price: $43.50 Sale:$38.28 Case $444
Toasty smokey notes to the bouquet very complex and rich with hazelnut and light ginger spice. Around 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir usually 20% reserve wines going back as far as 4-5 years. Lovely richness on the tongue with a fresh dough and nutty quality coming through on the finish, with pear and apple fruit lemon citrus and a smoky character on the finish. Finish 40 Excellent
Henriot Blanc De Blanc Souverain Brut Champagne NV
Price: $57.00 Sale:$50.16 Case $582
(93 Points) Rich and toasty, this is a textbook Blanc de Blancs, with firm acidity, a creamy, refined texture and flavors of hazelnut, toasted brioche, apple pastry, lemon meringue, ground spice and subtle, smoky mineral. A finely tailored wine. Drink now through 2020. –AN Wine Spectator Issue: Nov 30, 2011
Henriot Rose Brut Champagne NV
Price: $60.00 Sale $49.00 Case $612
Strawberry and red cherry fruit on the nose with notes of red plum and red licorice spice along with rose petal floral notes. Light red cherry wild strawberry fruit with lovely creamy mousee very elegant and rich with lovely freshness 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay the pinot Noir is red and then blended into the Chardonnay to maintain a consistent color. Finish 45 Most Excellent
Champagne Laurent Perrier
Laurent Perrier LP Brut Champagne NV
Price: $38.25 Sale:$33.66 Also Available in (375ml) $18.75 Sale $16.50 and (187ml) $12.50 Sale $11
(91 Points) OUTSTANDING. A wine of superior character and Style. This publication is now regarded as the nation's most influential wine publication. Refined, with a sweet, smoky undercurrent to the flavors of glazed pear, candied lemon zest and golden raisin, with a hint of marzipan. Racy acidity frames—but doesn't dominate—the wine, with a spicy note lingering on the finish. Best from 2012 through 2016. 12,000 cases imported. –AN Wine Spectator Issue: Nov 15, 2011
Laurent Perrier Vintage Brut Champagne 2002
Price: $60.00 Sale: $52.80
(91 Points) A bright, mineral-driven Champagne that offers a creamy mousse and flavors of green pear, anise, spiced nut and candied lemon zest. A note of sweet smoke lingers on the moderate finish. Drink now through 2016. 775 cases imported. –AN Wine Spectator Issue: Nov 30, 2011
Laurent Perrier Rose Brut Champagne NV
Price: $75.00 Sale: $66.00
(91 Points) Delicate and subtly textured, with sweet cherry, ripe plum and raspberry fruit notes that are balanced by ending with a light smoky finish. Drink now. 7,000 cases imported. –AN Wine Spectator, Issue: Nov 30, 2011
Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Champagne Brut NV
Price: $127.50 Sale $112.20
(95 Points) Very fine, strong mousse Knockout, musky nose combines orange pith, honeysuckle, spices and chalk. Offers nearly painful intensity of lemon and wet stone flavor without any excess weight. Dense, extremely concentrated material is leavened by brilliant acidity. Wonderfully chewy and sappy in the middle palate and on the extremely long finish. It's hard to get this out of your mouth! Still, the wine's finishing austerity suggests that it's nowhere near its peak today. A great value in tete de cuvee Champagne. Steven Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Champagne Louis Roederer
Roederer Estate Brut Mendocino NV
Price: $20.25 Sale:$17.82
(89 Points) Rich and youthful, with delicate aromas of green apple and lime that lead to full flavors of baked pear and toasty anise, laced with cinnamon. The finish is clean and crisp, with a hint of mineral. Drink now. 80,000 cases made. –T Wine Spectator Issue: Nov 30, 2011
Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne NV
Price: $45.00 Sale $39.60
A blend of probably 2008 vintage 70% for the base wines and then 30% of the reserve wines blended into the cuvee, Jean Baptiste has been the Chef Du Cave for over 20 years, pretty floral nuance and almond , 60% of the production of Cristal is organic but only 70% of the juice is estate in this cuvee, Louis Roederer one of the largest proponents of organic farming in France, Lemon and pear fruit with smooth creamy texture and chalky like mineral notes and that distinct mineral. Finish 45+ Excellent +
Roederer Estate Rose Sparkling Wine Anderson Valley NV
Price: $26.25 Sale:$23.10
The Roederer Estate Brut Rosé is full and round with smooth flavors and fine persistent bubbles. The extra measure of Chardonnay contributes elegance and austerity, which balance nicely with the delicate fruitiness of the Pinot Noir.
