Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Tasting Session: Champagne again (who knew...?)

Friday Tasting Session: Champagne again (who knew...?)

NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée NM Reims France

Over my 20+ years of experience buying, drinking and selling bubblies, I can say that I usually prefer RM (Recoltant-Manipulant) champagnes as they offer more character and personality. Yet, amongst the NM (Negociant-Manipulant) Champagnes, Krug is probably one of my favorite non vintage champagnes in the market, topping the list of my favorite drinks.  It parts from other champagnes for its consistency and quality, offering a smooth profile, elegant manners, racy attitude, well-balanced figures, lingering finish and an overall “lascive” appeal. I love it.  In terms of taste, it is very integrated and refine, with all element in harmony with each other. A must try Champagne, which is the result of a perfect blend of 120 reserve wines from 10 different vintages.

NV Charles de Casanove Champagne Brut Premier Cru RM Reims France

Coming after Krug, Charles de Casanove Premier Cru is definitely drier, leaner and seems to lack of acidity, minerality and smoothness. But the comparison is way too extreme, as we are talking about two totally different champagnes in every way: quality, price and taste. However, a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, this champagne has definitely drier characteristic and lack of body and texture overall. The dry finish is also short and lack a bit of fruit to compensate and add some volume to it. A persistent zesty lemon peel sensation in the back palate could have been more interesting, if it will have been less sour. Overall, it is not very harmonious and does not necessarily trigger my taste buds to try another glass. Shame, as I tasted better samples from this renowned champagne house.

We look into the fridge and found one more Champagne bottle to taste.

When I looked at the label, I said to myself: Champagne is or deadly for man or giving sparkling ideas to women about how to eliminate their husbands, as I'm just about to taste another Champagne from a widow that I never heard of before...

NV Veuve J. Lanaud Reserve Brut Champagne NM Avize France

A blend of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the traditional blend of the 3 most planted grape varieties in Champagne blended by the “Societe Avizoise des Vins de Champagnes” (which sounds more like a cooperation than a Negociant-Manipulant), this little champagne “de derriere les fagots” was a fantastic surprise. Fruity, soft, very easy to drink, not too complex but not lacking of interest or character or even personality, it offers nice flavors of yellow fruit like apple and pear, with a good dose of toasted, yeasty aromas mingling with mineral and slight floral nuances. The finish could use a bit more acidity to give it a kick and enhance its freshness; but overall really nice and friendly. This crowd pleasing bubbly good for any occasion won’t deplete your wallet.

LeDom du Vin

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