Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Champagnes tasted and enjoyed recently

Most of these (with the exception of the Drappier, tasted at Terroir) are champagnes I sell at work. So I'm selling my own hooch here, but it's been a while since I've pitched the K&L wares. Sorry if you're not on the west coast and can't find many of these. If you're on the east coast, it probably only makes sense to ship if you mix a case, in which case it would be roughly $4 per bottle to ship via Fedex 3day.

Drappier Zero Dosage NV -

A really impressive blanc de noir here. Classy, pure cherry fruit with a fine structure, indeed. Intense, elegant, crystalline structured, and long finishing, this is one of the most enjoyable non-vintage champagnes I have drunk in the past few years.

De Meric Grand Reserve Sous Bois NV - $34.99

80% pinot noir from Ay, Mareuil-Sur-Ay and Mutigny, 15% chardonnay from Cramant, Avize and Oger and 5% meunier from Cumieres. It is vinified half in old oak barrels and half in stainless steel tanks. Clean berry fruits and a bit of challah bread dough on the nose lead to a very fruit driven palate. Very Pinot Noir. Length, purity and acidity are all nicely balanced.

Marguet Rose NV - $34.99

Light coppery pink color. Composed of 70% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir. Marguet is a small negoc house based in Ambonnay. The quality of Benoit Marguet's pinot noir really show here; there is a real Burgundian pinot noir savor to this champagne. It's red berry fruited, but also brawny and masculine - not a simply fruity, cheerful rose champagne. I quite like it and plan on buying some soon.

Louise Brison 'Cuvee Tendresse' Blanc des Blancs' 2001 - $59.99 on pre-arrival

A rather obscure producer working in the Aube (where Fleury is also based) who farms organically , this is one of several delicous champagnes I have tasted from Mr. Broulez. 100% chardonnay, matured in oak for a short time (5 months), without malolactic fermentation. Substantial, with nicely advanced, savory notes balanced by excellent acidity. Distinctive. Drinking great right now.

Louise Brison Cuvee Germain 2001 (1.5l)- $79.99 on pre-arrival

50% chard, 50% pinot noir. Creamy on the palate, with orange blossom notes and an unusual density. Also, a very nice decomposed marine organism (ok, I guess you could say 'chalk') minerality is underlying beneath all of the fruit. It tastes sort of pinot blanc-like, with bubbles.

Louise Brison Brut 2002 - $39.99

There is a similar richness, roundness and persistence here, though with more pronounced acidity. Tasted a second time, the acidity really jumped out even more so, in a good way. I like this quite a bit, it will probably be my house champagne for when the occasion calls for a good quality bubbly.

Leclerc Briant 'La Ravinne' NV - $41.99

Pascal Leclerc only makes single vineyard champagnes: the chalky 'les crayeres,' juicy, mineral and easy to drink 'Les chevres preuses,' the blanc des blancs 'la croisette,' an amazingly (and almost illegally) dark rose champagne named 'cuvee rubis' and this, his single vineyard pinot meunier. It might be my favorite of his wines which I have tasted. La Ravinne has a spicy nose, with a palate of pithy red grapefruit, showing great intensity and a refreshing bitter snap to the finish. Modern meunier here, but of a flavor profile I have not yet encountered with the grape.

Leclerc Briant Cuvee Divine 2001 - $39.99

This is composed of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, blended from estate vineyards in the valley of the Marne villages Dizy, Cumieres, Damery and Hautvillers. I have tasted one older vintage of this wine ('89, I believe) and, while it aged well, I prefer this young wine from a much less heralded vintage. Very chablis like chalky minerality.

More champagne and other sparkling wine notes to come....


Vino Vangelist said...

Like the sound of the Marguet Rose NV. Is it really as brawny and masculine as you say?

Brooklynguy said...

nice notes - thanks. i still have yet to drink leclerc briant. have to change that.

i wasn't so crazy about the demeric sous bois. i thought it was a bit clunky.

David D said...

I want to know about the $2.42 hazerai bottles you bought tonight. That's the deal the East Coast should know about.

Joe Manekin said...

VV - Yes, I find the Marguet champagne to all be very serious (not strict, but serious) broad shouldered, PN based champagnes.

BK -

I too have had times where I was not wowed by the Demeric sous bois. Sometimes the acidity seemed to not really pop the way I like it to, the flavors were a bit lacking in focus. Clunky is an apt way to put it. But on this particular day it was showing great.

David - the $2.42 closeout Charles Ellner was worth every penny!