Champagne Magnum Party featuring Big Bottles of Bubbles Friday, October 30th 7:30pm

Friday, October 30, 2020 - 07:30 PM

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“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”
Mark Twain

Can you have too much Champagne?  It’s only 12.5% alcohol and I can drink Champagne all day and maintain a nice comfortable buzz. 

 

If there was one wine that I would call the ultimate celebration wine, it would have to Champagne and if money is no object the wine that I will be celebrating with is Vintage Krug Champagne.  Krug is the ultimate collectors Champagne and although all the wines at this famous house are at the pinnacle of quality, the vintage Champagne produced at this famous house is the most sought after in the world of collectible bubbly. 
We have not heard back from our friends at LVMH about this event which we had on the calendar as a Krug Champagne tasting but I still want to drink some Champagne on Friday October 30th so now the event is a Magnum Champagne Party with three of the attendees from Krug and everything out of Magnum and Jeroboam format!

We have an incredible line-up of Krug Champagne going back to the 1989 vintage but we also have some other great big bottles from some of our favorite Champagne houses and all out of Magnum and 3 liter format for this “Once in a Lifetime” Champagne Magnum party.  The fee for this event is $450 + tax and remember if you don’t eat foie gras or raw fish Toni is happy to accommodate you just let us know when you make your reservation at 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

2006 Taittinger 'Comtes de Champagne' Brut Blanc de Blancs - SKU Henriot 'Cuvee 38' Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV [1.5L MAGNUM] (Champagne,  France) - [AG 95+] [ Krug Grande Cuvee 166th Edition 1.5L Magnum | Premier Champagne2003 Krug Brut Champagne - SKU1989 Krug 'Collection' Brut Champagne - SKU

The Ultimate Magnum Champagne Party!
Friday, October 30th
7:30pm

MV Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Grand Cuvee Champagne Brut #20 (96,97,99) Magnum
List Price: $375.00             Sale Price: $330.00           Quantity in Stock: 2
Grand Siècle expresses the quintessence of champagne and French refinement
Launched in 1959, Grand Siècle is Laurent-Perrier’s Prestige Cuvée, the prime example of the House’s exacting standards and know-how. Its unique style combining finesse, power and balance is the outcome of blending the very best grapes from the most prestigious crus in wines from the best Laurent-Perrier vintage years.  All the new releases of the Grand Siecle will have an edition number on the bottle so you will know the three vintages that make up the blend.
Majority of Chardonnay 55%*Pinot Noir 45%*Crus: Grand Siècle is elaborated from a selection of 11 of the 17 Grands Crus of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir Grands Crus including Ambonnay, Bouzy and Mailly.Chardonnay Grands Crus including Avize, Cramant and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Aged: for a minimum of 20 years.

2006 Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Blanc de Blanc MAGNUM
List Price: $483.25             Your Price: $410.76          Quantity in Stock: 1
(96 Points) Shows a beautiful golden-citrus color and opens with a fascinating intense, floral, slightly reductive nose that develops enormously in the glass, offering lemon and lemon confit aromas along with flinty notes of crushed chalk and the iodine flavors of the Atlantic Ocean. This is an utterly complex and promising bouquet! The palate is terribly fresh but also rich, lush and intense, with the purity of the finest wines of the Côte de Blancs, the concentration of perfectly ripe Chardonnay and the suppleness of 2006. This has impeccable balance paired with high tension. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

