Category Archives: Champagne

The Singular Greatness of Champagne Salon

I was fortunate to attend the seminar at this year’s Pebble Beach Food & Wine featuring a vertical of Salon at which Monsieur Depond presided. The seminar included the U.S. debut of Salon’s latest release, the 2002. Both it and the 1983 Salon poured at the seminar from magnum are among the greatest Champagnes I have ever tasted. Continue reading

Posted in Champagne | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A Plea for Authenticity: No Bogus Wine for Your Valentine

What all the top domestic sparkling wines have in common is that they are not misleading about where they are made. The ones on the market that abuse the loophole and prominently display the word “Champagne” on their labels, websites and retail store signage are the ones you should avoid. Not only are they committing a fraud on unsuspecting consumers; the wine inside also tends to be of inferior quality to accurately labeled domestic sparklers on the market. Continue reading

Posted in Champagne, Sparkling Wine | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rock Star Champagne Grower-Producers: Serge Mathieu and Chartogne-Taillet

Two stars of my Holiday Champagne Buyers Guide this year–Serge Mathieu and Chartogne-Taillet–are grower-producers whose wines express a sense of place. Both are also terrific values amongst my most highly rated Champagnes this year. Continue reading

Posted in Champagne, Winemakers | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elegance and Finesse: The Champagnes of Taittinger

François’s winemaker, or chef des caves, was Roger Lénique. Together they established the Taittinger style, using only high quality first pressings of fruit, adding a dosage based only on mature Champagne instead of brandies, and producing only fully dry Champagnes, noted for their elegance and delicacy. To this day, all of the wines also go through malolactic, which gives them roundness and creamy texture. Continue reading

Posted in Champagne | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Holiday Champagne Buyer’s Guide 2013

I have aimed to emulate John by having a glass of Champagne at least a couple times of week, especially after a trying day. I have to report that it works. It’s a mood lifter and a palate cleanser. It’s hard not to be reminded of all that’s wonderful about life after indulging in a single glass of Champagne as a start to the evening. And Champagne keeps beautifully once you’ve poured out a single glass, better than any other wine I can think of. Continue reading

Posted in Champagne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Makes Champagne Special? A Brief History

There is, of course, a strong drive for higher quality and improvements in viticulture and winemaking throughout the world. It is hard to think of any wine region, however, where this has been more of a constant focus since 1950 and where the financial benefits of such a laser focus on quality have been better demonstrated than in Champagne. Continue reading

Posted in Champagne, Pinot Noir | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

House of Krug and the Quest for Perfection

As they say at Krug, it isn’t one single thing that makes Krug’s wines so extraordinary—it is the cumulative effect of a host of small details. Founder Joseph Krug was driven to produce the best product possible in Champagne, a quest for perfection that has somehow been maintained and enhanced by thousands of choices made by his descendants over the years. The result are vinous masterpieces that are among the most reliable sources of pleasure and deep enjoyment not only from Champagne, but in the whole world of wine. Continue reading

Posted in Champagne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments