WTN: Catching Up Pt 1 (4 bubblies)

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WTN: Catching Up Pt 1 (4 bubblies)

Postby Jim Jones in Tokyo » Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:11 am

CATCHING UP: 4 BUBBLIES - Around Tokyo (4/6/2006-4/16/2006)

Guests in Town
You know those wines that accumulate because so many people bring them as hostess gifts when you entertain? Well, I've got a big stockpile of Veuve NV. Time to lower the count by one.
  • N.V. Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Imperial Rosé - France, Champagne, Épernay, Champagne (4/6/2006)
    Very pretty deepish copper color with a nicely refined mousse. Nose shows a sweet burst of strawberry fruit, enlivened by a hint of citrus and mineral. Palate shows just a hint of steel in attack and texture, but is really about strawberry and cherry flavors. Not overly sweet, but finishes with a bit of berry sweetness. Simple and direct but actually quite delicious. Lacks the structural elements I love in good rosé Champagne, but a fun bit to sip with my wife on our anniversary evening while we put flowers into vases and helped James with homework. Not everything has to be complex or even in my generally preferred lean style. Another bottle that was a gift from someone else. A nice surprise showing, but not something I’m ever going to buy given the alternatives at the price.
Anniversary
Sucks when the anniversary falls on a worknight and we can't get out until the weekend. At least we can drink a bit of Chanmpagne.
  • N.V. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut - France, Champagne, Reims, Champagne (4/12/2006)
    Medium-sized mousse in a strawish-colored wine. Nose of green apple and white plum with a hint of leesiness, but not much else. Palate is very much in balance and shows none of the odd sweetness that has shown in some bottles over recent years. However, it shows a bit of dilution in the middle and nothing of extraordinary interest. Competent, balanced, perhaps better than expected – just nothing to get excited about. Received as a gift, this does better than most such gifts. Pulled from the gift corner, this fills the bill perfectly when one is called upon to serve Champagne to houseguests who don’t give a flip about wine.
Variety Is the Spice of Life
I've tried St. Peray, but never any from Voge. This is the basic bottling. I'm looking forward to trying one of the higher end versions.
  • N.V. Alain Voge St. Péray - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Péray (4/14/2006)
    There’s a depth to the yellow that is hinting at gold and at sunny ripeness. Mousse is perhaps a little large, but is nicely persistent. On the nose, honeysuckle flower combines with Champagne-like leesiness to form a rich backdrop for the ripe peach and apricot fruit. On the palate, there is a nice mineral element that props up the very rich Marsanne/Roussane fruit. Finish is rich and not quite cloying, but this would benefit from a touch more acid and a finer mousse. Drank this as an aperitif. I’ll be eager to try with dinner, where I think it will fare better.
Easter Brunch
This was the basic free pour at brunch at the club.
  • N.V. Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut L.P. - France, Champagne (4/16/2006)
    Bright light yellow. Crisp bit of bread with bright white fruit on nose. Palate is crisp and light with a little citrus and light ripe apple. Style is clean and proper blanc de blancs, though there are also pinots noir and muenier in here. Mousse is fine and persistent. In fact everything is here – except any sense of excitement or flavor impact. Good for the situation, as I could absent-mindedly drink three glasses without having to pay attention to it. Yet another wine that is better than most buffet fare, but not something I have any interest in buying.

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Jim Jones
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Re: TN: Catching Up Pt 1 (4 bubblies)

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:18 pm

Jim,
Great notes. The Rhone cremant sounds intere3sting. I've never seen one from that region. At the price you pay for champagne, the cremant sounds like the winner. I would give the Laurent-Perrier another go however. Try the rose, it makes a great dessert champagne. As gor the other two, I'm in complete agreement. Keep up the good work.
Cheers!
James
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Re: TN: Catching Up Pt 1 (4 bubblies)

Postby Jim Jones in Tokyo » Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:14 am

James:

Thanks for the kind words.

The St. Peray was interesting. I really think it will do well with fairly substantial food, as it played very much like an Hermitage Blanc, but with bubbles. There are a couple of higher-end St. Peray from Voge that I am eager to try if I can find them. They come recommended from at least one palate I trust.

I'm not writing the L-P entirely off. As big house basic NVs go, I think it is one of the better wines out there. It is correct and balanced and enjoyable and even nuanced, but it lacks anything that makes me eager to choose it over the many other choices out there.

I generally don't buy big house NVs. I buy basic wines from various growers (generally at prices much below the big houses) and enjoy them more. From the big houses, I will buy some of the upscale wines. I'll admit to a real affection for Salon, Comtes, several others. I've never tried Bolly VVF but am eager to do so someday.

But.......If I were to go out and buy a basic NV from a big house, L-P would be one of the potential choices (along with Bolly and Henriot and Pol Roger).

Enjoy,

Jim
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Re: TN: Catching Up Pt 1 (4 bubblies)

Postby James Roscoe » Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:59 pm

It's all about the search.
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Re: TN: Catching Up Pt 1 (4 bubblies)

Postby Jim Jones in Tokyo » Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:56 pm

Absolutely.

And that's really what keeps me from going out and buying a bottle L-P Brut NV or anything similar. I'd much rather try something I've never tasted before.

I do have old favorites in all categories that I will go back to from time to time. I enjoy vintage variation with my favorites. I enjoy watching a particular wine along its aging curve over time.

But the search is a big part of what keeps me going.

Enjoy,

Jim
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Re: TN: Catching Up Pt 1 (4 bubblies)

Postby James Roscoe » Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:04 pm

Do you have a "house" sparkling wine you keep just because? We always keep a bottle or three of Louis Boiullot Cremant de Bourgonge (sic) Blanc de Noirs. At $13 American it's great stuff.
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Re: TN: Catching Up Pt 1 (4 bubblies)

Postby Jim Jones in Tokyo » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:02 am

Don't really have a particular house wine, but have had wines that have been favorites for a bit of time or wines that we will go back to more often than others.

So no, I'm a bit too peripatetic (my wife would say jaded and obsessed) to stick to anything for very long.

Enjoy,

Jim
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