Category Archives: Champagne

Blanc de Blancs Champagnes to Start the New Year

Blanc de Blancs vintage and non-vintage Champagne was the subject or the tasting and lunch of the NY Wine Press held at The Vanderbilt Suites, NYC last week.

Harriet Lembeck organized the luncheon with Eunice Fried and Charles Rubinstein. There were 9 Blanc de Blancs Champagnes made from 100% Chardonnay, one with 4% Pinot Bianco added and a sparkling Blanc de Blancs made from 100% Chardonnay using the traditional method from England.

Champagne Barons de Rothschild NV in magnum. The grapes come from the Còtes des Blancs.  40% of reserve wine is used. There is a low dosage and long aging after disgorgement, 6 to 9 months. Cellar aging is for at least 3 years. The wine has citrus aromas and flavors with white fruit notes and hints of apple and almonds. $200

Deutz Blanc De Blancs 2007 the grapes: Avize 45%, Mesnil sur Oger 35%, Villers-Marmery 10% and 10% fron Olger, Cramant and Chouilly. The wine has hints of  white ripe fruit and kumquats with a touch of orange zest and lemon. $60

Boizel is a blend of Premier and Grand Crus from the Cote des Blancs. The wine has hints of acacia flowers, fresh brioche, honey and almonds. $60

Drappier,  4% of Pinot Blanc (Blanc Vrai) Only the juice from the first pressing. Mechanical low-pressure presses are used. The use of gravity is used to avoid pumping, thus avoiding oxidization. A mineral use of sulfur and there is a natural setting. Alcoholic fermentation for about 2 weeks at a low temperature then a total and natural malolactic fermentation. Filtering does not take place. 100% of the wines are made in vats.  After bottling the cuvee is aged for 2 to 3 years sur lattes. The Dosage is 8g/l. The wine has hints of white peaches and pears with a touch of brioche. $40

Champagne Pol Roger 2009 made from grapes from the Grand Crus of the Cõte des Blancs: Oiry, Chouillu, Cramant, Avize and Oger. There are two débourbages (settlings) one at the press house immediately after pressing, the second “a froid” in stainless steel tanks at 6C for 24 hours. A slow fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with each variety and each village kept separate. There is full malolactic fermentation prior to the final blending. The secondary fermentation takes place in bottle at 9C in cellars 33 meters below street level. It remains here until it undergoes remuage (riddling) by hand a rarity in Champagne today. The wine has hints of grapefruit, apricot and a touch of apple. Produced in limited quantities, this cuvee has been aged for 7 years in the cellars before release. $115

Champagne Perrier – Jouët Fleur de Champagne” Blanc de Blancs 2000. This was by far the most expensive Champagne at the tasting. The grapes come from the best vineyards.This is an elegant wine with hints of apricots, honey and hazelnuts $ 325

Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1995 Ed said this is one of the few remaining family owned and operated Champagne houses. They age their wines for a long period before release. It is located in Reims, France. This is a complex Champagne with hints of citrus fruit, lime blossom and a touch of grapefruit. One of my favorites. $150

Champagne Collet NV most of the grapes come from the Cote des Blancs region and is made from 6 crus. It is aged for a minimum of five years in hundred-year-old chalk cellars, which is longer than the regulations require. The dosage is 7.5 grams per liter. It has floral notes, with citrus aromas and hints of grapefruit and wild flowers. $50

Champagne Henriot NV It is a blend of grapes from the Cote de Blancs and the villages of Mesnil- sur – Oger, Avize, Chouilly and others. The assembly consists of 30% reserve wine; the percentage can change depending on the vintage. This is wine with hints of orange blossom, honey, apricot and a touch of brioche. $55   One of my favorites.