NV Henriot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Cuvee 38 Magnum
Price: $598.50    Your Price: $508.73
Attractive pale yellow, glistening with golden tinges. Elegant, persistent bubbles of rare finesse form in the glass. On the bouquet, delicate aromas of fresh butter typical of the Henriot style are complemented by armfuls of white flowers. Mineral in style, the wine’s delicate, creamy character also comes to the fore, underpinned by an unusual hint of liquorice. On the palate, the Champagne reveals inimitable signature style. Vibrant citrus fruit aromas and the sweetness of sun-kissed ripe apricots form a virtuoso harmony. Pastry notes tinged with honey follow suit, always of great finesse.
Created in 1990, Cuve 38 was the visionary inspiration and brainchild of Joseph Henriot. Setting aside a single tank - Cuve 38 - he decided to create a blend exclusively comprising four of the most prestigious Grand Cru Chardonnays from the Cote des Blancs: Chouilly, Avize, Oger and Mesnil-sur-Oger. Every year since that day, a portion of the harvest from each of these villages is added to this precious cuve to continue the process. Cuve 38 epitomises a living wine; a wine infinitely rejuvenated so that the freshness enhances the complex character of the finest chardonnay. As a result, on the palate, the wine triggers a unique, thrilling and profound emotion, which evolves and unfurls through a constantly renewed wave of aromas, even while the wine is being tasted. Layers upon layers of time form a majestic work in a state of perpetual change, enrichment and continuation.

NV Krug Grand Cuvee 166th Edition Champagne Magnum
Price: $537.00    Your Price: $456.45          Quantity in Stock: 2
Krug Grande Cuvée is the archetype of Krug’s philosophy of craftsmanship and savoir faire: a blend of more than 120 wines from ten or more different years.
Its exceptional finesse is the result of a stay of at least another six years in the cellars. Around twenty years are needed to craft each bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée: the first prestige Champagne re-created each year, beyond the very notion of vintage.

2003 Krug Brut Champagne MAGNUM
Price: $1057.50  Your Price: $898.88          Quantity in Stock: 2
(95 points) Like taffeta in texture, this harmonious Champagne is finely honed and fresh. A wonderfully expressive version, with ample spice and graphite accents to the blackberry pâte de fruit, coffee liqueur, dried apricot, singed orange peel and crystallized honey notes. Hard to stop sipping. Disgorged spring 2014. Drink now through 2028. (AN) (11/2015) Wine Spectator

1989 Krug Collection Vintage Champagne Magnum
Price: $1885.50   Your Price: $1602.68         
(97 points)  Shows a lovely interplay between the creamy bead and rich notes of almond financier, apricot preserves, treacle and cardamom, with finely cut, persistent acidity and flavors of pastis, raspberry puree, fennel seed and fleur de sel. Offers a refined, lasting finish, with a push of saline-tinged minerality. Drink now through 2029. (Insider) (9/ 2013) Wine Spectator

Menu
Charcuterie and Cheese Selection
Shoestring French Fries with Lemon Ginger Gremolata
George Blanc Potato Cakes with American Sturgeon Caviar
Tuna Poke with Hawaiian Sea Salt, Lime, coconut and cilantro
Frozen Foie Gras powder served on Tomato Aspic with Beef Consommé
Candied Lemon Drop Sorbet with mint
A5 Wagyu Sashimi with Orange Ponzu dipping Sauce
Pineapple Upside cake with Caramel Drizzle

There are only 12 spaces available for this Tasting.  The price for this event which includes dinner is $450 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com

All the Champagne in the store from these great houses!
Krug Grande Cuvee 166th Edition 1.5L Magnum | Premier Champagne

NV Krug Grande Cuvee 168th Edition Champagne

Price: $195.00    Your Price: $171.60          Quantity in Stock: 13

NV Krug Grand Cuvee Brut Champagne 3 Liter
Price: $1620.00  Your Price: $1425.60

NV Krug Grand Cuvee 166th Edition Champagne Magnum
Price: $537.00    Your Price: $472.56          Quantity in Stock: 2

MV Krug Rose Brut Champagne 23rd Edition
Price: $410.00    Sale Price: $360.00

1988 Krug Collection Brut Champagne
Price: $1230.00  Your Price: $1082.40        Quantity in Stock: 1

1998 Krug Vintage Brut Champagne 3 Liter
Price: $3500.00  Sale Price: $3080.00         Quantity in Stock: 1

2003 Krug Brut Champagne MAGNUM
Price: $1057.50  Your Price: $930.60          Quantity in Stock: 1

2004 Krug Vintage Brut Champagne
Price: $378.00    Your Price: $332.64          Quantity in Stock: 1

2006 Krug Vintage Brut Champagne
Price: $378.00    Your Price: $332.64          Quantity in Stock: 1

2000 Krug Clos d'Ambonnay Brut Champagne
Price: $2929.50  Your Price: $2577.96        Quantity in Stock: 1

2000 Krug "Clos du Mesnil" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Price: $1700.00  Sale Price: $1350.00         Quantity in Stock: 2

