Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

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Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:39 pm

Just in time for the upcoming holidays (US Thanksgiving and of course the Christmas season that seems to start the day after halloween), we're doing sparkling wines for Wine Focus. There's no formal parameters on what sparklers qualify, Champagne, Cava, Vouvray Petillant all work, as do sparkling wines from the USA, Austria, New Zealand, the UK or any other place that you can think of.

So head down to the cellars and grab a bottle of bubbles. You don't need a reason to celebrate, just indulge in some of the most fascinating wine in the world (and some of the most food friendly as well).

I know I look forward to participating, and hope all of you do as well!
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:10 pm

Nice. We will all be noting the TNs and put our shopping list togther! I am quite a Prosecco fan, have two wine bars downtown who always seem to pouring a bubbly of some sort during the weekend.

Question. How long will a bottle last once opened. Overnight?
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Richard Fadeley » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:19 pm

A few favorites come to mind. For the aficionado you will be hard pressed to fine a cleaner, more razor sharp Champagne than Bernard Bremont. At $32 (with coupon, Total Wine) this is as good as it gets, great QPR if you can find it. Had the '02 Dom Perignon last week and it was no better. The Dom was full, round, and complete but lacked the precision of the Bremont, a classic RM Champagne. My favorite everyday sparkler has become the Piper-Sonoma Brut, at $12-$14 this drinks almost like a Champagne. And for the tiramisu I like the Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs ($14-$16). With raspberries and strawberries and a gentle dosage, this seems to be the perfect foil for a chocolate dessert. And no discussion of bubbles would be complete without the mention of sushi's favorite pairing, Cava, whether it be Codornui, Cristilino, Marques de Monistral, or even Freiexnet. That's my take on bubbles, unless you want to sponsor me a bottle of Champagne Roederer, I'll bring the smoked salmon!
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Richard Fadeley » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:46 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:How long will a bottle last once opened. Overnight?


With a proper "Champagne" closer the second day seems to be as good as the first. Sometimes you can get three days out of one.
But, my God, man don't you like the stuff? If you can't finish a bottle in two days you need help, or maybe you haven't discovered smoked salmon or sushi or even potato chips. Don't forget crab cakes or oysters-on-the-half-shell. Seriously, the closer is the key, you want a tight fit.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:52 pm

Second Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs!
Richard, I see you also mention Freiexnet. Noel out east is a huge fan of this winery and has posted many thoughts on this domaine. I only seem to be able to find the entry-level wine in my area, groan.
Regarding my overnight question, I always like to see how a wine might evolve a day later. Guess really not an issue with bubblies?
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Doug Surplus » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:48 am

Bob, I've used the lever type closures on an open bottle of bubbly and it was still good the next evening. That type of closure ensures a very good seal, other types may not work so good.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:01 am

Never had a bottle of Champagne make it to day 3. They struggle to make it to day 2. :mrgreen:
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:24 am

Thanks for posting, David! I won't get out another Wine Advisor until Friday, and will feature a bubbly then in the monthly effort to invite the outside world in. :)
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Dale Williams » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:25 am

Agree Bernard Bremont is very good, plus his Cuvee Prestige and Rose are big steps up.
Stoppers do well for day 2, I've seldom made it to day 3. :)
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:27 am

Doug Surplus wrote:Bob, I've used the lever type closures on an open bottle of bubbly and it was still good the next evening. That type of closure ensures a very good seal, other types may not work so good.

I've done some casual testing, among other things to test the conventional wisdom that dropping the handle of a silver spoon into the bottle will preserve it even though the silver doesn't reach down far enough to reach the wine, and have discovered to my amused delight that the CO2 outgassed by the wine serves quite well for a day or two even if you just leave the open bottle in the fridge! CO2 is very heavy, and it forms an airtight blanket that seems to preserve both the wine and its fizz.

Don't do this with Krug, but some time when you have half of a bottle of Prosecco or Cava left over, give it a try. I think it would be less effective with a very small amount of wine: Less gas production, more headroom to fill, but what do I know?
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:47 pm

Let it be known to all that if ever elected President or Prime Minister or even Prince Regent of any country, county or burg anywhere on the planet, the first law that I shall pass is to forbid the keeping of an open Champagne bottle for longer than 12 hours before either finishing the bottle or pouring it into the sink as tribute to Caesar.

