Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Andrew Bair » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:16 pm

I suppose that I'm cheating a bit, since these are all from October.

NV Jacques Lassaigne Extra Brut Cuvée Rosé de Montgueux

Montgueux is way out of the way of even the main group of Aube vineyards, right next to Troyes in fact.
80% Chardonnay/20% Pinot Noir. Strong initial mousse/tiny bubbles. Chalky, lightly smoky, slightly oxidative, strawberry-scented nose. Light-bodied, quite elegant, and bone dry, with good underlying acidity. Very chalky/mineral, lightly floral, with flavors of peaches, red berries, dragon fruit, and baking spices. Excellent, very terroir-driven Champagne.

2005 Azienda Agricola Colleluce di Malavolta Franca Vernaccia di Serrapetrona DOCG Secco
Vernaccia di Serrapetrona may be the most obscure DOCG in Italy. It is also a very unusual wine, and not just that it is a fully sparkling red wine. Vernaccia di Serrapetrona must be made with at least 85% Vernaccia Nera grapes, a little known variety that was once though to be extinct; this particular wine is made from 100% Vernaccia Nera. Vernaccia Nera has no relation to either the Vernaccia di San Gimignano or Vernaccia di Oristano grapes, which are quite unrelated themselves.
To add to the oddity that is Vernaccia di Serrapetrona, nearly half of the grapes used for making the wine must be dried beforehand, usually on straw mats. Half of the grapes in this wine were dried, although the alcohol is still only 12%. I am not aware of any other sparkling wine made with dried grapes.
Dark ruby color. Good mousse/small bubbles. Very Hermitage-like nose of spiky black pepper, and bacon. Full-bodied, off-dry, well-balanced, with good underlying acidity. Much fruitier on the palate, with flavors of black cherries, dried berries, and grilling spices. Picks up a note of tar on the spicy finish. Excellent.

NV Nana, Vins et Cie. (Chaussard)You Are So Bubbly! VdT Français
According to the sheet from the retailer, this is a rosé petillant naturel made from Grenache and Cinsault from the Ardèche region. Medium-bodied, crisp, fresh, and well balanced. Good mousse and acidity; slightly off-dry, with notes of mixed berries, minerals, and yeast. Very good.

NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

Blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, in undetermined proportions. Good mousse/small bubbles. Light to medium-bodied, crisp, and bready, with lightly floral/spiced pear and citrus notes. Good length and structure for a NV Brut. Very good/excellent.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:24 pm

I have been a fan of Langlois (Loire Valley) ever since discovering the 100% Cab Franc sparkler Carmin Dry. The NV Brut Rose Cremant de Loire has now appeared on the shelves downtown and is being poured at a local winebar. The bottle had been open over an hour but was still fresh and lively.
Again 100% CF but in a much lighter style than the Carmin Dry. Strawberry and floral nose, small bubbles. Decent acidity with a blast of raspberry on the finish. Very clean and hard not to enjoy, think around $20 Cdn on the shelf.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Salil » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:13 am

Tonight with roast duck and mashed potatoes.

N.V. Ulysse Collin Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs
This is one of the most precise, structured Champagnes I've had. Fresh, pale pear, green apple and citrus fruits and accents of yeast and marmalade over a bed of chalk and stone. There's incredible focus and clarity here with acidity that cuts like a sabre, it's a little lean up front (and I wonder whether a little dosage may have helped a bit) but the whole package is very nicely balanced, streamlined and delicious to drink.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:44 am

N.V. J. M. Gremillet Champagne Brut Grande Réserve (France, Champagne).

