Ed “Champagne” Mc Carthy, author of Champagne for Dummies, was planning a Champagne and pizza meeting at Keste Wall St. He said that he would bring an old and very expensive bottle of Krug Champagne and he asked me to bring an Italian red wine. I brought my most expensive and oldest
Champagne Krug du Mesnil 1988 Brut Blanc de Blancs is a very rare Champagne because it is made from a single plot of Chardonnay harvested in a single year. This 1.84-hectare (4.5 acre) vineyard overlooked by the village church has been protected by a wall since 1698. The vineyard is located in the heart of Mesnil-sur-Oger, one of the most iconic villages for Chardonnay in the Champagne region.
This champagne is generous and round with hints of citrus, dried fruit, brioche, tart tatin and a note of honey. It lingers on the palate with a long finish and notes of honey ginger. The first vintage was 1979.
This is the e-mail Ed sent to me about the Champagne he was bringing.
In 1698, residents of the small village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (in the section of Champagne known as the Cote des Blancs, where most of the great Blanc de Blancs Champagnes are made, from 100 percent Chardonnay) decided to build a wall around a certain section of Chardonnay vines in their village, because the Chardonnay grapes grown there were so special. Called Clos du Mesnil, It became one of the only Walled Vineyards in the Champagne region; only about 3 or 4 Walled vineyards exist today in Champagne.
In 1971, Champagne Krug, which was using Clos des Mesnil for some of its Chardonnay grapes in its NV Grand Cuvée (then called Private Cuvée), decided to buy the Clos du Mesnil Vineyard, and in 1979, produced its first Krug Clos du Mesnil. it proved to be sensational, and Krug has been making a Krug Clos du Mesnil in every good vintage since.
I have purchased Krug Clos du Mesnil in only a few vintages, because it has always been about three times the price of Vintage Krug. I have been saving my 1988 Krug Clos du Mesnil (which I purchased with a Vintage 1988 Krug about 20 years ago; Krug ages its Clos du Mesnil usually for about 11 years (!) before they release it). The 1988 Krug Clos du Mesnil is now priced at $3175—if you can find it. I am not getting any younger, and so I decided it’s time to drink it with a few friends.
My only answer was WOW!!!!
Pizza Margherita with Prosciutto and Arugula
Pizza with Fresh Black Truffles
Conterno Francia Barolo 1996 made from 100% Nebbiolo from the Cascina Francia Vineyard which was purchased in 1974. The vineyards are at 500 meters and the training system is guyot. The exposure is to the west and the soil is calcareous. There is long submerged cap maceration and fermentation in large Austrian oak vats, followed by long refinement in large barrels (botti) for about 4 years and in bottle. This is a very traditional Barolo. It is a rich, powerful and seductive wine with hints of cherry, dried fruits, dark chocolate and leather. It was very impressive.
Dessert Pizza stuffed with Nutella and topped with Berries
Roberto’s special Tiramisu
Michele and I felt privileged to enjoy these great wines. Thank you, Ed McCarthy, for sharing the Champagnes with us and to Ernie De Salvo, who gave me the Barolo.