2003 Krug Clos de Mesnil Blanc de Blanc Brut Champagne Magnum
Price: $3375.00  Your Price: $2970.00

A bit about Krug:

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"The Krug taste is both majestic and magisterial...there is the raw material, the attention to detail, the ageing, the handmade quality.  And there are the Krugs themselves, with their adherence to a certain vision of their wine, the palate memory of five generations, their lack of compromise...the "Krug taste" is an idée fixe, an obsession of the noblest kind.

Krug Champagne is a name that is synonymous with the highest quality - its aficionados claim that it belongs in the company of those stellar stalwarts like Rolls-Royce and Cartier.  To achieve this recognition, one needs more than just dedication or expertise (both of which the Krugs have in no short supply) or a large advertising budget.  One needs a philosophy of excellence that is steeped in history and is as solid and unconditional as a rock.  While many other Champagne firms have altered their styles to conform to modern tastes, the Krugs have basically never wavered from the traditions and styles established five generations ago.  And how successful has this policy been?  Robert Parker, perhaps America's foremost wine critic says: "There are a lot of fine Champagnes made in the world, but there is no better than that made by the very small house of Krug, whose champagnes are legendary not only for their quality but for their aging potential."  Serena Sutcliffe, a renowned British wine authority, in her marvelous book titled Champagne says: "In a changing world, where one is constantly reappraising values and beliefs in the light of experience and shifting ethical standards, Krug stands as solid and as reassuring as ever.  This edifice to quality and consistently high standards remains a monument to our ideas of excellence and a bastion in our fight against mediocrity."  This is a sampling of the high praise that comes from both sides of the Atlantic, but one need only ask a Champagne connoisseur from any part of the world: "Who produces the best Champagne?"  On everybody's short list will be the inimitable House of Krug.

Krug was founded in 1843 by Jean-Joseph Krug who was born in 1800 in Mainz, Germany, moved to Paris and then eventually settled in Champagne.  He rented a cellar in Reims and quickly established a reputation as a blender of cuvées.  His flair for quality soon attracted other Champagne houses whose owners solicited him to make up their own blends.  In a very short time the Krug firm began to prosper and export wine all over the world.  Jean-Joseph's son Paul succeeded him; and when Paul passed away in 1910, his eldest son, Joseph II (who harbored a true love of the sea more than a love of Champagne) reluctantly assumed control of the firm.  Joseph II was badly wounded during the fighting that raged in and around Champagne during World War I; and at war's end, his doctors had a very pessimistic prognosis for his survival.  Because his only son (Paul II) was still a child, he appointed a nephew as a general manager.  The doctors turned out to be wrong.  Joseph II eventually lived to be 98 years old, outlasted his nephew, and remained involved with Krug almost until his death.  Serena Sutcliffe instructs us that the moral of this happy ending is "...with champagne at one's side it does not do to be pessimistic about one's life expectancy."

Paul II began working in the business in 1935 and passed the firm on to his two sons, Henri and Rémi.  Henri handled most of the winemaking duties while Rémi was the managing director and Krug's ambassador-at -large.  Rémi tirelessly troted the globe promoting Krug in tastings and gatherings of "Krugies" about the world.  In May of 1990 we had the good fortune of joining Rémy Krug in a small luncheon at which was served the entire line of his Champagnes.  Besides this Grand Cuvée, we tasted (while listening to Rémy Krug extol the virtues and uniqueness of his Champagnes) the 1982 and 1964 vintages, the 1981 Clos du Mesnil, and the non-vintage rosé.  The Krug style - a common thread to all of them - was evident across the entire range of these quite different Champagnes.  There was the non-vintage Rosé with its deft balance, touch of raspberry cream, and its very pale color that reminded of the shyly rising sun in one of Monet's "Haystacks in Winter"; the elegant, austere, stylish 1982 vintage; the robust, lively flavors of the 1964 vintage with its honey-praline-hazelnut flavors; and the extremely austere, penetrating 1981 Clos du Mesnil with its toasty, vanilla, wheat-thin bouquet.  All were unmistakably Krug.