Charles Heidsieck “Blanc de Millenaires”1995 the grapes from 5 major crus from the Cote des Blancs: Oger, Mesnil-sur-Olger, Avize and Cramant are used. The wine is aged for all 20 years in the chalk cellars. The wine has hints of candied fruits, dates, almonds and hazelnut. $160

Gusbourne 2011 Location Traditional Method, England, south facing ancient encampment in Appledore, Kent. The soil is clay and sandy loam and the climate is warm and dry, close to the coast. Pruning method is double guyot. Harvest is by hand in October.Whole bunches are pressed and then naturally settled fro 24 to 36 hours. Fermentation is for 10 days at 18 to 20 degrees C using specialist sparkling wine yeast and takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with a small percentage of small barrels. Malolactic fermentation takes place and the wine is aged on the lees for 28 months. The wine was bottled on may 9th 2012. The wine has hints of baked apple, hazelnut, and buttered toast with mineral notes. $60

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

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Tasting and Drinking Rosé Champagne with Ed McCarthy

Once again this year, “Champagne” Ed McCarthty, author of Champagne for Dummies spoke about his favorite topic Champagne to the Wine Media Guild. The tasting and lunch was held at Il Gattopardo Restaurant in NYC. The Champagne of choice was Rosé, both vintage and non-vintage, and 22 were featured in the tasting.

Ed explained there are two ways to make Rosé Champagne.  For the traditional method, a small amount, about 10 to 15%, of still or regular Pinot Noir is added to the cuvée before the second fermentation.  The other method involves skin contact (maceration). The skins of black grapes are pressed slightly and left in contact with the juice to soak or steep until the desired color is achieved.  This method is more difficult because the same color must be achieved year after year. Even though the second method seems to be the “purer” one, Ed said in blind tastings no one is ever able to tell the difference in quality between the two methods. Ed added that Rose Champagne is more expensive than traditional Champagne because of the process.

Listed below are the NV Rose Champagnes. I will write about the vintage ones next time along with two NV Champagnes Ed included with the vintage ones.

Ayala Brut Rosè “Majeur” NV. This is made from 45% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 20% Meunier. Ed said that it had “Latin Roots” as the founder came from South America. Ed liked it and felt that it was elegant, light style champagne. He also recommended their Dosage Zero NV. I agree with Ed and the Rosè is a good buy for $50.

Henri Giraud “Fut de Chene” Brut Rosé NV made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with 8% red wine from Aÿ GC added. The vineyard is 10 ha and the soil is pure chalk. It is vinified like great red Burgundy from 80 year old Pinot Noir vines with tiny concentrated berries. Harvesting in the vineyard with a specialized team, then sorted in the winery. $50

Lamiable Grand Cru Brut Rosé NV Made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The soil is chalk and limestone and the exposure is south. Vineyards are an average of 30 to 35 years old. Fermentation takes place in enamel and stainless steel tanks and then undergoes malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 18 months on the lees, two to four barrels and used, there is no new oak. The wine has hints of ripe pear, peach and yellow apple with fresh acidity and good minerality. $55

Cathleen Burl Visscher with the Philippe Gonet and the Henri Giraud

Philippe Gonet Brut Rose NV made from 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir from the village of Vertus on the Cote des Blancs. Cellar aging lasts for 3 years. This is an intense and complex wine with hints of tangy, floral and spicy red fruits with nice minerality. $55

Boizel Brut Rosé NV made from 20% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir of which 8% is vinified red wine and 30% Pinot Noir. There is 20% of reserve wine added. Aging on the lees for 3 years and the dosage is 8g/l. This is a very delicate Rosé dominated by red grapes and with hints of red berries and touches of raspberries, strawberries and spice. $55

Duval-Leroy 1er Cru Brut Rose NV made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Premier Cur vineyards. Alcoholic fermentation takes place at low, stable temperatures in single vineyard batches in order to optimize the aromatic complexity inherent in each terroir. All cuvees undergo malolactic fermentation. The “Rose de Saigne” method gives this Rose its signature character. Wines are bottled for a second fermentation called prise de mousee (capturing the sparkle), then stored in a chalk cellar for a minimum of 3 years. The wine has flavors and aromas of white flowers, brioche, pears and pastry dough. $65

