The Fizz is finished. Long live the Fizz!
Ok, there’s nothing more we can say. We’ve set them up, you’ve knocked them down, and now we’re doing it one more time before we put a cork in it, so to speak: Tonight is the FINAL FARMER-FIZZ FRIDAY of 2013. We hope you can join us! Then be sure to visit us again tomorrow for our Thanksgiving wine and beer tastings.
And speaking of thanks, thank you to everyone who reads this longwinded newsletter, to everyone who shops at our dusty little store, and to everyone who has ventured out and made our Fridays extra special this month – may the Fizz be with you!
Dosnon-Lepage Blanc de Noirs “Récolte Noire”
Aube Valley, 100% Pinot Noir (own 2 hectares, farm 4 additional leased hectares)
Located less than an hour north of Chablis, the Aube valley has more in common with northern Burgundy than with the rest of Champagne, including the soils, which are Kimmeridgian (limestone and fossilized oyster shells). Simon-Charles and Davy are intent on showcasing the Aube and the sometimes overlooked wines of the region. Their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir based champagnes are rich and mineral-laden. Fermented entirely in former Puligny-Montrachet barrels, the wines are elegantly focused with delicate fruit, but there’s a savory quality, an earthy intensity (mushrooms perhaps?) that really sets these wines apart from the pack. These wines are unfiltered and unfined, with very low dosage, which intensifies the mineral characteristics.
Thierry Triolet Grand Reserve Brut NV
Cotes de Sezanne, 10 hectares
planted primarily to Chardonnay
The Triolets are one of a growing number of families who’ve recently begun estate bottling their champagne. They own 10 hectares in & around the village of Bethon in the Cotes de Sezanne. Their vineyards are farmed with minimal intervention & are planted almost entirely to Chardonnay; only wild yeasts are used in the production. The Grande Reserve is made entirely from Chardonnay and stays an average of 3 years “sur lie” before disgorgement. Dosage is 11 grams. This is a staff favorite, a rich, satisfying champagne – it’s utterly balanced, clean, refreshing & pure.
Guy Larmandier Cramant Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc
9 hectares, 7500 annual case production
From the Rosenthal website: The cellars of Champagne Guy Larmandier are located in the village of Vertus at the southern base of the Cote des Blancs. This estate owns 9 hectares of vineyards, all located within the Cote des Blancs and distributed amongst the Grand Cru rated villages of Chouilly and Cramant and the 1er Cru rated vineyards of Vertus and Cuis.
Guy Larmandier established this domaine which, following his death, is now supervised by his wife, Colette, and their two children, Francois and Marie-Helene. Harvest is conducted manually, the Champagnes are aged a minimum of 36 months on the lees and the Champagnes destined for the US market are disgorged on order and receive a minimal dosage so as to emphasize the purity and finesse of this special terroir.
Made exclusively from Chardonnay grown on the Grand Cru rated slopes of the village of Cramant; aged for a minimum of 36 months, this Champagne is a blend of two successive vintages; it expresses the exceptional finesse and delicacy as well as the piercing chalk-like minerality and high-toned aromatics of this remarkable Grand Cru.
Perseval-Farge Brut NV “Terre de Sables”
Montagne de Reims
4 hectares/calcereous-clay & sandy-clay soil
Planted to: 50& PN/35% CH/15% Pinot Meunier
Small plot of Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Fromentot (Pinot Gris)
From the Wine Traditions website: Champagne Perseval-Farge is a 4 hectare estate in the 1er Cru village of Chamery which is in the heart of the Montagne de Reims. The Perseval family traces its roots back to the early 18th century in the village and today it is Benoist and Isabelle Perseval who carry on the tradition. Benoist farms sustainably, what he calls “viticulture integrée” with the commitment of taking care of the land for future generations. Atypical of Champagne, the Perseval’s four hectares are largely in one single parcel with the greater portion being on the mid to upper slope with calcereous-clay soils and the smaller part on the lower slopes with sandy-clay soils. Besides his commitment to sustainability in the vineyard, Benoist has worked to decrease the use of sulfur in his winemaking and at 26 to 35g per liter, his dose level is below 50% of the norm.
The Terre de Sables is a blend of one third each Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. It is also a blend of vintages, with the base of 50% coming from 2006 and the rest a blend of 2007, 2004 and 2001. The cuvée is made from grapes grown on the domain’s sandiest soils and is sharply marked by it, with notes of marine minerals being supported by bright acidity. The Champagne is held “sur lattes” for four years before disgorgement and finished with a dosage of 7g/L.
When we tasted this wine at the seminar in NY, we were blown away by it’s multi-faceted personality. It’s a cool champagne with a whole lot going on, from high-toned fruit and flowers to spicy low-tones of sandalwood and other yet-to-be identified foresty notes. And salt! The salty finish takes you by surprise, but it’s there and it sort of cried out for oysters. Mmmmm….oysters…
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