By Champagne standards Krug is quite small - less than 500,000 bottles (compared to 27,000,000 bottles annually at Moët) are produced.  Up until 1970, the Krugs purchased all the grapes for their Champagnes - preferring to leave the growing to those who knew how to do it best.  However, between 1970 and 1972 the Krugs acquired about fifteen hectares of land in Aÿ and Les Mesnil including a 1.87 hectare single vineyard known as Le Clos du Mesnil.  These vineyards are rated the top 100% in the échelles des cru (this is the rating system established in Champagne to classify the best vineyards and determine the price which the grapes can command).  The Clos du Mesnil - comprised of 100% Chardonnay - has existed since 1698 and is one of only three single-vineyard Champagnes produced in France.  The vineyards supply about 25% of Krug's needs, but only select growers are used for their remaining requirements.  A lady in Avize, for example, sells half her thirty hectare vineyard to the Krugs under a long term contract established in 1974.

Krug's wines - unlike most of the more "modern" houses - are fermented in oak casks.  The Krugs feel that the oak gives them the extra dimension of complexity and aromatics they seek in their wines.  Only the first pressing is used (Champagne law does not require it; but Krug law does!); the first pressing is known as the cuvée, and all Krug Champagne is cuvée only.  The wine is never filtered and is never released to market until five or more years after bottling (the longest in Champagne, to our knowledge).  The firm backs up its stocks with six years of supply from which to blend.  And for Krug, blending is the key. The Multi-vintage Grand Cuvée is Krug's bread and butter Champagne accounting for almost 80% of its production. Launched in 1978, the Grand Cuvée can be a blend of as many as fifty different base wines from as many as eight different vintages.  Like all Krug Champagnes it has an "intellectual" taste not well suited for all palates and one that goes better with food than most Champagnes (many of which are now relegated to service as forerunners to the meal rather than as companions with it)."  - Jim Turner, Founder of Wine Watch

Although the Krug family no longer owns the Champagne house, the house is now part of global conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH). Like most of the companies in the group, Krug runs with a certain amount of autonomy and Oliver Krug is now the face of the Krug family in charge of Marketing and still has a good deal to do with production.  The style has remained the same while the production at Krug may be up a little bit (I would bet that Moet is making more than 27,000,000 bottles annually today), Krug is still one of the ultimate collectibles from Champagne today.  This perceived and real autonomy has played a large role in maintaining the house's reputation and consistent style.

Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle No. 24 Sun King Jacket Bottle in Gift Box |  Wine.com

Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle No. 24 Sun King Jacket Bottle in Gift Box
Price: $159.00    Sale $139.92

MV Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Brut Champagne 17 (90,93,95) Magnum
Price: $1575.00  Your Price: $1386.00

MV Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Grand Cuvee Champagne Brut #22 Magnum
Price: $375.00    Sale Price: $330.00           Quantity in Stock: 2

MV Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Grand Cuvee Champagne Brut #20 (96,97,99) Magnum
Price: $375.00    Sale Price: $330.00           Quantity in Stock: 2

MV Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Grand Cuvee Champagne Brut #23 (02, 04, 06)
Price: $125.00    Sale Price: $110.00

NV Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Champagne Brut #24
Price: $150.00    Your Price: $132.00

NV Laurent Perrier Brut Ultra Champagne
Price: $64.50       Sale Price: $56.76

NV Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Price: $45.00       Your Price: $39.60            Quantity in Stock: 8

NV Laurent Perrier La Cuvee Brut Champagne (3-Liter)
Price: $337.50    Sale Price: $297.00

NV Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne Magnum
Price: $85.50       Sale Price: $75.24

N/V Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne (375ML)
Price: $22.25       Your Price: $19.58

2007 Laurent-Perrier Brut Millesime Champagne
Price: $64.50       Your Price: $56.76            Quantity in Stock: 1

2008 Laurent Perrier Millesime Brut Champagne
Price: $67.50       Sale Price: $59.40

 

