Grapelive Champagne Report

Grapelive: Champagne Quick Report

By Kerry Winslow


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N.V. Louis Roederer, Brut Champagne Reims.
A bright and easy sparkler with good vigor and style, and quite a good value for the quality. The nose is citrus, bread and white currant, with a zingy palate of lemon and green apple. The finish is crisp and short with a touch of crabapple. Not a bad choice for a celebration or Sunday brunch.
($39.95 Est.) 88 Points, grapelive

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N.V. Taittinger, Brut Champagne, La Francaise Reims.
This s a fruity and easy Champagne that has lots of lemon and white peach fruit and is very tangy, very Veuve in style, more fresh than past cuvee’s, I was almost disappointed, but it still is fun and joyful. Not much depth or texture, but well made with hints of apple and pear in the background.
($41.95 Est.) 87 Points, grapelive

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N.V. J. Lassalle, Brut Champagne, Cachet d’Or 1er Cru Chigny-Les-Roses.
This earthy and brightly flavored Champagne is a great other choice in bubbly, rather than name brands. The nose has more depth and yeasty notes than the Grand Marques, with a more earthy tone on the palate with hints of truffle, apple skin and brioche to go with the vibrant citrus core. This cuvee is less mature than past bottling, but should age even better. Drinks well and gets more rich with air.
($41.95 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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N.V. Marc Hebrart, Brut Champagne, Selection 1er Cru Mareuil-sur-Ay.

Jean-Paul Hebrart’s Domaine makes the best Champagne for the money period, at least this year, and is a real star! This bottling has it all, great in everyday, nose, palate and finish, amazingly exciting and complex for a N.V. and lovely bubbles! Smooth yeasty brioche, lemon tart, apple and baking spices that almost give a caramel feeling. This Champagne is rich and full of life, don’t miss out, get this one if you can find it, as it it is from a very small grower producer. The Chardonnay is 100% Grand Cru and the Pinot is on limestone soils, all of which add up to pure quality.
($54.95 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

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N.V. Pierre Moncuit-Delos, Brut Rose Champagne, Grand Cru Le Mesnil.
Nichole and Yves Moncuit have guided this excellent domain since they took over from their father Pierre in 1977. Always a steal for Grand Cru, even better still is that is comes from Le Mesnil, one of the great vineyards of the world. This Grand Cru Rose is bright and tangy, very dry, but with lush fruit essence, there is strawberry, cherry and loads of citrus. There is some depth and the finish gets good and long after some air, making for a suburb wine, and great with food.($44.95 Est.) 92-93 Points, grapelive

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2002 Dom Perignon “Andy Warhol Edition” Brut Champagne, Epernay (Moet et Chandon)
This is a sublime vintage and wonderful Dom, there is nothing not to love here, except that it is still very young and tight, though that is no fault what so ever. If you wanted to get some Dom to lay down, this is your wine, priced right and available, time to do it, as by next year it should prove scarce and pricy! The colorful Andy Warhol label edition means nothing to the Champagne fan, but may have some collector interest at some point. The nose is still shy, but the vigor and bracing power show up on the palate with edgy acid and citrus notes, but given air it rounds out and shows apple, white peach, fig, hazelnut and brioche. There is a tiny hint of chalk and mineral that adds complexity too. Words are not enough, you should at east try this Champagne, it would set the bar for your own palate!
($149.95-165 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive

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Available at www.sfwtc.com