Pamela Wittmann with  Collet

Collet Brut Rosé NV made from 40% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier. This Rosé is made from 20 crus. The wine is aged for a minimum of four years in one hundred year old chalk cellars. The wines are aged longer than the required minimum of 15 months. The wine has dark red fruits and floral rose notes with a touch of honey. Some of the members of the Wine Media Guild picked this as their #1 NV. $ 50

G.H. Mumm “Le Rosé” Brut NV a selection 12% to 14% of red wines from the villages famed for their Pinot Noir such as Bouzy, Verzenay or Riceys on the Cote des Bar.  Once the balance is achieved by the addition of reserve wines, the final blend is determined by the addition of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with the addition of Pinot Meunier. Ed said he was very impressed by this wine. $50 

Henriot Brut Rosé NV The majority of the wine is Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and Chardonnay from the Cotes de Blancs and some Pinot Meunier. 15 crus are blended together and 25% is reserve wine. Vinified Pinot Noir as a red wine is added to the assemblage. Every time Ed speaks about Henriot he says the same thing — that it is a Champagne house that is underrated. Ed said it is light and elegant with good red fruit aromas and flavors but needed more time. Ed likes this wine. $55

Piper-Heidsieck Sauvage Rosé NV. It is made from 45% Pinot Noir and $40% Pinot Meunier and 15% Chardonnay. Ed said the wine was very fruity (which may be accounted for by the 40% Meunier) lot of ripe berry fruit flavors. He believed the wine was aimed at the “young market” $55.

A.R. Lenoble Brut Rosé NV made from 88% Chardonnay from the Grand Cru village of Chouilli and 12% Pinot Noir from the Premier Cru village of Bisseuil. The base wine is from the 2012 harvest and there is 35% reserve wine. The proportion de vins sous is 20% and the dosage is 3g/l. This is an elegant and intense wine with hints of cherry, spice and brioche. $50

Deutz Brut Rosé NV made from 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay with 10 to 15% reserve wine. The wine has hints of strawberry, pomegranate and a touch of cherry. $52

Suzie Kukaj-Curovic with the Alfred Gratien

Alfred Gratien Brut Rosè NV made from 45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier and 15% Pinot Noir added as a still wine. After 6 months of cellaring in 228 liter oak casks, the must is transformed into wine. Malolactic fermentation does not take place. The cuvee is bottled with sugar and yeast to allow for a secondary fermentation in the bottle and it remains in the cellar for 36 months. Then the disgorging takes place where the lees and sediment are removed from the bottle. The bottle is then topped up again with more wine and some sugar and left to rest for a few more months in the cellar.  It has good red fruit with hints of raspberry and I enjoyed it with lunch. $70

 

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Champagne and Pizza at La Pizza Fresca

Every month a group of Champagne and Italian wine lover’s meet, usually at La Pizza Fresca.
The group is called the G6. The organizer for the events is Ed “Champagne” Mc Carthy, author of “Champagne for Dummies.” Only 3 members of the G6 attended the last get together: Mary Ewing Mulligan, MW, Ed Mc Carthy, and me. Ed invited three guests, David E. Cohen, US Brand Ambassador for Dom Perignon, Nicole Burke, US Brand Ambassador for Krug, and Lacey Burke, US Brand Ambassador for Dom Ruinart. There were 4 Champagnes and two Italian reds but the Champagnes really stole the spotlight.

Champagne Blanc Blancs Extra Brut NV Valentin Le Feflaive created in 2015 by Olivier Feflaive from Burgundy and Erick de Sousa from Champagne. Made of 100% Chardonnay from the Cotes des Blancs. Harvest is by hand and the soil is chalk. The wine is vinified in used Burgundy barrels. This was the first time I have had this Champagne and I was very impressed. It has fresh citrus aromas and flavors, with a touch of brioche.