Very nice bubbly for under $50 Cdn. . Toasty, yeasty aromas with some bread dough, citrus lemon, and creamy flavors. Had some fast rising small bubbles. Rich and yet refreshing. Nice intro for those trying to discover champagne.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:11 am

Jim Grow wrote: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?
Jim - what David said, but there's another reason. I've been making bubblies at home for almost 30 years (not every year, and from a variety of grapes) and I've found out the hard way that trying to start a bottle fermentation with abv above 12.5% can be difficult. I'm currently struggling with several bottles of 2006 sparkling 100% Chardonnay that started out with 22.5 Brix, which is about 13% potential alcohol. The entire batch started to ferment and stopped. It has a very little bit of fizz, barely a cremant, and the sugar added for fermentation is still there. I've had other batches where the grapes were between 18-20 Brix and had no problems making the bubbles.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:27 pm

2000 Le Marchesine Franciacorta
Very nice pairing with grilled lemon/herb chicken. Bright, focused, lemony and minerally, even to me with my currently impaired sense of smell/taste.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby James Dietz » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:51 pm

  • N.V. Domaine Tissot (André & Mireille now Stéphane) Crémant du Jura Brut[/url] - France, Jura, Crémant du Jura (11/6/2010)

    Showing green apple hints and nice acidity. Held up well into day 2. Reminiscent of Duval Leroy. Good balance. Under $20 from Garagiste. (90 pts.)

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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Clint Hall » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:27 pm

Although I've long enjoyed Champagne from the big houses, Champagne became an obsession only about fifteen years or so ago when grower Champagnes started making a small but noticeable dent in the market. I'm not saying I think the big houses aren't still producing good stuff (gift me a 1996 Dom Perignon and I'll be your friend for life) but in my book now the growers generally deliver more quality per buck and are far more interesting with their year-to-year variations and reflections of individual terroirs. A quick check of my cellar discloses two bottles of 1996 Bollinger surrounded by about two cases of various grower Champagnes. Fifteen years ago I wouldn't have been able to define the word "grower" in the context of Champagne. I wonder if others have gone through the same change in Champagne taste and buying habits.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Salil » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:51 pm

Opened on Friday at Mei Tzu

N.V. Tarlant Champagne La Vigne d'Antan Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
2000 vintage/2007 disgorgement once again, and delicious as always with a lovely combination of citrus, pear and apple fruit framed by yeasty and marmalade notes. There's bright effervescence and refreshing acidity beneath, but what really stands out is the texture - it's incredibly gentle and expansive, almost pillow-like with that sense of incredible polish and finesse I find in so many franc de pied bottlings. Excellent.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Tim York » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:32 am

Montlouis-sur-Loire Triple Zéro NV – Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, Jacky Blot (c.€12), made from old Chenin blanc grapes with no dosage. Here are technical details but, sorry, in French only http://www.jackyblot.fr/userfiles/file/ ... 20ZERO.pdf .
This was the first wine I tasted at the Brussels RVF Salon. Usually it is a difficult position but the bubbly overcame that disadvantage easily. The bubbles were scarcely visible in the glass; I commented on this to Jacky Blot and he replied "wait till you taste it". The nose was exceptionally attractive with notes of creamy white fruit and minerals and the palate showed a gentle prickle and was crisply refreshing without aggressiveness, elegant and very mineral and biscuity with a certain density. Some lesser Loire bubblies have a rather green coarseness but there was none of that here. Fine 16/20+.

Many more notes on this event will follow, including on the Bollinger range.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:11 pm

Well, that one is a real treat Tim. All I have here is a Champalou, have you seen this?

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/loire/champalou.shtml
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Sam Platt » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:06 pm

Marquis de la Tour Brut NV

Light gold with fresh cut flowers on the nose. Nice and crisp with lots of yeast and rich melon. Beautiful value sparkler from the Loire. Price: $10.99. Will definitely buy more if I can find it.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Michael K » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:57 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:I have been a fan of Langlois (Loire Valley) ever since discovering the 100% Cab Franc sparkler Carmin Dry. The NV Brut Rose Cremant de Loire has now appeared on the shelves downtown and is being poured at a local winebar. The bottle had been open over an hour but was still fresh and lively.
Again 100% CF but in a much lighter style than the Carmin Dry. Strawberry and floral nose, small bubbles. Decent acidity with a blast of raspberry on the finish. Very clean and hard not to enjoy, think around $20 Cdn on the shelf.


