Posts Tagged ‘Champagne’

“A Standout… richness and sophistication beautifully melded together”

In Champagne, Drinking on November 13, 2013 at 3:49 pm



Nobody ever regrets drinking, pills giving, receiving, or bathing in a bottle of Champagne (at least not Marylyn Monroe or NASCAR drivers).  Yet Americans drink Champagne only once a year, at New Years.

Let’s change this.  Let’s drink Champagne all the time.  And here’s how:

The Côte des Bar is a special section of Champagne that is both warmer and sits on limestone (like Burgundy’s Côte d’Or).  Down in the Côte des Bar lives the lovely Moutard Diligent family.  While they have lived in Champagne since the 17th century, the Côte des Bar is so far removed from the commercial center of Champagne that the family, and the region’s wines, have gone relatively unnoticed.  And this is much to our advantage – their prices don’t carry the “downtown” price tag.

So let’s start drinking!

Their Rosé de Cuvaison opens with wild and intense aromas of fresh raspberries, guava, and croissants hot from the oven, stuffed with praline cream.  The mid-palate reveals the terroir of the Cote des Bar, merging the richness of its Pinot Noir flavors of black cherries, Framboise and a hint of sous bois adding depth and breadth to the palate.

Although perfect any time, this Champagne seems custom made for Autumn. Indeed, this Rosé Champagne fits perfectly in November’s cool weather, offering up a sumptuous cocktail full of body and verve or pairing smartly with a dinner of roasted salmon.

Champagne is one of those exciting regions of the world where if you are willing to explore just a little beyond the standard offerings, a wealth of exciting (and frankly, value-driven), spectacular wines awaits.

Let’s drink Champagne whenever we can!  Cheers!

Moutard Champagne Rosé de Cuvaison

Please contact us regarding pricing and availability: or 414-289-9463.


Special Club

In Champagne, Drinking on October 24, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Special Club


41 years ago, find five Champagne farmers sat down around a table.

They each brought one bottle of their own Champagne. One bottle that “went a step higher.” A Champagne “that took a good wine in a good region and made something much more difficult – an excellent wine”.
Maybe small words, discount but their words… with vast potential.

They named their group the “Special Club” (I am told this sounds more sophisticated in French) and they banded together to create the first “special club champagne”. This Special Club Champagne, picked by the group, is not only a cut above all the others, but was utterly exceptional and singular, never to be repeated.

Take a step back and think about this in terms of your own profession. Who is your hardest critic? Yourself. Who is your second hardest critic? A jury of your peers. The Special Club Champagnes are the absolute best of the best in small-farmer Champagne.

The special club is now forty Champagne farmers strong. They get together yearly, evaluate peer to peer (by style and region), and choose only that which is excellent.

I have three Special Clubs for sale today. All are from the American importer Terry Theise, and I will quote him for the tasting notes:

2008 Marc Hébrart “Special Club” Brut

“The single best young wine I tasted in Champagne this year, and as good as it gets.

“Disgorged November 2012, the blend is the same as the above `07-vintage, but this is of another order, and shows 2008 at its most sublime. Lunar, mystic aromas, it’s why the vintage is so exquisite and potentially great. And no mistake— this is great wine that has everything, plus the dancing animation of all its hundred elements; Champagne at its most bewitching, all leading to a truly astonishing and endless finish that defines complexity and beauty.”

2008 Moussé Fils “Spécial Club”

“Several years ago Didier Gimonnet told me there would be a new member of the Club Tresors (of which he was then president) who would provide the very first Spécial Club bottling entirely from Meunier. He added that the guy was still below-the-radar but definitely an up and comer, a super-nice man, young and ambitious.

“So I made a beeline. And all of it was true. I had long been aware of the Meunier-Rennaissance taking place way up-valley in the Marne, in all the terra incognita near Château Thierry, an ad-hoc group of growers who’d rediscovered their old vineyards and wanted to give Meunier the respect it almost never got.

“When I whimpered pitiably, I mean dude I made a total poodle of myself, begging for table scraps, he [Cederic Mousse] relented and let me have some. A little. This is his 110 year old Meunier wine, never to be done again; disgorged January 2013, the palate is just wonderful, charming, fine-grained, cool and silky. He says it’s rare to get such ripe Meunier in Cuisles. The wine is piquant, elegant, fine-boned and delicious.”

2008 A. Margaine “Special Club”

“This is completely stunning Champagne.

“From three parcels: Brocot, Montmedy and Champs d’Enfer. 25% was done in wood, and 100% went through malo. Disgorged Jan. 2013. The reputation of `08 will be made with the first sniff of a Champagne like this. An extraordinarily feminine fine-grained wine, cool but not aloof, intense but contained, embedded chalkiness like the dust from a rockslide in the finish; ginger and Asian pear, and a texture like meringue, in a hauntingly pretty form, lyric and lingering.”

The Special Club: the best producers in Champagne choosing only the best amongst themselves. I have spent years tracking down these Special Club Champagnes. Please don’t miss them.

Contact us regarding pricing and availability:


Champagne, All the Time

In Champagne, Drinking on July 11, 2013 at 11:14 am


Can you drink Champagne all the time? 

Of course you can.

So what’s stopping you?

The price.  Yes, ampoule that bottle of Veuve Cliquot is delicious, healing but at $40 a pop, well, maybe it’s not your Tuesday night wine.  All we need is a little exploration.