2003 Roederer Estate L'Ermitage Anderson Valley
Price: $45.00 Sale:$39.60
(93 points) Elegant and sleek, yet complex, with cinnamon and green apple aromas that lead to rich flavors of pear and lemon custard layered with brioche and mineral. Drink now through 2015. 5,251 cases made. –TF Wine Spectator Issue: Nov 30, 2011
2005 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne
Price: $264 Sale $229
Almost fully organic and experimenting with Biodynamic. 60% Pinot Noir 40% Chardonnay no malolactic fermentation, Louis Roederer has the largest library of reserve wines in Champagne, this wine is 100% Estate bottled and 100% grand cru, No 2003, 2001. for every 100 bottles of Cristal only 1 bottle of rose produced. Vanilla bean spice, toasty brioche, lemon and quince, almond, nice complexity. This wine opens up for hours but still has wonderful focus and laser like acidity with a long layered finish. Finish 50+ Most Excellent
Champagne Moet & Chandon
Moet & Chandon Brut Champagne 2002
Price: $89.00 Sale $78.32
The Grand Vintage 2002, the 69th from the Maison is mature, harmonious and precise. Seven years in the cellars have developed the mature, toasty flavours, both sweet and dry, with warm notes of grain and frangipane along with toasted almonds and malt, mocha and light tobacco.
Notes of ripe fruits follow: pear, candied citrus, plum, nectarine and white peach. On the palate, the construction is precise and the substance is velvety. The first impression of creamy roundness progressively allows the linear, tight structure to appear. The flavours of fruit become fresher: mandarin orange and pink grapefruit.
Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut Rose Champagne 2002
Price: $118.25 Sale $104.06
(91 Points) Smoke and fresh earth notes underscore flavors of currant and cherry pie in this modest rosé, which is well-meshed, with a refined texture and a moderate finish. To be released Spring 2011. Drink now. –BS Wine Spectator Issue: Nov 15, 2010
Ruinart Blanc De Blanc Champagne NV
Price: $79.50 Sale $69.96
Orange peel, ginger and peach like fruit on the nose with notes of jasmine 95% Permier Cru juice from the Montagne de Reims which gives the wine a chalky mineral tension and the Cotes de Blanc which gives the wine a lush sexy texture. They have lowered the dosage to 7.5 grams per liter, the do full malo with these wines. Those chalky mineral notes starting to come out in the nose and some toasty yeasty notes after opening a bit. Fine bubbles on the tongue with a smooth and creamy texture, some of that ginger spice and jasmine floral notes showing along with a hint of almond on the finish lovely complexity with a long tongue tingly finish, zesty lemon notes. Finish 45+ Excellent +
Ruinart Rose Brut Champagne NV
Price: $79.50 Sale $69.96
(92 Points) A firm rosé, more about its elegant texture and streak of minerality than the flavors of wild strawberry, white cherry, grilled plum and graphite. Hints of spice and fleur de sel accent the finish. Drink now through 2020. –AN Wine Spectator Issue: Dec 31, 2011
Champagne Veuve Cliquot
2004 Veuve Clicquot Rose Brut Champagne
Price: $97.50 Sale $85.80
Very pretty nose of red cherry and wild strawberry like fruit very fresh and hints of mint and fresh rose petal floral notes. Lots of bright red cherry and strawberry fruit on the tongue with smooth creamy mousee very rich and fruity with floral notes through the finish along with excellent freshness. Finish 45+ Excellent +
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d Or Brut Champagne 1999
Price: $154.50 Sale $135.95 Case $1576
(93 Points) Offers good intensity, with well-meshed acidity enlivening subtle flavors of minerally fleur de sel, lemon curd, black currant and smoke, with a hint of rich marzipan. There's fine balance, with a light grain to the texture and a subtle nut-tinged finish. Drink now through 2019. –AN Wine Spectator Issue: Dec 31, 2011
Palmes d’Or Brut Vintage encompasses all of the elegance and finesse of Chardonnay combined with the full body of Pinot Noir. Always a vintage, only exceptional harvests are deemed worthy of being part of its composition.
A blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot noir from some of the top Grand Cru sites for Chardonnay: Chouilly, Cramant, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize and Montgueux. And for Pinot noir: Bouzy, Verzy, Verzenay, Aÿ and Ambonnay. Aged for at least 9 years in our cellars.
Nicolas Feuillatte Blanc de Blanc Brut Champagne 2004
Price: $56.25 Sale $49.50 Case $574
(90 Points) Elegant and delicately textured, with bright acidity supporting its lemon, grapefruit and green apple flavors. Balanced on the racy side, making this ideal as an aperitif. Drink now through 2024. Wine Spectator (12/ 2010)
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rose Champagne NV
Price: $54.00 Sale $47.52 Case $551
(91 Points) Like a basket of fresh-picked strawberries on the nose, subtly mixing on the palate with notes of ripe plum, violet, spice and graphite. Shows fine harmony, with a long, smoke-tinged finish. Drink now through 2016. –AN Wine Spectator Issue: Dec 31, 2011
100 carefully selected crus make up the blend. Reserve wines account for 25% of the blend to maintain the Brut Rosé’s consistency of quality and style from one year to the next. Aged for at least 3 years in our cellars.
10% chardonnay imparting elegance and finesse, 60% pinot noir* for roundness and structure, 30% pinot meunier* for fruit character. *of which 18% made up of red wine from pinot noir and pinot meunier.
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne 2004
Price: $42.50 Sale $37.40 Case $434
(93 Points) Like a fine spring day, this offers lovely purity and floral overtones to its flavors of golden apple, anise, lemon meringue and brioche. There's a creamy richness, but vibrant acidity keeps this fresh and lively, and the refined texture guides you to the subtle, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2024. –AN Wine Spectator Issue: Dec 31, 2011
Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvee Speciale Brut Champagne 2000
Price: $81.00 Sale $71.28 Case $827
(93 Points) Lovely citrusy acidity finds fine balance, adding a pleasant juiciness to flavors of golden raisin, dried pineapple and apricot, ground ginger and clove, apple blossom and lemon zest. Finely textured and well-meshed, with a long, zesty finish. Drink now through 2021. –AN Wine Spectator Issue: Dec 31, 2011
A blend of 50 different crus make up the Cuvée Spéciale Vintage blend. Aged for at least 5 years in our cellars. A blend of 40% chardonnay imparting elegance and finesse, 40% pinot noir for roundness and structure, 20% pinot meunier for fruit character.
