Sunday, November 23, 2008

All abubble

Never enough bubbles, not ever!

Of late, my Champagne Tracker has been exploding like a carelessly opened bottle of the stuff. This is, of course, a very good thing indeed.

This weekend was Le Grand Tasting in Paris, and with two like-minded and highly willing co-conspirators, Peter Liem and David Rayer, along with an interloper in the form of genial champagne producer Olivier Collin, we ravaged the landscape assembled at the Carrousel du Louvre in the form of winemakers from the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs and even l'Aube.

It was like cramming for a test, if one can liken drinking several bottles of champagne later with dinner to a test. (Perhaps a test of stamina.)

The treat was in the nuances. I liked to sound off the heady extra-bruts from Veuve Fourny with the angry yet fascinating 1995 extra-brut from Fleury (this vintage from that house was declined in three versions, from 3.5g/l to 14g/l (the brut was, unfortunately, slightly corked, so muted) and then a whopping yet amazingly elegant 52g/l for the doux). I dipped into exciting new finds, such as Roger Coulon and J.-L. Vergnon, was disappointed by a large house or two, and found reassurance in the latest brut from Jacquesson, 733.

What did I come away with?

Thirst, and a renewed appreciation for delicately handled, very low dosage.

Now, I left my heart somewhere on the Côte des Blancs sometime back, and luckily, I'm going to be able to go back and look for it, because tomorrow, I am heading to Avize.

First a stop in with aforementioned Olivier Collin of champagne Ulysse Collin, and then on to Selosse.

And maybe I'll write about it, this time.

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