Moet & Chandon Champagne Dom Pérignon Plenitude Deuxieme P2 1998 made from 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir.
This Champagne spent 16 years in the cellars. After 7 years the P2 Bottles are turned upside down, sur pointe, to slow down the oxidation process. The wine is regularly tasted by the Dom Pérignon oenologist to determine the perfect time for release. Each bottle is disgorged by hand prior to release.
This is elegant, intense and complex Champagne with notes of honey, orange fruit, ginger and a touch of almond. It was not showing any signs of age and would be the perfect with caviar.

Champagne Krug Brut 1995 made from 48% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 17% Pinot. All of the wine is fermented in small oak barrels. Ed Mc Carthy in Champagne for Dummies wrote, “Krug Champagnes, which really resemble mature, full bodied white Burgundies in their structure, should be enjoyed with food, preferably with dinner. They are just too full and flavorful to sip as an aperitifs.” This is a very complex full-bodied Champagne with aromas of baked gingerbread, candied fruits, ripe melon and a hints of almonds and honey on the palate. It has a remarkable finish and an aftertaste that goes on and on.

Moët & Chandon Champagne Dom Ruinart Rosé 2004 The blend was made by using 81% Grand Cru Chardonnay, 69% of which comes from the Cötes des Blancs (Avize, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger) and 31% from the Montagne de Rheims (Puisieulx, Sillery), with the addition of 19% Pinot Noir made into red wine, coming only from the Sillery cru. Manual harvest. Alcholic fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel vats (18 to 20C). Malolactic fermentation takes place. Dosage 4.5g/l
Ruinart was founded in 1729 in Rheims making it the oldest Champagne House.
This is an elegant rosé with a light pink color. It is slightly aromatic with hints of raspberry, currants, strawberry and a note of red roses. It is a rosé that goes with many different foods.

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Three Pre- Birthday Celebrations with Wine and Food

The first celebration took place at the Oriental Gardens restaurant in New York Cities China Town

Soft Shell Crabs and they were fantastic!

We started with the Champagne Krug 1990  from the Krug Collection.

Then a fried sole with scallions.

Chablis Grand Cru just great

Puligny- Montrachet needs more time

1979 Chinon excellent

There was more food and wine but I got caught up in the eating and drinking.

 

Next on to La Pizza Fresca

We started with Krug NV

Then Chianti Classico 1971 Riserva Ducale from Ruffino

Pizza Margarita

Chateaueuf-du-Papes 1990 right on the money

Amarone 1967 Bertani

Pizza with Prosciutto

A young man waiting for his pizza

 

Next was Gastronomia Siciliana Norma

Buratta with arugula

Spaghetti with sea urchin (ricci di Mare) was fantastic

Chianti Classico 1996

Pizza with porchetta

Barolo 1989 – barolo at its best 1989 was a great vintage!

 

 

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Champagne made from 100% Pinot Meunier

Champagne made from 100% red grapes, especially Pinot Meunier, has always been my favorite, though they have always seemed difficult to find. I was delighted when I was invited to a tasting of Champagnes that included several made from the Meunier grape.

The invitation said: “An association of 9 Champagne producers has joined together not to create a specific blend in common but to underline the value of Pinot Meunier, an under-appreciated grape, by clearly articling its sensory and flavor profile and linking its authenticity to the Marne Valley.”

I do not know of any of the big Champagne Houses that makes 100% Pinot Meuner


 Eight of the producers were present at the tasting.

At the tasting all the wines contained Pinot Meunier.  Some were 100% Pinot Meunier, others a blend of Meunier and Pinot Noir, and some a blend of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  I decided to concentrate on the wines made from 100% Pinot Meunier.  Meunier is named for the downy white underside of its leaves that seem to have been sprinkled with flour. Meunier means “miller” in French, and is a term used for some things that involve flour, an example is the classic “Sole Meunier.”

The Pinot Meunier vine has medium sized roundish shaped leaves with five lobes (five parts of the leaf), and a lyre-shaped petiolar sinu (lower part of the stem).  The berries tend to be smaller than Pinot Noir (8 to 12 millimeters and grow in relatively small, tight bunches).  Meunier does well in poor, limestone-laden soils, but does best in the richer, clay-heavy soils of the Marne Valley.  It is the second most planted grape (32%) in the Champagne Region. Pinot Noir is first.

The Champagnes listed below are all made from 100% Meunier.

Champagne André Hecq Gault Millau Extra Brut 100% Meunier (Blanc de Noirs) from reserve wine: 40% 2009 and 60% 2010.  Dosage 4g/l. Fermentation is in stainless steel. Malolactic fermentation takes place. The wine remains on the lees for four years. This is Champagne with good structure, minerality and hints of apple and pear.

Rosé De Saignée 2012 100% Meunier. Vinification  saignée maceration (bleeding).  I believe this is the only winery that makes a Rosè using this method.  Grapes from a single parcel L’Etau 50 year old vines. Malolactic fermentation takes place. This is Champagne with hints of red fruit, raspberries and strawberries.

Champagne Eric Taillet “Bansionnensi Extra Brut 100% Pinot Meunier-Blanc de Meunier. Grapes are from the Marne Valley, Binsonnois lot and the average age of the vines is 25 years. The soil is clay and limestone. Sustainable viniculture, with grass growing between the rows, no chemical weed killer is used. Application on foliage is of pure algae and certified organic oligo elements.

Traditional Dollat type wood press is used. There is an extraction and fractioning of press juices and natural must settling. Thermoregulation fermentation is at 65F. Malolactic fermentation does not take place. The wine matures on the fine lees. The wine is aged for 36 months. Dosage 4g/l, 2004 vintage base wine and cane sugar.

Champagne Serveaux Fils 100% Pinot Meunier, 50% from 2013 and from 2014 50% Grapes for the Cuvée Meunier d’ Antan from Passy sur Marne and Barzy sur Marne. Average age of the vines is 40 years. The soil is limestone. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks and the reserve wines are aged in barrel for 7 months.  Malolactic fermentation does not take place. Dosage 0g/l (Brut Natural) The wine is aged for 30 months.

Champagne Roger Barnier-Cuvée Meunier composed of 100% Meunier from the 2012 harvest. It is a blend of 5 old plots- 1910 to 1956.  Hand harvested, grapes are pressed in small batches and vinification is by plots. Only the first press is used, “The Cuvêe.” Blended and matured in oak casks and bottled in March of 2010 with corks. Second fermentation is done at a low temperature.  This is a well structured, complex and elegant champagne with full fruit aromas and flavors.

Météyer Pere & Fils Exclusif (Blanc De Meunier) 100% Pinot Meunier from the vineyards Tré sur Marne- Vallé de la Marne. Age of the vines is 65 years and the soil is clay and limestone. Harvest is by hand with sorting on the vine. Automatic press is used. Vinification is classic and traditional and malolactic fermentation does not take place. There is a minimum aging of eight years on wooden laths.  It is a Brut Natural- Dosage Zero.  It is fruity, complex, full bodied and intense with hints of citrus fruit, honey and almonds.

 

Champagne Demiére Egreg’Or “Brut 100% Meunier. Fleury La Riviére, subsoil chalky sand with different levels of shells.  Harvest 2010 by hand with a selection of the best grapes. Traditional vertical press: Coquard. Téte de Cuvée. Malolactic fermentation does not take place.   Dosage 9g/l with the addition of their homemade liqueur.  This is champagne with fine bubbles, a delicate form and a complex bouquet with hints of apricots, peaches and a touch of honey.

Solera 23 100% Fleury la Riviére and Damery. The soil is clay limestone with deep marl and the average age of the vineyards is 35 years. It is a Cuvée. Traditional wine making, without malolactic fermentation taking place in order to preserve the grape’s natural acids.  Solera Method which has been implemented over the last 20 years, is usually used as a blend base. Dosage 7g/l.  This is a full-bodied champagne with hints of ripe pears and figs with a touch of toasted almonds.

Champagne Moutardier Cuvée Pure MeunierBrut Natural NV made from 100% Pinot Meunier.  It has hints of green apple, peach and pineapple with a touch of almond.

Champagne Roger-Constant Lemaire Select Réserve Blanc de Noirs, 100% Pinot Meunier from the Marne Valley. The soil is a mixture of limestone and clay and the age of the vines is 35 years. The grapes are harvested by hand with a strict selection of the grapes. Treated with Norwegian kelp within the context of environmentally responsible wine production.  There is a long fermentation at 16C in temperature controlled stainless tanks. Only the juice from the first pressing is used. A late racking takes place in February. Malolactic fermentation does not take place and there is no filtration or fining. The wine is aged for four years.Dosage Brut- Extra Brut(4 to 8g/l) Dosage liqueur is 100% estate produced using pure cane sugar, aged in oak barrels.

In my experience,  Champagne  made from 100% Meunier can go with a wider ranger of food then those made from blends.

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Champagne, Old Wine, and Lamb for Easter

With temperatures expected to be in the 80’s on Easter Sunday, we invited friends to come for lunch at 2:00 PM so we could sit on the terrace and enjoy our Champagne and appetizers al fresco. It was windy but we managed by holding on to the Champagne glasses. Just as we finished, it started to rain so we had to go inside to enjoy the rest of the meal. 

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1993 Millesime Rose is made from 100% Grand Cru grapes and produced only in exceptional years. The Chardonnay grapes come from the most renowned vineyards of the prestigious Côte des Blancs, and the Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims. Only juice from the first pressing is used in order to ensure the structure and long aging potential that is essential to this exceptional Champagne. 12% of the Pinot Noir is blended in as still red wine. It was showing its age but still with some red fruit and brioche in the finish and aftertaste. It was very drinkable.

Bourgogne Aligoté 2005 Domaine Bachelet 100% Chardonnay This is an elegant wine with citrus fruit aromas and flavors, livery and fresh with nice minerality and showing no signs of age.

Mazoyères-Chambertin 1945 100% Pinot Noir  Chanut Frères. It was drinking very well for a wine this old.

With this wine we had risotto with porcini mushrooms and sausage

Gevrey-Chambertin “En Pallud” Domaine Maume 100% Pinot Noir. The vines are 70 years old and the soil is clay and limestone. There is separate vinification of individual parcels. Clusters are 100% destemmed. The wine is aged for 18 to 20 months in mostly older barrels and is bottled without fining or filtration. This is classic Burgundy at its best.

With it we ate lamb chops in a crisp breadcrumb and Parmesan crust with sauteed green beans and carrots.

Còte-Ròtie “Còtes Brune et Blonde” 1981 E. Guigal 96% Syrah and 4% Viognier. The average age of the vines is 35 years. Fermentation in closed stainless steel tanks, temperature controlled for about 3 weeks with automatic punching down. The wine is aged for 36 months, 50% in new oak. This is for the more current vintages. I do not know how they made it back in 1981! This is a wine with hints of raspberry and blackberry with a touch of spice. It is a complex wine with a lot of red and dark fruit aromas that are striking for a wine this old–the fruit still comes right at you.

We had this with two cheeses: Parmigiano Reggiano and Fontina Val D’Aosta.

For dessert, Michele made a flourless chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and raspberries.

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A Dinner Party in Rome

Daniele Cernilli, aka “Doctor Wine,” and his wife,  Marina Thompson invited us to dinner at their lovely apartment in one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Rome.

There were 3 other guests, including a professor from John Cabot University in Rome.