Pommery Brut Royal Champagne NV
Price: $39.00 Sale $36.52
(89 Points) Rich and verging on full-bodied, suggesting a high proportion of Pinot. The aromas and flavors are broad, with toast and berry notes allied to a firm backbone of acidity. Ideal for food and aging. Drink now through 2003. –BS Wine Spectator Issue: Nov 30, 2000
NV Pommery Rose Brut Champagne
Price: $54.00 Your Price $47.52
Red plum like fruit raspberry and light smoke and quince like fruit on the nose hints of rose petals and ginger spice. Raspberry jolly rancher candy fruit on the tongue with a smooth and creamy mousse and orange peel note to the finish. Chalk mineral notes on the finish. Finish 40+ Excellent
Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Blue Top Brut Champagne
Price: $35.50 Sale:$31.24 Case $363
(89 Points) Shows graphite, citrus, berry and toast notes on a bright, well-integrated structure. Balanced and harmonious, with fine length. Drink now. 2,000 cases imported. –BS Wine Spectator Issue: Nov 15, 2008
Heidsieck & Co Monopole Rose Brut Champagne NV
Price: $48.00 Sale $42.24 Case $490
Winery Notes: A blend of 70% Pinot Noir (18% Bouzy Rouge incl.) 20% Chardonnay 10% Pinot MeunierClear and bright. The nose displays a predomination of red berries, rasperries and wild strawberries...This Champagne is well-balanced, light and vivacious, and deliciously fruity on the palate. Champagne Rose Top Heidsieck & Co Monopole is charming as an aperitif, and marries very well with salmon. It is also the perfect accompaniment to virtually any dessert.
Ployez-Jacquemart Champagne Brut NV
Price: $43.50 Sale $38.28 Case $444
This estate was founded in 1930 and they 3rd Generation is now in charge Laurence. They own 3 hectares of Pinot Noir grand cru and Pinot Meuiner premier cru and they are dealing with growers in the Cotes De Blanc, Premier and Grand Cru working with 8 year contracts and 12 different vineyards. This cuvee is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and 25% Chardonnay, mostly 2007 vintage, then some 2006 and 2005 in the blend, they do a bit of Malolactic here. Has a note of coco and spice in the bouquet with 5.8 grams per liter of residual sugar and only the first pressing is used here. A good amount of apple and quince like fruit on the nose with a hint of white flowers. A good amount of tiny bubbles on the palate with excellent freshness and nice coco and ginger spice on the finish. Finish 40+ Excellent
Ployez-Jacquemart Rose Brut Champagne NV
Price: $52.50 Sale $46.20 Case $536
They blend in a little red wine, their goal is always to make very high quality still wines and age the red for 1 year in oak barrels making the red wine 1 year older than the white, there is 9% red used in the blend. They always try to avoid contract with with lees to keep the fresh fruit flavors, no battonage just a few rackings and that's all. Strawberry and raspberry like fruit, creme de cassis and a touch of coconut and red licorice spice. Fresh and bright red berry fruit on the tongue with smooth and silky mousse very fresh and bright on the finish with an abundance of fruit and a light hazelnut note at the end. Finish 40+ Excellent +
Bereche Beaux Regards Blanc De Blanc Brut Nature Champagne 2008
Price: $84 Sale $73.92 Case $857
The Bérêche estate began to elaborate Champagne wines as early as in 1847. However, until 1950 the production remained insignificant and was based on the sole Ludes vineyard covering 2.5 hectares. At that time, the estate was run by Léon and Albert Bérêche.
An authentic Champagne wine made up of one grape variety, namely the Chardonnay which grows on chalky soils. It seemed obvious to us not to blend it in order to reveal the chalky and iodine taste of the wine. This “Blanc de Blancs”, far from the standard Champagne wines, will please the lovers of genuine and simple wines.
Bereche Brut Reserve Champagne NV
Price: $49.50 Sale $43.56 Case $505
2008 base: 25% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir vinified in barrels (20%) and enameled tanks. Slow and spontaneous fermentation. 30% reserve wines from the two previous years. Kept in cellar for: 24 months. Disgorged by hand. Dosage: 8 g/l.
La Revue du vin de France magazine, December 2008, 14/20
“Maturity, thickness, vinosity and presence: a generous Champagne that best reveals its Terroir. One of the best wines of the new generation. This vintage still has a light bitter finish.”
Marguet Grand Cru Reserve Brut Champagne NV
Price: $54 Sale $47.52 Case $551
The MARGUET Champagne started about 1875, thanks to Emile MARGUET, who since 1883 has tended his best vineyards of the Cote des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims, in preparation for the arrival of phylloxera.