NV Laurent Perrier Blanc De Blancs Brut Nature Champagne
Price: $90.00       Sale Price: $79.60

2004 Laurent Perrier Cuvee Alexandra Rose Champagne
Price: $360.00    Your Price: $316.80          Quantity in Stock: 1

NV Laurent Perrier Rose Brut Champagne 3 Liter in Gift Box
Price: $510.00    Your Price: $448.80

NV Laurent Perrier Rose Brut Champagne Tiger Cage
Price: $93.00       Your Price: $81.84

NV Laurent Perrier Rose Brut Champagne Silhouette Tin
Price: $90.00       Your Price: $79.20

NV Laurent Perrier Rose NV Champagne Constellation
Price: $93.00       Your Price: $81.84            Quantity in Stock: 2

NV Laurent Perrier Rose Brut Champagne
Price: $80.25       Sale Price: $70.62

Laurent Perrier Rose Brut Champagne NV MAGNUM
Price: $183.00    Sale Price: $161.04           Quantity in Stock: 1

 

NV Laurent Perrier Harmony Demi Sec Champagne
Price: $45.00       Your Price: $39.60

A bit about Champagne Laurent Perrier:

A family of coopers founded this estate back in 1812.  They eventually became tired of seeing other growers’ wine in their casks and decided to move from their native town of Chigny-les-Roses on the Montagne de Reims to set up shop in the remains of an eleventh century abbey at Tours-sur-Marne.  This turned out to be an excellent move, when the echelle des crus system was put into place in 1919 (the system was delimitated in 1919 and imposed by 1944), all of the vineyards in this town were awarded grand and premier cru status.  It is this system that sets the standards for vineyards in Champagne and unlike the vineyard classification system in Burgundy and Bordeaux vineyards are reclassified, up graded and given new status on a regular basis. 
Eugene Laurent inherited the firm from his parents and ran it until his death in 1887.  At that time Mathilde Emile Perrier, Eugene’s widow took over the firm and changed its name to Veuve Laurent Perrier.  When she passed away without heirs in 1925 the firm went up for sale.  Ironically, another widow, Marie-Louise de Nonancourt (the sister of Victor and Henri Lanson) purchased the marque in 1938.  Women have played an important role in the history of the champagne industry, a wine which we might term essentially feminine.  This was confirmed by the Marquise de Pompadour, with her intelligent sensitivity to things of this nature.  Some other illustrious widows; Bollinger, Pommery, Harriot and Heidsieck.  The house of Laurent Perrier never really saw its true potential until after the World War II, when Bernard de Nonancourt (the son of Marie Louise) took the firm over.  At that time Laurent-Perrier was ranked a mere ninety-eighth amongst the Champagne houses.  Bernard undertook a major renovation of the firm and brought its vineyards back to their former state of excellence.
The house owns vineyards in Avise, Bouzy, Cramant, & Louvois (a tiny growing region).  The wines from Bouzy add great weight and extraction and richness of flavor.  This powerful Pinot bouquet is heightened by high alcohol content.  There is something spectacular about the chardonnay from Cramant, a certain perfumed characteristic indigenous in the grapes grown here they are one of the purest expressions of this grape in all of Champagne.  Creamy and rich, laden with fruit, this is terroir supreme
The estate now produces around 583,000 cases annually; they have one of the top Non-Vintage Brut Roses in the business.  Laurent Perrier’s Tete du Cuvee blend is Grand Siecle (the great century), this cuvee is in the same league as the great Champagne houses marque wines like Louis Roederer’s Crystal and Perrier Jouet’s Belle Epoche.  The firms’ prestige cuvee Rose is the Cuvee Grand Siecle Alexandra Rose.  This wine offers delightfully scented citrus, vanilla, smoke with notes of beaked bread.  This firm belongs in the company of all these fine producers. 
In the 17th Century, during the reign of Louis XIV, France enjoyed its most illustrious era. Louis XIV became known as the "Sun King" for his benevolence and his patronage of the Arts, which became the foundation of France's rich artistic heritage. At the Palace of Versailles Louis XIV was the first French King to drink Champagne.  Louis XIV's era became known as the Grand Siècle - the "Great Century". Bottled in a replica of a 17th Century bottle evoking the radiance of that period, Laurent-Perrier's prestige cuvées embody luxury, magnificence and elegance fit for a king.
When it came to his prestige cuvée, Bernard de Nonancourt decided to highlight two of Champagne's traditional realms of proficiency: the blending of different crus and different vintages. Grand Siècle "La Cuvée" is the epitome of Champagne cuvées, as it blends complementary wines from Laurent-Perrier's very best growths and most successful vintage years.  Grand Siècle is made with a pinot noir and chardonnay blend, with the latter being slightly dominant. Twelve of the most prestigious villages supply these grapes; all of them classified at 100% Grands Crus such as Ambonnay, Verzenay, Mailly, Avize, Cramant, Chouilly and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Within the vineyards of these villages, only the very best plots are selected, as are the finest musts from the pressings. The blended wine is then aged during the second fermentation on the yeast for approximately five years.

Champagne Taittinger Magnum Comtes De Champagne Blanc De Blancs 2006

2006 Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Blanc de Blanc MAGNUM
Price: $483.25    Your Price: $425.26          Quantity in Stock: 1

2007 Taittinger Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne Reims
Price: $157.50    Your Price: $138.60          Quantity in Stock: 6

2008 Taittinger Blanc De Blanc Comte De Champagne
Price: $195.00    Your Price: $171.60          Quantity in Stock: 8

2006 Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Rose
Price: $255.00    Your Price: $224.40          Quantity in Stock: 3

2007 Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Rose
Price: $267.75    Your Price: $235.62

NV Taittinger Brut La Francaise Champagne
Price: $45.00       Your Price: $39.60            Quantity in Stock: 2

NV Taittinger Brut La Francaise Champagne 3 Liter
Price: $315.00    Your Price: $277.20

Taittinger Brut La Francaise Champagne NV MAGNUM
Price: $104.75    Your Price: $92.18

NV Taittinger Prestige Rose Brut Champagne
Price: $67.50       Your Price: $59.40            Quantity in Stock: 4

NV Taittinger Prestige Rose Brut Champagne MAGNUM
Price: $165.00    Your Price: $145.20

NV Taittinger Rose Cuvee Prestige Brut Champagne 3 Liter
Price: $375.00    Your Price: $330.00

2013 Taittinger Millesime Brut Champagne
Price: $95.75       Your Price: $84.26

NV Taittinger Le Folies De La Marquetterie
Price: $94.50       Your Price: $83.16

Taittinger Prelude Brut NV
Price: $90.00       Your Price: $79.20

NV Taittinger Nocturne Sec Champagne
Price: $72.00       Your Price: $63.36            Quantity in Stock: 2

NV Taittinger Nocturne Rose Champagne
Price: $93.50       Your Price: $82.28

NV Taittinger Nocturne Rose Sec Champagne
Price: $90.00       Your Price: $79.20

A bit about Champagne Taittinger
Taittinger was established in 1931 by Pierre Taittinger - it was built upon the foundations of the venerable house of Forest-Fourneaux, itself established in 1734 and the third oldest wine producing house of Champagne.  Taittinger today is the last privately held Champagne house of its size, a family empire of impressive holdings. The Château de la Marquetterie, northeast of Reims, remains the family showcase.  The firm's headquarters are situated in Reims above the underground cellars once belonging to the thirteenth century Abbey of Saint- Nicaise.  Champagne Taittinger is also proprietor of the former residence (completed circa 1230) of the Comtes de Champagne -it is a majestic edifice in the old quarter of Reims.  In tribute to its founder, the firm sponsors the annual Prix Culinaire International Pierre Taittinger, the most exacting culinary competition of its kind.  Claude Taittinger, son of Pierre and Président-Directeur-Général of Champagne Taittinger, oversees the firm's operations in France and in more than one hundred twenty export markets where Champagne Taittinger is distributed.  Jean Taittinger, his brother, is Président of the Concorde Hotel group and the Société du Louvre, an association of luxury properties of which the Hôtel de Crillon, its flagship, represents the elegance and quality universally identified with the Taittinger name.

The vineyards surrounding the Château de la Marquetterie had already enjoyed considerable renown before coming under the ownership, in 1326, of the Order of Saint-Pierre aux Monts, whose abbey was located a few miles up the Marne River at Chalons.  The cultivation of these and other vineyards on the slopes of Pierry was the primary livelihood of these monks, who built a cuverie among the vines where Frère Jean Oudart would later conduct his experiments on the nature of sparkling wines.  The vineyards of La Marquetterie, traditionally planted in both white and black grapes, are named for their resemblance at harvest to the checkerboard-like squares of light and dark wood referred to as "marquetry" in the cabinetmaker's art. When in 1750 the old cuverie fell into decay, the present Louis XV château was constructed on its site, and took the name of its vineyards.  Around 1770, the Château de la Marquetterie was purchased by a Mr. Cazotte, Mayor of Pierry, whose dinner gatherings were frequented by the prominent literati and politically influential persons of the day. The French Revolution brought a tragic end to his proprietorship. Mr. Cazotte was guillotined in 1793 and La Marquetterie was seized by the state.

During the First World War Pierre Taittinger was a young cavalry officer, and he was assigned to headquarters at the Château de la Marquetterie, barely two miles from Epernay near the Marne River.  Enchanted by the lovely eighteenth century residence, young Taittinger determined to one day acquire it.  In 1932, Pierre Taittinger kept his promise to purchase the Château de la Marquetterie and its vineyards; it is today the Taittinger family showcase.  One year before, in 1931, he had acquired the venerable champagne firm of Forest Fourneaux, founded in 1734 and the third oldest champagne house in existence at the time. He began to rejuvenate the firm and to extend its vineyard holdings in some of the finest producing areas of Champagne.  Taittinger is today proprietor of six hundred acres of vines among which are included parcels in the 100%-rated villages of Cramant and Avize in the Côte des Blancs; and Bouzy, Mailly, Ambonnay and Verzenay in the Montagne de Reims.  The Taittinger estate is one of the three most important in the Champagne district, and their major holdings in chardonnay vineyards are the physical expression of the Taittinger philosophy and style.

Pierre Taittinger's philosophy, while audacious for its time, proved him to be visionary well ahead of his time. An accomplished and respected gastronome, he was among those who, during the interwar years, foresaw the changing public preference in cuisine away from the complex and often ponderous traditional preparations which had too long dominated the classic culinary arts. The evolution he set in motion centered on two concepts: lightness and naturalness.  These thoroughly compatible ideas have proven, over time, to be more in keeping than ever before with an active, healthful lifestyle and an increasingly sophisticated public palate which demands that  the finest of natural ingredients be subtly complimented, rather than masked, by their preparations.  Pierre Taittinger recognized that the time had come as well for an evolution in the concept of Champagne.  He saw the opportunity to reshape the tastes of the traditional champagne clientele who had subscribed to the old Belle Époque style of heavily dosed, liqueur-like, sweet Champagnes.  Thus, Pierre Taittinger infused his winemaking with the same philosophy that had inspired his gastronomy.  He set the standard for lightness and delicacy that was to become the style of the house of Taittinger.  With his legendary master blender, Roger Unique, Pierre Taittinger set criteria of the most exacting degree.  He used only, fine, old champagnes in the dosage, rather than brandies or fortified wines.  He, moreover, refused to produce any but fully dry, brut champagnes requiring only the highest quality, flawless wines.  To obtain that quality he permitted nothing but the juice from the delicate first pressing to be used in any of his cuvées.  And finally, he attained the epitome of lightness and elegance he desired through the proportionately higher use of the costly chardonnay grape. The most perfect expression of that style came in the creation of Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, a champagne made exclusively from the chardonnay grape which became Taittinger's "tête de cuvée".  In 1983, Champagne Taittinger introduced the revolutionary but naturally attuned concept of the "Taittinger Collection" series, uniting art and champagne in the design of a special bottle. The first of these, released with the superb 1978 vintage, was a striking gold bottle commissioned to Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely; the second, with the 1981 vintage, to Niçois painter-sculptor Arman; the 1982 and 1983 bottles were created, respectively, by André Masson, grand master of the Surrealist movement; and Vieira da Silva, Portuguese mistress of light and of the stained glass window. These exquisite bottles continue to be produced in great vintage years, and perpetuate Champagne Taittinger's long renown as generous patrons of the arts.