The champaignoise believe they have a monopoly on great bubbly.  They don’t.  What they have is a monopoly on the image of great bubbly.  But a short hop, skip and jump across France reveals just how tasty “other sparklers” can be.  Allow me to introduce you to Domaine Barmes Buecher Cremant d’Alsace.

That’s a big name so let me unpack it a little:

Alsace is the furthest eastern wine region in France, tucked up close to Germany (it’s been German with the occasional war).  Cremant is the French term for sparkling wine made in the Champagne method, but not from Champagne.  Domaine Barmes Buecher is a husband and wife team, striving to create the most expressive wines Mother Nature will allow.  To this end they are completely biodynamic, an incredibly time consuming process that produces riper, healthier fruit with more vitality and richness.

But my main point is I got a fever for this flavor:

Their Brut opens with notes of green apples and fresh baked croissants. Champaignoise will claim that no “mere” sparkler can attain the toasty richness of Champagne yet here it is.  Underneath these aromas are the aromatic scents of quince and jasmine, huckleberry and a touch of saline.  Complexity, depth and vibrancy – all from this mere “sparkler”.  The mousse is supple, lending touches of honeysuckle and raspberries to fresh, lively finish.  In Alsace they would serve it with sausage (that German heritage coming through), but it also goes perfectly with crab cakes, fish, cheeses, or just pound it as a cocktail.

You can have great Champagne, all the time.


2010 Domaine Barmes Buecher Cremant d’Alsace

Please contact us regarding pricing and availability: 414-289-9463 or


In Champagne, Drinking, Special Offers on December 28, 2010 at 5:46 pm


Women admire me, patient men envy me, help and I am the life of all your New Year’s Eve parties.  Rolling in your front door I’m bringing a double sized portion of dirty love that can’t be contained within its cage. 

I’m irresistibly large, ready to explode, and have got twice the staying power of the next guy.  I’m here to shake you all night long.  I’ll do everything your last boyfriend couldn’t.  I’m bringing the thunder, I’m bringing a Magnum.   


I’m not talking guns, old TV shows featuring hairy dudes driving Ferraris, Case tractors or prophylactics.  I’m talking about Champagne bottles.  It’s true, size really does matter; especially in Champagne. 

Magnums: the name of a Champagne bottle that holds 1.5 liters of liquid, double the size of the regular bottle.  Stop wondering: size really does matter.  Bigger is better, especially in Champagne. 

Unlike other wines, Champagne is made in the bottle.  That very same bottle you’re going to purchase at the Waterford Wine Company was responsible for the taste of the liquid inside.  Champagne starts where every other wine in the world finishes off – by being put into its bottle.  But once inside it undergoes the complex process of secondary fermentation.  This process gives rise to Champagne’s cherished autolytic (brioche) and lactic (cream) tastes and aromas.  Without the bottle all these sensations are lost.

So this holiday season don’t be caught with some girly, 750 ml sized bottle of Dom P.  Don’t scandalize yourself by offering the “Agent Orange”.  Ignore those stacks of negociant sludge in the blue labels whose name sounds like a French term for flushing a toilet.  Go big and go to Waterford and get a magnum of Pierre Peters Champagne.     


Pierre Peters is not like other Champagne.  Lovingly tended by Pierre and his son Rudolf it hails from a tiny slice of vineyard land called Le Mesnil (lay-may-knee).  Most Champagne houses just blend away Le Mesnil’s magnificence, or charge you enormous sums of money for it: Dom P. is partially blended from Le Mesnil and Krug makes a single vineyard bottling of Le Mesnil – at over 100 times the price of Pierre Peter’s Champagne.    

Pierre and Rudolf only own Grand Cru vineyard land in Le Mesnil and aren’t into ego-pricing.  They want you to enjoy drinking their Champagne, not make an investment decision.  And what a great Champagne it is.    

You will notice, right from the pop of the cork, how beautiful it is – aromas of roses and violets intermingle with freshly baked croissants and sugar cookies.  Pour this into a glass and let the aromas envelop you.  Le Mesnil is a sweet spot for making Blanc de Blanc and it shows across the palate – rich, mouth-coating, and full of tastes of freshly baked croissants with creamed butter on top.  The mousse is delicate, round and soft like laying your head on a down pillow.  It’s extraordinarily delicious, especially when drunk from magnums. 

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s not the motion of the ocean but the bow of the ship that makes waves of joy crash against the shore.  You need a magnum of Pierre Peter’s Le Mesnil Champagne.  Don’t let another New Year’s Eve celebration go by without it.   



Pierre Peters Le Mesnil Champagne

Magnum (1.5 liters large)

Suggested List Price:  $124.99

Sale Price:  $89.99

For those of you who just don’t believe me…

Pierre Peters Le Mesnil Champagne

750 ml (regular bottle size)

Suggested List Price:  $56.99

Sale Price:  $37.99

Yes, your math is correct.  Magnums are more expensive than two regular sized bottles.  For those in the know they are worth it, and subsequently more highly prized.

Pierre and Rudolf Peters make a small amount of Champagne and an even smaller amount of magnums.  We will attempt to do a side by side comparison (for free) or Friday the 31st.  However, this selection will probably sell out quickly.  Please call us on Friday for exact details!

All orders must be secured with a name, credit card number, and phone number.  All orders will be available at the time of purchase. 

When the wine is ordered your credit card will be charged.  The wine will be held in climate controlled conditions until you are ready to pick it up, free of charge.  Offer is good while supplies last.