The Champagne Bonnerave Frères was founded in 1905 by the great-great-grandfather of Benoit Marguet-Bonnerave. Fifth generation of vine growers and chef de cave, Benoit MARGUET, continues today with vigour the development of the House: his passion his the Champagne terroir.
(90 points) (a 50/50 blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, from Ambonnay; disgorged January, 2011): Light, bright gold. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes pear, chamomile, smoky minerals and spices, along with a touch of candied rose. Smoke-accented blood orange and orchard fruit flavors show good intensity and pick up a buttery quality with air. Closes with very good chewy persistence and lingering florality. This shows more vivacity than last year's release. (12/ 2011) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Marguet Grand Cru Vintage Brut Champagne 2006
Price: $63 Sale $55.44 Case $643
The blend is 70 % Chardonnay and 30 % Pinot Noir from old vines located in grand cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. The wine is aged in the bottle on the yeast for at least 5 years thus ensuring a long period of autolysis that lends a unique complexity to the wine.
Paul Clouet Rose Brut Champagne NV
Price: $58.50 Sale $51.48 Case $597
A blend of 75% Pinot Noir, including 12% from the Bouzy red wine, 25% Chardonnay, 20% reserve wines. A tender pink appearance, a gracious sparkle born of very fine bubbles, an unbelievably precise fruity flavor which comes in waves, a fleshy structure with unestimable depth, and a beautifully balanced mouth revealing rich flavors of wine strawberries and raspberries.
Pretty red cherry color with aromas of wild strawberries, raspberries, fresh flowers, rose petal and red licorice spice notes. A burst of strawberry and red cherry fruit on the tongue smooth creamy texture on the tongue with tongue tingly acidity and a long persistent finish echoing the red berry fruit and light spice, chalk like minerality showing up at the end, lovely creamy texture. Finish 45 Most Excellent
Laherte Freres Grand Cru Brut Reserve 2008
Price: $51 Sale $44.88 Case $521
Laherte Freres Rose de Saignee Les Beaudiers NV
Price: $69 Sale $60.72 Case $704
This Rosé de Saignée is produced with the Pinot Meunier grape variety which comes from plots situated in “Les Beaudiers”. We use traditional and cultural methods which include short pruning for a limited production; this is a manual and careful work with regular ploughing so as to obtain healthy grapes. Our know-how and the quality of our terroir make this wine unique.
100% Pinot Meunier. However there are a few Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Fromenteau vine stocks in those parcels. Terroir de Chavot. Plots planted in 1953, 1958, and 1965. Clay and silty soils, not very deep, with a little of flints and little stones. Chalky subsoils.
Claude Corbon Blanc De Blanc Brut Champagne 2002
Price: $66 Sale $58.08 Case $674
Based in Avize, in the heart of the famous Côte des Blancs, this estate is a family-run "maison de Champagne". They are "récoltant-manipulants" and produce their champagnes with the grapes from our own vines. This cuvee is 100 % Chardonnay from Avize from 100% Grand Cru vineyards and is aged for 8 years on the lees. Pale gold colour, First noze lennony and mineral. Evolution towards honey.
Schramsberg Sparkling Wines
Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs Napa 2007
Price: $35.25 Sale $31.02 Case $360
Blanc de Noirs (white from black) is the counterpart to Blanc de Blancs (white from white). Made primarily from the red grape Pinot Noir, this is a complex, medium-bodied, brut sparkling wine. Schramsberg pioneered the Blanc de Noirs style in the United States, releasing the first such American sparkler in 1967. The key to producing this complex Blanc de Noirs is our vast and varied focus on diverse cool-climate vineyards. Pinot Noir from Carneros and Anderson Valley combine with fruit from low-yielding Sonoma and Marin coastal vineyards to develop a sparkling wine with a breadth of fruitful aroma and flavor. Select Chardonnay lots give zest and backbone to the blend.