Taittinger Brut La Française is the firm's bread and butter wine -the grapes that go into this wine still come primarily from the extensive Taittinger vineyard holdings.  This wine contains, on average, over twice the percentage of the costly chardonnay grape as is found in the standard cuvées of most Champagne houses.  The Brut La Française is aged four years on the yeast (one of the longest en tirage periods of any non-vintage French Champagnes) - the minimum legal requirement is only one year.

The Taittinger Comtes de Champagne was first produced in 1950 and was the first Champagne to be labeled 100% chardonnay (chardonnay was not so in vogue then!).  The first vintage of the Comtes de Champagne Rosé was the extraordinary 1966, launched in 1972.  It is a blend of red and white wines issued from the first pressing of the grapes grown in the best vineyards including Bouzy, where Taittinger's holdings assure the supply of fruit of the highest quality.  Prior to dégorgement the Rosé is aged six to seven years on the yeast.

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NV Henriot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Cuvee 38 Magnum
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A bit about Champagne Henriot

The Champagne house of Henriot can trace its history back 370+ years to when their direct descendants migrated to the region.  Native to Lorraine, the family relocated to Champagne around 1640.  In Reims, the Henriots engaged in textile and wine brokerage.  Little by little, the family acquired vineyards and by 1791 they had acquired the Hôtel des Douanes and the Fermes Royales (built in 1760 by the architect Legendre in honour of King Louis XV).               

In 1794 Nicolas Henriot married Apolline Godinot.  Together, they developed a fascination for the culture of the vine and production of wines of quality.

It was in 1808, under Apolline Henriot, that Champagne Henriot was officially founded. She was the niece of the very famous Abbé Godinot, an erudite man who contributed to improvements in viticulture and the making of the Champagne wine.  Apolline, an enterprising woman of great character, sold her wines both in France and abroad.

The champagne wines became a huge success with royalty and it was only natural that Champagne Henriot became the favorite firstly at the Dutch court, then in Austria and Hungary with the Hapsburgs.

Since 1808, Champagne Henriot, one of the last independent and family-owned houses in Champagne, has pursued a tradition of excellence – a fragile balance between delicacy, intensity, and purity. For seven generations, the family has selected only the very best vineyards, concentrated on the purity of chardonnay and has upheld the utmost respect for time in order to ensure the cuvee has an opportunity to reach its full expression.

The Champagne business is very incestuous and in 1851 Ernest Henriot, grandson of Apolline Henriot, persuaded by his sister, Amélie Henriot, became associated with his brother in law, Charles Camille Heidsieck and created the brand Charles Heidsieck.  Ernest continued to manage his own business in his own name.  

The Henriot family has retained direct cultivation of roughly 35 hectares (87 acres). Their parcels are scattered among the Vallée de la Marne (Mareuil and Ay, a Grand Cru); la Montagne de Reims (Avenay, a Premier Cru); and the Côte des Blancs (Epernay, notably le Clos l’Abbé, and Chouilly, a Premier Cru). These vineyards supply fifteen to twenty percent of its needs. To supply the rest, the house depends primarily on growers who share its standards of quality. This approach provides a very large palette of crus for its blends, one of the keys to its expertise.

The vineyards it uses are situated throughout the appellation. The house is fortunate to have access to Grands and Premiers Crus, particularly in the Côte des Blancs, stronghold of the chardonnay variety which dominates in its blends: Avize, Oger, Cramant, Vertus and others. Pinot noir is selected principally from crus on the northern slope of the Montagne de Reims, such as Verzy, Verzenay and Val d’Or.