Indeed many wines made by the method Champenoise or charmat may hold their bubbles overnight but during that period the half consumed bottle, no matter how sealed or left open will lose nearly all of its mousse and whatever yeasty aromas that may have been there will increase three- to fourfold. Madame la Veuve Clicquot turns uncomfortably in her grave even thinking of such sacrilege.

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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby David Mc » Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:30 pm

Doug Surplus wrote:Bob, I've used the lever type closures on an open bottle of bubbly and it was still good the next evening. That type of closure ensures a very good seal, other types may not work so good.


Last year, with inputs from this board, I bought my first real bottle of Champagne (Aubry Fils). On the first day, I was actually disappointed with the taste. Maybe my expectations where unrealistically built up about having real Champagne (I grew up drinking Andre) - I thought it was good but nothing spectacular. As I couldn't drink the whole bottle that night (I could have but didn't want to), I plugged it up with a special champagne stopper and put it in the fridge.

When I had it the next day - WOW! It was speculator and I eagerly finished the bottle. Quite honestly, I can't recall a wine that tasted better the next day but this Champagne certainly did.

I have no explanation. Maybe the food pairing the next day was better. Maybe I imaged the whole thing and wanted to justify my $35 bottle. In any event, I have another bottle of Champagne that I am eagerly awaiting to drink. Maybe I'll drink it this month and report back.

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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Richard Fadeley » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:09 pm

David McIntire wrote:Quite honestly, I can't recall a wine that tasted better the next day but this Champagne certainly did.


Whites, rarely, but plenty of reds (most) will taste better on day two. That is the purpose of the decant. But once I did have a Piper-Sonoma that was noticeably better on day two. When I said three days, I meant unopened until the third day. For example, an '05 Cht. Dubraud (Cotes de Bourg) was much better after four days than the second day. But it is fun to see what these guys can do!
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Tim York » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:29 am

Some sparklers met at this autumn's tastings -

Blanquette de Limoux Cuvée 2008 - Château Rives-Blanques (€13). This appellation claims to have made the first sparklers in the world. It is situated inland between 200 and 400 metres in the western part of Languedoc south of the city of Carcassonne and the wine must contain a minimum of 90% Mauzac with the balance permitted from Chenin blanc and Chardonnay.

It showed quite a fat nose but with good freshness. Quite dry, the palate was more generous and fruity but less mineral than good bubblies from further North; 15/20+.

Some fine still Chardonnay is being made in Limoux, particularly by Mouscaillou, whose wine is remarkably fresh and mineral for the latitude. That from Rives-Blanques was creamier and closer to the international image of the variety.

Champagne non-dosé brut - Philipponnat (€27) from 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier is a crisp, medium/light bodied and invigorating Champagne quite subtle with touches of biscuit and malt and none of the astringence found in some non-dosés . I bought some for last Christmas and will again. 16/20+.

Champagne Royale Réserve brut - Philipponnat (€27) is made from the same wine as the previous but with dosage. I liked it less; coming after the non-dosé sweetness seemed quite marked and the structure more obtrusive; the whole had less cachet; 15/20++.

Philipponnat are the makers of the legendary single vineyard Clos des Goisses, of which I got a taste last year.
Last edited by Tim York on Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Joy Lindholm » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:43 am

I am completely smitten with the Patrick Bottex Vin du Bugey-Cerdon “La Cueille”.  This is a non-vintage, slightly sweet rose sparkling wine from Savoie.  A mixture of Gamay and Poulsard, it is only 8% abv, and a magnificent aperitif! 
 
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:52 am

WTN: `06 Feudi di San Gregorio DUBL Aglianico, Campania It.

Have to wonder how many sparkling Aglianico notes we will see here this month!
Tasted last night at Feudi di San Gregorio tasting downtown with export manager in attendance.

18 months on lees, well-known champaigne maker J Selosses assists here. Very chalky soil, color was a pale strawberry. Nice light mouthfeel, small active bubbles. Mineral and strawberry tones on the finish. Not cheap at $42 Cdn, handsell job for many I think.
Did not fly off the shelf after, like the red Rubrato.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:06 am

Joy Patton wrote:I am completely smitten with the Patrick Bottex Vin du Bugey-Cerdon “La Cueille”.  This is a non-vintage, slightly sweet rose sparkling wine from Savoie.  A mixture of Gamay and Poulsard, it is only 8% abv, and a magnificent aperitif! 
 