Making a white wine from a red grape requires great care – hand-picked fruit, early morning harvest, optimal fruit maturity and delicate pressing. A balance of bright flavors, crisp acidity and minimal tannins is achieved. Barrel and malolactic fermentation of particular lots add richness and body. Some two years of yeast contact in the bottle harmonizes all the elements together in a mature, toasty style. The youthful fruit character of the wine will caramelize and soften with additional age in the bottle. With proper storage, this sparkling wine will be delicious for many years, even a couple of decades to come.
2008 Schramsberg Brut Rose Napa Sparkling
Price: $42.75 Sale $37.62 Case $436
Schramsberg Brut Rosé is flavorful, complex and dry, making it both versatile with food and delicious by itself as an apéritif. The character of the wine is most strongly influenced by bright, flavorful Pinot Noir grown in Carneros, Anderson Valley, and the Sonoma and Marin coastal areas. A few small lots of Pinot Noir are fermented in contact with their skins to add depth and subtle color to this unique sparkling wine. Chardonnay gives spice, structure and length on the palate.
Hand picking, careful handling and gentle pressing produce a wine of delicacy, free of skin and seed tannin. Following the fall harvest and base winemaking period, an extensive process of blending trial and refinement is carried out in the spring. The finished blend is aged on the yeast in the bottle for about two years, just enough to achieve refined effervescence and toastiness without diminishing its refreshing, vibrant appeal.
2009 Schramsberg Blanc Be Blanc Napa Sparkling
Price: $33.75 Sale $29.70 Case $345
Blanc de Blancs (white from white) made from Chardonnay is the counterpart to the Blanc de Noirs (white from black), made from Pinot Noir. Blanc de Blancs was the first wine Schramsberg produced in 1965 and was America’s first commercially produced, Chardonnay-based brut sparkling wine. Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs gained international recognition in 1972 when then President Nixon served the wine at the historic “Toast to Peace” in Beijing, China.
The Schramsberg style of Blanc de Blancs is dry and crisp. Small lots of malolactic- and barrel-fermented wines are added for complexity. The wine is aged on the yeast lees in the bottle for about two years prior to disgorgement. With its vibrant, fruitful and crisp nature, this sparkling wine will maintain its freshness, structure and refined finish for many years, even decades following its initial release.
NV Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Sparkling
Price: $25.25 Sale $22.22 Case $258
Mirabelle is Schramsberg’s multi-vintage brut sparkling wine. This young, bright bubbly, principally comprised of Chardonnay, exhibits the crisp acidity and vibrant green apple, citrus fruit that is characteristic of this grape when grown in the North Coast. Pinot Noir adds body, mid-palate and further depth of fruit flavor. Unlike their vintage bottlings, Mirabelle gains unique depth from the additions of lots aged in barrels and tanks at the winery from prior vintages. These older base-wine lots, which typically form 20% of the finished blend, add significant palate richness and aromatic complexity.
As with Schramsberg’s single-vintage sparkling wines, all grapes for Mirabelle are grown in the cool climate pockets of the area, including Carneros, Anderson Valley, and the Sonoma and Marin coastal areas of Northern California. The fruit is hand-picked in the early morning hours at optimal maturity. Individual lot fermentations allow the winemakers to carefully select the components that make up the finished blend. After bottle fermentation and about two years of aging en tirage, subsequent trials determine the ideal dosage to finish this brut style.
Mirabelle Brut works well as a dry apéritif and is also well-suited as an accompaniment to a broad range of foods, including oysters on the half shell, sushi, baked halibut, cheeses and cream-based pasta dishes.
Caviar served on bellini with traditional accoutrements
King Salmon tartar with red onion, capers, dill, chive oil and wasabi cream served on a fresh sliced cucumber chip
Pineapple and sauternes glazed Pork belly shooters
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Shoestring fries with lemon basil gremolata
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