Archive for the ‘Ack! Priced’ Category

The foil and cage is removed and the cork sabraged on 2011!  This sixth part of my now-six part series on sparkling vino excitedly culminates in Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin‘s Champagne Brut.  A true champagne from Reims, France; a city surrounded by vineyards that have produced some of the world’s most coveted bubbly for over 250 years!

Loving steps were taken to ensure the serving of this ~$70/btl vino was to happen in the most optimal of conditions – chilled in an ice bucket for no more than 20 minutes; flute glasses painstakingly cleaned then cooled in the refrigerator for 20 minutes; the cat shoo’ed away even as I’m sure she thought it was her at the center of my spotlight’s attention…

5…4…3…2…1… Pop!!  Happy New Year!! 

Carefully poured into the pristinely chilled flutes to produce a mousse as fine as the most whipped of creams, to ebb revealing a 24k gold fluid dancing of its own accord with columns of minuscule bubbles that seemed to manifest from nowhere.  A bouquet of dehydrated apples caresses the nose and teases with hints of macerated vanilla bean.  Nowhere on the nose do I detect any yeastiness that is often associated with in-bottle second fermentation.

The palate is very full in the mouth with tart flavors of pear and toasty brioche but aha!  therein lies the lees – enrobing the sides of the tongue with another flavor-layer of buttery croissant delight.  The memorable finish is almost lemony in its blatant disregard for the 12% alc/vol.

As there were two bottles of this Champers circulating amongst the guests, no one noticed me taking these notes.  I hope they’re going to be checking out this vinoblog soon.  My whole series on sparkling wine; verily my entire vino-website is dedicated to Shahid.  Thank you for continually fueling my enthusiasm for all things vino and keeping me on my toes for any and all questions you and anyone may have about wine, food pairing, cellaring and the overall enjoyment of all things oenological.

Happy New Year all and may 2011 be bold and adventurous!




**image credit – ME!  My kitty, “Puddy Tat” vintage 1993 is pictured with the bottle.  The belly of the cork is then shown emblazoned with Madam Clicquot-Ponsardin’s shield. It would be folly for this unworthy vinoboy to try claiming any ownership other than my subservience to “Puddy Tat” – her meow is my order.  Labellage and symbology property of the winery; used under Fair Use provisions for review and critique.

One of the more rare wines I’ve had the opportunity to experience is very much a mouthful. Domaine de la Solitude’s Bordeaux of the Holy Commune of Saint-Familie 2004 from the Pessac-Leognan region of southwestern France, in the countryside outside of the city of Bordeaux itself.

I had picked this $64 bottle up for a special occasion and hoped the dinner guests and our host would enjoy it, but as it turns out, none was a wine drinker. So I savored this deep garnet yumminess over the course of the entire evening.

At first uncorking, and pouring a bit into the glass my initial reaction was to that of opening a box of chocolate-covered cherries. The bouquet of warm spices led to a smooth, toasty flavor of rich oak and tobacco, and finished with a lingering tannin. As the bottle breathed over the next few hours, the flavors softened even more until the last glass, though not as vibrant as the first, was supple and dry with soft leathery notes.

Sipping all by itself before dinner was nice but it was great with the grilled NY Strip and garlic mashed potatoes our host served. I’m sure it would pair fabulously with a very old cheddar too, but at $64 a pop, that would have to be one really special wine-and-cheese party!


Pessac-Leognan France