As reported in my last post, over the past four months I've undertaken the painstaking chore of drinking my way through our Champagne selection. I know, just another tedious day at the office. Now that I've completed my fizzy exploration I've broken the wines into stylistic categories: Crisp and Focused; Toasty/Creamy; Terroir Driven; and Rose. These categories are of my own making and do not have direct relation to the wine's grape make-up, the winemaker's intent or how the Champagne house in question describes their product.
Today we'll get into the specifics with the first category - Crisp and Focused! These wines have a vibrancy and "lift" to them with penetrating bubbles. Here are more specifics:
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs - 100% Chardonnay.
This wine is verily the definition of "crisp and focused". Green apple and lime fruits sting the taste buds. Squeaky clean stones echo on the edges of taste perception. Wave after lovely wave of pinpoint bubbles caress the tongue and resonate in the ears. The strange effect is of a wine that is barely there but that has your complete attention. Finishes with lingering apple fruit in classic Chardonnay fashion. A lovely wine and priced accordingly.
Billecart Salmon Brut - 40% Pinot Meunier, 35% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay.
Red apple skin on the nose and initial palate. The bubbles are effusive and intense. They almost "hurt" at first but soon the palate adjusts to the assault and the mouse becomes a welcomed (so good, must have more!) cleanser. Maraschino cherry and pear fruits emerge along with almond slivers, orange rind and unbaked bread dough. This is an ultra-focused and serious bubbly for those whose palate doesn't mind a polite and well-intentioned slap! Among my fav's.
Laurent Perrier "Grand Siecle" Brut - 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir.
By far the most expensive wine of the entire survey and a real splurge on my part. Straddles the line between the "Crisp and Focused" and "Toasty/Creamy" categories. Heavenly aroma's of freshly baked bread and toasted nuts greet the olfactory senses. The golden hue hints at the softer, more mature overall character. Somewhat honeyed on the palate with baked apple fruits. The mouse is very fine but a little too mild and polite for my taste. I could have used more zip and vigor. This bottle was a slight disappointment for the outlay but somehow I made it through to the end!
Give Crisp and Focused a gander!