Daniele greeted us with glasses of Champagne Clos des Goisses Brut 2002 made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. The grapes are grown on a pure chalk hillside with a 45 degree slope facing due south in Mareuil- sur-Ay. Goisse, in the old Champagne dialect, means steep slope. It has a very low dosage. Vinification is mainly in wooden casks and malolactic fermentation does not take place. This is a full-bodied wine with hints of pears and apricots, floral notes, a touch of toast and an exceptional long finish. Daniele said 2002 was a great vintage in Champagne.

With the Champagne we had caviar. You can’t go wrong with Champagne and caviar, and Marina enhanced the combination by serving it with burrata, a tender, fresh cheese from Puglia. Slightly firm like mozzarella on the outside, it is sweet and creamy within. Though it might seem like a strange combination, not only did it work, it was wonderful.

Daniele also served another wine with the caviar and burrata that he believed was a better combination than with the champagne. Pinot Bianco Colli Orientali del Friuli “Zuc di Volpe 2008 Volpe Pasini made from 100% Pinot Bianco from the Togliano “Zuc” Vineyard. Fermentation is in stainless steel and the wine spends some time in bottle before release. This is a full-bodied white wine with hints of white peaches, citrus and almonds. It was showing very little sign of age.

Though I liked the Pinot Bianco, I preferred the combination of the Champagne with the caviar and burrata.

Grignolino of the Monferrato Casalese “ Bricco del BoscoVigne Vecchie2011 Giulio Accornero & Figli made from 100% Grignolino from the Bricco del Bosco vineyard. Maceration is on the skins for 20 days. The wine is aged for 30 months in oak barrels (tonneau) and 24 months in bottle before release.

Daniele Cernilli

Every other Grignolino I have tasted was meant to be drunk young. By the time this one is released all the others would be too old to drink. Here is how Daniele describes this wine in his book The Ultimate Guide to Italian Wine 2017  Intense and lively red. One of the best versions of the last years. Complex smokey and spicy notes, raspberries, pomegranate and rhubarb. Strong, intense, warm, enveloping flavor with tannic hints and extraordinary persistence.” We discussed this wine for some time.

With this wine we had pasta prepared by Daniele. He told Michele that the recipe had been given to him by the late Paola di Mauro, a great winemaker and legendary cook. Daniele roasted sweet cherry tomatoes with olive oil, capers and breadcrumbs then tossed them mezze maniche, a short wide tubular pasta, before serving. It’s a great way to make the most of out of season fresh tomatoes.

Brunello di Montalcino 1995 100% Sangiovese Donatella Cinelli Colombini. I looked at the label and told Daniele that I have the 1995 at home but the label is different. He said this was a special bottling made in honor of a wedding that took place in 1995. I am not sure how this wine was made or aged and I know they have changed their production methods over the years. This wine is a classic Brunello.

We had the Brunello with braised veal.

Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2005 Rocco di Montegrossi made from 95% Malvasia Bianco di Toscana and 5% Canaiolo Nero. The soil is calcareous loamy. The harvest is the first week of October. During the drying phase the bunches of grapes are hung one by one on nets in a well– ventilated area under the rafters. All of the nets are hung from rails and are affected by noble rot–botrytis. The rails allow the nets to be shifted so that deteriorated grapes can be removed. Pressing takes place in January. The must goes into small casks of 50 and 100 liters of cherry, oak and mulberry wood. The wine ferments and ages for 6 to 7 years, only indigenous yeast is used. This is a complex intense velvety dessert wine with hints of apricot, dried fig, toasted almond and caramel.The grapes are pressed between the 13 and 20th of December. Only organic farming methods are used and there is no filtering or fining. The wine spends 6 years and 4 months in small barrels called caratelli made of cherry, mulberry and oak wood, then one year in bottle before release.

With the Vin Santo we had cheese then finished with coffee and artisan chocolates.

 

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Filed under Accornero Winery, Brunello, Champagne, Clos des Goisses, Clos des Goisses Brut, Daniele Cernilli Doctor Wine, Donatella Cinelli Colombibi, Grignolino, Pinot Bianco, Rocca di Montegrossi, Vin Santo, Volpe Pasini winery