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Staff Favorites - Mari Keilman
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Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 1-31-2012
Vintage Launois is one of my favorite champagnes but with the word spreading of just how fantastic their vintage wines are, its sometimes hard to get your hands on one. This is where the Cuvee Reserve steps in as a noteworthy understudy. The Cuvee Reserve has an amazing richness with notes of apple and lemon zest on the palate and a elegant brioche finish.
1998 Henriot "Cuvée des Enchanteleurs" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-31-2011
I've always put the Enchanteleurs on my top ten list of tete du cuvees, and its showing at this year's tent event solidified its standing! While the 1995 was the actual vintage being poured, it just proved that the Enchanteleurs is outstanding no matter what. While elegantly sophisticated in its youth, I recommend putting away the 1998 for a few years cause what stuck out the most for the '95 was the beautiful hints of roasted hazelnuts and leesy minerality.
Antech "Brut Nature" Blanquette de Limoux
Review Date: 7-29-2011
So refreshing...so crisp...so clean...so perfect for those al fresco summer dinners. Or maybe a romantic dinner with a plate of oysters is your cup of tea...
Michel Loriot "Marie-Leopold" Sec Champagne
Review Date: 3-1-2011
One word: Brie! Talk about the most heavenly of food and wine pairing experiences. Forget the fact that this bottle of bubbles is just a touch off dry. The Marie Leopold paired so perfectly with the brie, the only saving grace for my hips was that the wedge of cheese was quickly devoured. Its my second time taking home a bottle of this fabulous bottle of champagne and I will be taking home a fourth, fifth, sixth...just so long as there is enough brie in this world!
Michel Arnould "Grand Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 1-27-2011
Rich, yet exquisitely balanced, the Michel Arnould Grand Cuvée Brut has a subtle minerality on the nose, the classic bright cherry fruit in the mouth and an elegant, seamless hazelnut finish. Try with some seared sea scallops in a citrus cream reduction.
Deligeroy Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 12-29-2010
This is the quintessential bottle of bubbles one is required to always have in the fridge. Done in a zippy blanc de blancs style, the Deligeroy Cremant de Loire offers up aromas of sweet lemon and light apricot followed my an aggressive palate of tiny racy bubbles. Perfect for toasting the New Year's!
Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 5-25-2010
The Ariston Aspasie rosé ($32.99) is such a richly impressive, full-bodied rosé made up of 50% pinot noir and 50% pinot meunier. 12% vinified still red pinot meunier is added to give this rosé its beautiful salmon color. What makes this rosé stand out amongst the crowd of trendy charlatans is the 5 years it is aged on its lees. The complexity, the richness, the layers of berry fruit balanced by vibrant acidity and lazy bubbles is matched by only a few lone standouts in a rosé world full of so many imposters.
Delamotte Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-30-2009
I had the wonderful opportunity to taste the Delamotte Brut in a blind tasting of six wines, and this stood out as one of my favorites. My notes were riddled with adjectives like zesty, fresh and zippy, which can be attributed to the Le Mesnil Chardonnay fruit. There is also an amazing balance of stone fruit, Meyer lemon and a touch of toast on the finish.
Franck Bonville "Prestige" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 8-5-2009
I had this champagne on my birthday and it was the perfect bubbly for the occassion! Bright and fresh with tons of blanc de blanc fruit, it is also incredibly rich and creamy due to its extended lees contact. It was the ideal champagne to toast the beginning of the festivities and continued its perfection as it paired beautifully with all the food for the evening.
Franck Bonville Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 7-14-2009
Talk about the perfect summertime Champagne!!! Crisp, refreshing, and vibrant with just the perfect balance of citrus and acidity coupled with copious amounts of teeny tiny bubbles. It was the perfect compliment to my fresh chips and salsa!
Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 6-11-2009
This champagne is definitley worthy of being referred to as a "baby Krug". Fresh and bright, yet with amazing aromatics of asian spice, lemon curd, orange zest and a touch of brioche. Always a stellar standout!
Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 5-20-2008
A pinot noir-dominated blend that immediately after opening, has a distinctive leesy, slightly oxidated nose. This is no doubt from the reserve wines that are fermented in oak barrel and then aged in magnums under low pressure. This also lends to the full-bodied, richness of the wine. After several minutes of aeration, the sweet smell of ripe, sun-soaked apples begin to emerge. The predominance of estate fruit (approximately 70% of the assemblage) lends to the broad, rich and intense flavors. Fresh and toasty on the palate with a slight touch of hazelnut, the Special Cuvee has a long finish with a hint of exotic spice at the very end.
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