A couple of years ago Bugey was the darling wine of the wine geek internet. It's falen a bit off the radar, but I agree it is wonderful stuff.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Salil » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:11 am

N.V. Cedric Bouchard / Roses de Jeanne Champagne Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs La Parcelle
V03, disgorged April 2010. Gorgeous scent; full of red fruits, biscuits, touches of yeast and vanilla - but on the palate it doesn't live up to the stunning aromatics, coming across a little light on the middle without the depth I'd expect from Bouchard. There's very nice acidity, but this comes across a bit monotonic and finishes a little short. Tasty, but certainly not living up to expectations.

N.V. Egly-Ouriet Champagne Brut "Les Vignes de Vrigny" 1er Cru
August 2009 disgorgment, I believe this is 100% Pinot Meunier. Full of brambly red fruits, grapefruit and yeasty/sourdough notes with a slightly caramelized flavour element emerging with air. There's a coarse, slightly rustic aspect to this throughout, with the acidity standing out and keeping it very refreshing - very enjoyable, though I don't think I'd buy it at the price.

2005 Huët Vouvray Pétillant Brut
Delightful; bright yellow Chenin fruit and light floral and mineral notes on a medium weight frame lifted by gentle effervescence. It's very understated and calm, but with plenty of presence and all too easy to drink.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Joy Lindholm » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:48 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
Joy Patton wrote:I am completely smitten with the Patrick Bottex Vin du Bugey-Cerdon “La Cueille”. This is a non-vintage, slightly sweet rose sparkling wine from Savoie. A mixture of Gamay and Poulsard, it is only 8% abv, and a magnificent aperitif!


A couple of years ago Bugey was the darling wine of the wine geek internet. It's falen a bit off the radar, but I agree it is wonderful stuff.


It is! Especially sine I found 4 bottle on clearance at my local wine shop for $10 each! :)
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Joy Lindholm » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:55 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
Joy Patton wrote:I am completely smitten with the Patrick Bottex Vin du Bugey-Cerdon “La Cueille”. This is a non-vintage, slightly sweet rose sparkling wine from Savoie. A mixture of Gamay and Poulsard, it is only 8% abv, and a magnificent aperitif!


A couple of years ago Bugey was the darling wine of the wine geek internet. It's falen a bit off the radar, but I agree it is wonderful stuff.


It is wonderful! Especially since I picked up 4 bottles on clearance for $10 each at my local wine shop! :)
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Dale Williams » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:01 pm

I enjoy Bugey-Cerdon, though it's usually the Renardat-Fache around here.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Tim York » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:19 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:WTN: `06 Feudi di San Gregorio DUBL Aglianico, Campania It.

Have to wonder how many sparkling Aglianico notes we will see here this month!
Tasted last night at Feudi di San Gregorio tasting downtown with export manager in attendance.

18 months on lees, well-known champaigne maker J Selosses assists here. Very chalky soil, color was a pale strawberry. Nice light mouthfeel, small active bubbles. Mineral and strawberry tones on the finish. Not cheap at $42 Cdn, handsell job for many I think.
Did not fly off the shelf after, like the red Rubrato.


Wow, that must be a rarity. I don't remember seeing it in the Feudi SG presentations here. Sounds good tasting too, but the price?!

PS I've just turned up the Feudi SG importer's catalogue and I see that as well as this one (from Greco, I think), they do a Falanghina and rosato bubbly. The Greco bubbly 06 costs €37,50 here so you are getting a bargain in Alberta :o .
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Jim Grow » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:13 pm

I love sparklers from many places, Champagne, Germany. Loire, Burgundy. Australia, USA, Alsace. I have wondered many times why the ABV in all of these wines is always listed as %12 or %12.5. This alchol level is obviously the desired one and manipulated/adjusted to result it that. Climate would not be the reason as many (USA/ Australia) regions are warm enough to produce sparklers well in excess of that. As a lover of full-bodied wines, I'd like to taste a quality sparkler of 14 or 15 % ABV and see how it differs from what is available out there. What is so magic about that %12 ABV sparkler/Champagne?
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:53 pm

Remember Jim, Champagne/Sparkling wine grapes tend to be picked quite early to retain high acidity and that also means lower sugar thus lower alcohol. The grapes are picked to match the intended style of the wine.

I had a 2003 Champagne that rang in at 14% alcohol, and it was one of the worst bubblies I have ever had.
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