Federal Wine & Spirits

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Read about the wines in this tasting

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This Week's Tasting

Five Growers, 15 Champagnes
October 20, 2017

Estate champagnes can be a joy and a revelation. The wines, particularly those which are non dose, without the makeup of added sugar, can evoke flint, or sea shells, or the richness of pinot fermented white, the dusty yeast of chardonnay aged on the lees for 10 years..

Glasses

     

Balanced, their individuality shines through with a fascinating variety in flavor and texture.

Some Grands Marques, the famous names in champagne, are harder to tell apart. Even the top cuvees can seem very similar, pleasant enough in themselves, but less than one would want to pay for their over $100 per bottle price tags.

You can taste why with wines from five estates that express the soils of different regions of Champagne and the personalities that careful nurturing of small cuvees can bring.

Unless you came to our tasting last year, you won't know these properties. They are too small to get much press, but they are already making their marks in France as you can see from some of the comments below.

These wines can deliver their character at the price of some of the cheapest big brands. They are well worth trying.

           Several Champagnes will be non-dose or Nature, without the addition of a sweetener. This means that wine wines are bone-dry and reflect their grower’s confidence in the quality and richness of their grapes.

  

BOURDAIRE-GALLOIS (Massif Saint Thierry) 

The vineyard, only about the size of Boston's Public Gardens, is just west of Rheims. His whole production is a scant 2,000 cases per year. The wine journal Bettane &Desseauvenotes that these wines have been placing very well in their tastings.

Brut (Non-Dosé)

Brut Prestige (Non-Dosé)

Blanc de Blanc (Non-Dosé)

DUMONT PERE ET FILS

Bernard and Veronique Dumont now run a centuries-old family domaine in the southern Aube district of champagne. Bettane Desseauve - "this less known producer makes very well made, very reasonably priced wines. We're going to keep an eye on them."

Brut Nature ( Non Dosé )

Solera Reserve

Cuve Douce Demisec

PERSEVAL-FARGE 

The Guide Hachette is head over heels in love with Benoist Perseval's champagnes. they can't get enough because there is only a tiny amount. His vineyards in Chamery in the heart of the premier Montagne de Rheims, planted 2/3 to red grapes are about the size of Bourdaire's. These wines are very very limited. The single vineyard La Pucelle was a hit last year.

Cuvee de Pinots, Premier Cru Brut

Terre de Sables, Premier Cru Brut

La Pucelle, Premier Cru Brut Nature

JOSE MICHEL ET FILS (Côtes d'Epernay)

A member of the prestigious, by invitation only, Special Club of growers, Jose Michel has a cult following in France..

 Brut NV

Blanc de Blanc 2007

Cuvée du Père Houdart, « Vieux Millesimes »

(a blend of 1971, 1975, 1976, 1982, 1984 and 2011)

THIERRY TRIOLET 

The Triolet estate is in the southwestern Cote de Sezanne where chalky soils have made it a long-time source for chardonnay for the grands marques. We'll taste their very well priced non vintage brut and rose. 

Grande Reserve NV

 Vieille Vigne 2011

 Brut Rosé NV

 

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Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts!

 

           - Len Rothenberg

 

(c) Federal Wine and Spirits Inc. 2017