I use to love this much more before they were purchase about 6 years ago but still lovely stuff for the price. My sparkly consumptions this month have been minor as it usually is part of my (daily?) diet. When I'm in London, I will have a bottle of Duval Leroy everyday.

Bollinger Rose NV Had it at an auction (and then went back for more than a few servings ). On the nose, very balanced, sleek yet with good density of strawberries, toast, nuts, acidity. On the palate, very refreshing, super balance, dry crisp, with a great persistence. Pricy but lovely!

1999 Cristal: Second time I've tasted this this year, and very consistent. This champagne is very fresh, lifted, vibrant, coconut, almost a bit off-dry, focused and very balanced but gawd...really really young....infanticide.

1992 Dom Perignon: I finished my 6 pack of this LONG time ago.....and I really do regret this if this is what it looks like. This wine is showing really elegant now, the sharpness (never really all that sharp) is now gone and the density is up. Smooth, vibrant still, some toast and honey but mostly secondary. I wish I kept a few until now....so went to an auction to pick up a mag of this. :)

N.V. Mumm Brut Prestige Napa Valley: I really wish I had bought more of these fir the price ($2.99 for a split).. Opened another one today just for sipping and it is wonderful for the price. Ripe, dense, apple (mackintosh) but not overty complex, juicy and vigorous still. and comes with an honest to goodness cork and cap.

N.V. Roederer Brut Andersen Valley: This is a very nice sparkler for the price, vibrant, fresh, way too easy to drink but serious. Lacking some of the complexity I would like to see but still well made. Always will have a couple of these on hand at home.

Duval Leroy Brut NV: Love this go to NV IOt's a big, dense wine with a nose of toast, some nuttiness, tart apple, and lemon. Good balance and very nice structure and density. Wonderful stuff for the price but not exactly a lithe champagne.
Last edited by Michael K on Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:16 pm

Michael, have to agree here quote.."N.V. Roederer Brut Andersen Valley: This is a very nice sparkler for the price, vibrant, fresh, way too easy to drink but serious. Lacking some of the complexity I would like to see but still well made. Always will have a couple of these on hand at home."
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Tim York » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:26 pm

Champagne Bollinger

I hesitate about posting these notes on my usually favourite marque tasted at the RVF's Brussels show as by now my palate was tired after the previous battering, particularly by the red Hauvettes and Sociando-Mallet. All the champers here seemed to show much more marked malt notes than I recall from bottles drunk at home and the Spécial Cuvée brut NV and Rosé brut NV were nearly overwhelmed by very foamy bubbles though biscuit like finesse, body were still just apparent as well as full Pinot fruit on the pink. I commented on these strong bubbles and the Bollinger representative gave three explanations –
- my glass, though rinsed, had contained red wine which coats the sides with a known substance (I can't remember its name) which reacts with Champagne to exaggerate the bubbles,
- the conditions of the tasting meant that the bottles were shaken a lot,
- the wines were from newer cuvées than those which most people drink at home.

La Grande Année 2000 came out much better which both the malt notes and the bubbles much more subdued. The wine was tense and elegant yet rich and complex. A fine food champers; 17/20.
La Grande Année Rosé 2002 was both more malty and fuller with great distinction; 16.5/20.
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Champagne Pannier

Postby James Roscoe » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:05 pm

Big wine dinner last night. I was not taking notes. We brought a magnum of Champagne Pannier NV Brut. Great stuff for $60 US. Nice bright fruit,apples and lemons, and a good yeasty undertone. It was a nice way to finish off a heavy meal.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Salil » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:20 pm

From the last few nights...

1999 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne
From magnum. Lovely aromatics with pear and apple fruit accented by yeasty and bready flavours; very rich on the palate with plenty of depth and power, but a little soft and leaves me wanting a bit more acidity.

N.V. Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Rosé de Saignée Premier Cru
A very frothy mousse with aromas of yeast and doughy notes leading into flavours of red fruits and biscuit on the palate, but it feels pretty soft, flabby and dull with not much acidity or back end presence. Eh.

1999 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne
From magnum again, this time corked - goddamnit.

1995 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne
Makes a nice impression up front with bright citrus and pear fruit accented by yeasty and bready flavours, but it turns a little dull and oxidative on the back end, feeling a little tired and soft without the precision and freshness that I'd like. Not sure if this is a slightly off/damaged bottle or something more representative, but I didn't enjoy it much.

2002 Jose Dhondt Champagne Blanc de Blancs Vieilles Vignes
From magnum, and Wow! Explosive with powerful citrus, green apple and white fruited flavours framed by bright yeasty and freshly-baked bread notes, with time this really evolves as savoury truffle-like notes and a chalky minerality emerge beneath the fruit. There's tremendous balance and a sense of seamlessness and fantastic precision to the flavours with bright effervescence and intense acidity underneath, stunning wine (and I definitely need to look for more Champagne from this producer).

N.V. Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Champagne Blue Top Brut
Struggles to make an impact following the 2002 Dhondt; this is very pleasant with bright red and green apple fruit and yeasty, biscuity flavours - nicely balanced, but it's not particularly interesting.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Glenn Mackles » Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:58 pm

We love all kinds of bubbly here. It almost never makes it to a second night because it goes down so easily. It fact, it's hard to find any kind of good quality champagne we don't like. As to house style, I think we probably like Taittinger best but only by a small margin. We drink quite a bit of La Francais. As to ultimate favorite... there are so many awesome ones to choose from but IMO, it's pretty hard to beat Krug. But we also get a heck of a lot of enjoyment out of inexpensive Prosecco.

Recent champagne oddity.... recently I opened a bottle of Francois Billon and it still had quite a large chunk of the lees still in it. I can't remember that happening before. It certainly didn't interfere with the enjoyment of the wine.

Happy bubbly everyone...

Glenn
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby David Lole » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:20 am

Salil wrote:1995 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne
Makes a nice impression up front with bright citrus and pear fruit accented by yeasty and bready flavours, but it turns a little dull and oxidative on the back end, feeling a little tired and soft without the precision and freshness that I'd like. Not sure if this is a slightly off/damaged bottle or something more representative, but I didn't enjoy it much.


I was lucky enough to try, then buy a few bottles from an ex-friend some years back .... gob-smackingly good wine with terrific potential for a long life. I wonder what happened to this bottle? Was it stored well since release? :?
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:55 pm

Last night we had the NV Pinon Vouvray Brut, the bottling that is mostly 2007. It was delightfully refreshing, lively, a tingling stream of easy-to-drinkness. The 2005 Huet Vouvray Pétillant was a little more difficult. Richer than the Pinon, but denser, more inward, and less expressive than previous bottles. Oh well.
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:00 pm

Aren't you supposed to be holding Huet Petillant for 50 years? :wink:
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Salil » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:04 pm

Not yet, it's still only the first release. The second and third will be much better. :twisted:
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:20 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Aren't you supposed to be holding Huet Petillant for 50 years? :wink:


You mean investing for future generations? Perhaps. But I need something to drink in the meantime!
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Re: Wine Focus November: Bubbles of the World!

Postby Jim Grow » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:02 pm

I love Riesling Sekt and see very few around Ohio. My favorite in the past was a 1995 Schloss Johannisberg (I think that was the vintage) Riesling Sekt but see it no more. It was botled under the Furst von Metternich label. Can anyone recommend other Riesling Sekt, hopfully available in Eastern U.S. if not Ohio?
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