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Staff Favorites - Mari Keilman
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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.
Ariston Aspasie "Brut Prestige" Champagne
Review Date: 12-29-2010
A blend of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir & 25% Pinot Meunier, this 2002 cuvee demonstrates just how ideal the vintage was with its classic nose of ripe Chardonnay fruit. Pushing through are aromas of ripe apple and lemon with hints of chalkiness. The full bodied golden texture is a definite nod to the 60+ year old vines that were used for this cuvee.
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!
Urbanite Cellars "Redart" Red Blend
Review Date: 10-29-2010
For all those who are looking for an easy drinking table red that won't break the bank, no need to look any further. Done in the same style as the Amplio cab from the same producer, the RedArt has plenty of bright red currant and blackberry fruit, with a nice hint of spice that sets this $10 Cab-based apart from the rest.
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.
Marguet Pere et Fils "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 5-11-2010
Who knew that Montagne de Reims could produce such beautiful chardonnay fruit?!?!? Even though cuvee is dominated by 65% pinot noir from all Grand Cru vineyards, the crisp, fresh chardonnay fruit is what explodes out of the glass. Ripe pear and apple with subtle notes of toast and richness on the palate, this noticeably richer in color brut is loaded with massive amounts of bubbles and a hint of hazelnut on the finish. The perfect apertif champagne to start the evening off on the right foot.
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.
Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 8-26-2009
Such an amazing champagne for such an extraordinary price! This champagne is one of my favorites regardless of how low the price is, but when you factor in how beautiful this wine is for only $29.99, you wonder if its too good to be true!!! So incredibly delicate and elegant with such subtle layers, you wonder if its too sophisticated for everyone to understand.
Franck Bonville "Brut Selection" 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!
Marguet Pere et Fils Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 6-11-2009
The perfect rose for those hot summer nights! Clean, crisp, racy with plenty of fresh berry fruit; strawberries and raspberries. When I'm looking for the best rose to pair with my summer meal, the Marguet rose is my top choice.
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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