August 24, 2018
J Laurens Cremant de Limoux Rose

J. LAURENS Crèmant de Limoux Rosé

Delicious, fruity, crisp and clean mèthode traditionelle sparkling from the Languedoc, southern France. The J Laurens Cremant de Limoux Rosé cuvée is Chardonnay, Mauzac, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir. Get red plums, raspberries, fresh violets, blood oranges. A little creaminess, medium acidity, crystal-clear flavors and a little floral/spicy flavor on the back end & finish. Throw this one back. It’s almost too easy to down!
July 28, 2018
Coutier Champagne Blancs

R.H. COUTIER Champagne Blanc de Blancs

A bit of an oddity as it is made from 100% Chardonnay in Ambonnay, a village in the Champagne region Montagne de Reims: definitive Pinot Noir country. (It’s Pinot country because the soils lend themselves to making great Pinot-based Champagne.) Get pear/apple, ripe citrus, stone fruits (apricot, peach), fresh tarragon and lemon balm. Burst of acidity, just what’s needed, in the mouth and going down. Since it’s a little “rounder” because where the grapes come from, it drinks great alone – better than most Blanc de Blancs Champagne. And the price! For $44 it demolishes the big Champagne houses and […]
July 23, 2018
Allimant Laugner Brut Rose

Allimant Laugner Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose

A house favorite, and a Napa Valley favorite, the Allimant Laugner Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose is 100% Pinot Noir, methode traditionelle (in line with the French appellation laws of Cremant. This is a delicious $20 or under sparkling. Medium dosage for Brut, meaning you can pick up a twinge of sweetness. Strawberry, blood orange, rose petal, medium acidity for bubbles. It’s all nicely balanced, perky and clean. This is a big time crown pleaser. On that note, look for Magnums – if your wine shop has the 750s, they can probably get the magnums. Price should be just double the […]
June 13, 2018
Paul Dethune Champagne

Paul Dethune Champagne “Princesse des Thunes”

Released as a “mature” style of Champagne: 1/2 Chardonnay, 1/2 Pinot Noir. Barrel aged, including 30% “Reserve” wine that is a multi-vintage blend dating back to the 1970s. Nose has a light Fino Sherry character with preserved lemon zest, day-old green apple skins, and peach puree. Flavor is savory, earthy, and wonderfully developed. The mature apple and lemon comes out in spades along with some green olive, veal stock and oyster shells. A textural delight that beats most $100+ Champs for quality. Here are all my Champagne reviews.
April 22, 2018
Terres Secretes Cremant

TERRE SECRÈTES Crèmant de Bourgogne Rosé

80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay from the Mâconnais. This is one of the most friendly, fuller-bodied, fruit-driven Crèmants I’ve had. The fruit and richness could be explained by the high amount of Pinot Noir as well as the 10% Reserve wine added to the cuvée. Friendly, forward fruit quality. Cherry and cranberry as expected + some lemon/lime, crisp green apple and crunch pear. Yes, it’s nice and fruity!
April 22, 2018
Oudart Champagne

OUDART Champagne, Chardonnay 2008

Family vineyard and winery (an RM) in the Côtes des Blancs. By tasting I’m guessing it has spent at least 6 years on its lees, which would explain its round, creamy texture. Get ripe pears, lemon cream, fresh pastry and apple butter in this luxurious-style Champagne. A delight to drink 10 year old, vintage Champagne for “just” $55!
March 14, 2018
Jacky Blot Rose Triple Zero

JACKY BLOT Petillant-Naturel Rosé “Triple Zero”

An ever-so-subtle smell of flavor of red currant and sun-dried cherry clings to grapefruit, lime and crushed rock in this perky, super-refreshing “Pet-Nat” (single fermentation wine that finishes in bottle). A delicious, very dry sparkler that balances, just so, its fruit, high acidity and lees-aged character. A delicious, unique wine that is a steal for under $30! All Gamay. called Triple Zero because it is Zero Chaptalization, Zero Liqueur at bottling, Zero dosage. Ferment and aged 2 years on its lees in neutral barrel before bottling to finish fermentation. Taille Aux Loups is the property of Mountlouis producer Jacky Blot […]
March 14, 2018
Jacky Blot Triple Zero

JACKY BLOT Petillant-Naturel “Triple Zero”

100% Chenin Blanc. Crisp and brooding nose of bright citrus, pears, white spring flowers and chalk. Taste is 2 parts soil, 1 part fruit: river rocks, oyster shells, lemon-apple, quince. The concern is that this will be dry to the point of being mean, but not so. The lees-aging in barrel gives just the right amount of flesh. Really delicious, and a bargain for this quality and character. A Pet-Nat, which is single fermentation that finishes in bottle. 100% Chenin Blanc, called Triple Zero because it is Zero Chaptalization, Zero Liqueur at bottling, Zero dosage. Ferment and aged 2 years […]
February 20, 2018
Pascal Ponson Champagne

PASCAL PONSON Champagne, Brut Rosé

Textbook Rosé Champagne smell and taste of strawberry, wild cherry and cranberry lead the way. Orange scone, red apple and faint yellow rose petal follow behind. Great fruitiness, partly explained by the 10 G/L dosage, which falls squarely in the Brut range as it lifts the fruity flavors up. This is a sure-fire hit for everyone except those who like their Champagne SUPER-dry. The Ponsons are a fifth-generation Grower Champagne family/producer (they own and farm their grapes).  The blend on their Rosé is 69% Pinot Meunier then Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 15% red wine is added to the cuvee before […]
February 4, 2018
Gimonnet Champagne Cuis

PIERRE GIMONNET Champagne “Cuvée Cuis”

Family-owned, run, made and grown, Gimonnet is one of the best, and best-known “Grower Champagne” producers sold in the U.S. Their Blanc de Blancs (= 100% Chardonnay) “Cuvée Cuis” (= Blend from the village of Cuis, a 1er Cru Champagne village) shows tell-tale smells & flavors of the Côtes des Blancs: ripe green apple, lemon custard and quince paste. Also typical of the region is its puckering acidity and soft “crunch” of crushed white rocks that speaks to concept of “terroir.” Now all that said, “Cuvée Cuis” balances its tang with a sweet & creamy component from lees-aging and dosage. […]
September 23, 2017
Saint Chamant Champagne

SAINT CHAMANT Champagne 2006

Made from 100% Chardonnay Extended lees aging (disgorged when ordered by the importer, so looking at 8-9 years on its lees) and great Estate fruit make for a delicious Champagne that’s at perfect maturity. Smell and taste lemon custard, roast hazelnuts, dried apple slices, baguette crust. When drinking this, you just can’t help but relax and enjoy the moment. While this doesn’t get a great Value Rating because of the price, it IS a glorious value in the Champagne realm. You can spend the same for a big house non-vintage Champagne with a big marketing budget if you want, but […]