Had well over 500 of our closest friends in the store last night. Poured 13 different Sparkling Wines. Had over 100 empty bottles! Thanks to Ed and our good friends with Moet Hennessy for putting on a fabulous tasting.
We started with 4 selections from Domaine Chandon. The Brut and Blanc de Noir were their usual delicious selves, really good quality bubbles at very reasonable prices. Etoile was delicious, but I thought the Etoile Rose was stunning. Delicious sparkling wine at the base with just a touch of strawberries and a finishing slip of honey down the back of the tongue.
Moet Chandon showed their rich and delcious Grand Vintage 2000. Basically made with the wine that doesn't go into Dom Perigon, there is no other wine in the portfolio between the Grand Vintage and Dom. The Vintage 2000 represents an amazing value. Imperial Brut Rose has a bold touch of cherries and the Nectar Imperial has its reliable rich touch of sweetness. The Nectar has been my favorite dessert bubbly for many years.
Clicquot Brut was Clicquot Brut, full and very toasty. The Vintage 2002 was a winner as was the Rose, made for a summer Sunday watching Wimbledon with its strawberries and cream!
Of course the big table featured the tete de cuvees. Dom Perignon 2000 was fresh and crisp with stone fruits, honey, minerals and sparkling acidity. Grande Dame 1998 featured hints of toast and hazelnuts with complex fruits and honey.
Krug's current Grand Cuvee was very interesting as it is nowhere near as nutty and toasty as previous releases. They use 7 vintages to blend the wine and they have used the same barrels for fermentation for many years so the barrels are essentially neutral. They use the same vineyards and the same family has blended the wine for many years. The only variable is vintage variation. Ed suspects there is a large dollop of the 1995 in the blend. Of the different vintages of Krug he has in his cellar, the 95 is the least approachable and he's still waiting for the acidity to calm down, which would account for the crisp attack of the wine. That being said, it is quite delicious and the current blend with its crisp attack on top of the nutty complex of fruits and honeys is my favorite style of white Burgundy. Only Krug has bubbles which just makes it that much better!