By Bob Lipinski
Champagne is a region in France about 90 miles northeast of Paris. Sparkling wines made there using the méthode champenoise (Champagne method) are called Champagne.
Sparkling wines made in other regions of France regardless of how good they are cannot be called Champagne; they are known as crémant and vin mousseux (sparkling wine).
I attended a Wine Media Guild seminar/tasting of French Champagne (prestige cuvées) in December and here are my tasting notes.
NV G.H. Mumm “Blanc de Blancs” Hints of celery, bread dough and brioche. Crisp and clean.
NV Valentin Leflaive “Blanc de Blancs (extra brut)” Very dry with nuances of green apple, lime, violets and toasted bread.
Collet Collecion Privée” 2006 Hints of toasted bread, biscuits; full-flavored and delicious.
Boizel “Joyau de France” 2000 Fruity with flavors of peach and hazelnut; good finish.
Perrier-Jouët “Belle Epoque” 2012 Pear and green apple along with a nutty aftertaste.
Alfred Gratien “Cuvée Paradis” 2009 Hints of cider, red apple and baked bread. Well-balanced.
NV Delamotte “Blanc de Blancs” Light and crisp with citrus and chamomile flavors. Aftertaste of pears.
Piper-Heidsieck “Rare” 2006 Green apple, citrus and nuts. Lingering aftertaste.
Henriot “Cuvée Hemera” 2005 Darker color with overtones of brioche, pear and apple tart.
Palmer & Co. “Brut” (served in magnum) 2003 Granny Smith apple, citrus, curry and full of flavor.
Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” 2007 Crisp, clean tasting with considerable bubble; plenty of fruit.
Dom Ruinart “Blanc de Blancs” (served in magnum) 2004 Elegant with full chardonnay flavor; crisp, with a lasting finish.
Moët & Chandon “Dom Pérignon Rosé” 2006 Delicate and floral bouquet with overtones of black currants; persistent finish.
NV Laurent-Perrier “Grand Siècle” Honeyed, nutty aromas with hints of almonds and freshly baked brioche.
Charles Heidsieck “Blanc des Millènaires” 2004 Very dry; lively with citrus and brioche. Creamy aftertaste.
Pol Roger “Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill” 2006 Overtones of citrus, toasted brioche, pear and licorice.
Louis Roederer “Cristal” 2008 Citrusy bouquet with overtones of waffles, red apple and pears.
Veuve Clicquot “La Grande Dame” 2008 Crisp, medium-bodied, elegant, floral and honeyed bouquet.
Bollinger “Grande Année” 2008 Apple tart, brioche, butter and nutty overtones. Long aftertaste.
NV Krug “Grande Cuvée 168th edition” Toasted bread, full-bodied, ginger, spices and a long and pleasing aftertaste.
Bob Lipinski is the author of 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need to Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He conducts training seminars on wine, spirits and food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com OR [email protected]