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24 minutes ago, J-Slay said:

Any other advice for a champagne beginner? Any particular houses, etc.?

If the Champagne is decent, uncork it a good hour ahead to let it open up (while chilled).  Pouring Champagne right after the cork has been popped is best for heartburn more than flavor.

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a couple of wines from yesterday's lunch (all listed in another post).

22 minutes ago, J-Slay said:

I’m just seeing this!! Sorry for the late reply.  Thanks for the advice. Any other advice for a champagne beginner? Any particular houses, etc.?

We went with the yellow label tonight. Not as sweet for sure. Learning about the glasses too. Didn’t realize champagne was so complex. Pretty cool.

~Jordan

F39BE912-86A2-4C4A-8188-1213D7BC809A.jpeg

if you are serious about champers, books by Peter Liem, Tom Stevenson, Richard Juhlin will all help enormously. also from Tyson Stelzer - Tyson is also from Brizzy - and his is an annual guide so more up to date on the wines while the others are more in depth on the styles, region, houses. 

best advice i can offer is try as many as you can and work out the styles you like. it is extraordinary how different they are. big rich styles like Bollinger and Krug compared with much more elegant styles like Taittinger and Henriot. no right or wrong. just work out what you like. that is one of the reasons i'd argue with BC about VC. understand if some are nor enamoured but i am a fan. i think they have been doing really good things over the last decade. we had their 2004 la grand dame thursday. spectacular, but you'd hope so for the top wine of a top house and a top year. but they have recently lost their winemaker (he went to Laurent Perrier and then on to Lallier). Didier Mariotti has recently joined and he is also an excellent winemaker - he is the guy that turned Mumm from rubbish to respected (i think we had him on a video ages ago - he is a keen cigar smoker, but that might have been spitbucket not cigar vids. can't recall). there has been musical chairs throughout the houses with winemakers of late so everyone is waiting to see how it shakes out. 

as for demi-sec, we do not see a lot over here. there is a lot more in places like the States, i believe. VC have always persisted with theirs.

demi-sec is a lot sweeter than the standard NV, well, certainly sweeter. if that is your preference, jump on them. but most champagne will be much drier.

i would argue that you would have to go back a lot further than forty years for dom to be that style. i've seen doms back into the fifties and they were certainly far closer to today's styles than demi sec. the 59 is big and rich but not a sweet style and the 64 is one of the greatest champagnes ever made, but again not a sweetie. that said, champagne was once very much sweeter than we see today. there was a famous wine, the 1874 pommery, which was deliberately made much drier than was the norm for the day and the brits loved it. that was the wine which saw the style of champagne change (there were a couple of dry efforts earlier but this was the one that resonated). there was even a song 'ode to pommery 1874' written about it. to auld lang syne. did a piece on some pommery and this for Q&P (https://quillandpad.com/2020/01/23/pommery-cuvee-louise-champagne-and-the-invention-of-brut/), which looks at the move from sweeter styles to dry. 

i agree with BC re giving the top wines time to breathe, though for me, only really the very best with some age. only when you are looking at a champagne as a wine and not as a champers. otherwise you lose the fizz. depends on how important that is for you. but it does allow the wine to open up. 

but mainly, just keep tasting. 

 

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50 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

If the Champagne is decent, uncork it a good hour ahead to let it open up (while chilled).  Pouring Champagne right after the cork has been popped is best for heartburn more than flavor.

Thanks so much, B.C.!!

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33 minutes ago, Ken Gargett said:

if you are serious about champers, books by Peter Liem, Tom Stevenson, Richard Juhlin will all help enormously. also from Tyson Stelzer - Tyson is also from Brizzy - and his is an annual guide so more up to date on the wines while the others are more in depth on the styles, region, houses. 

best advice i can offer is try as many as you can and work out the styles you like. it is extraordinary how different they are. big rich styles like Bollinger and Krug compared with much more elegant styles like Taittinger and Henriot. no right or wrong. just work out what you like. that is one of the reasons i'd argue with BC about VC. understand if some are nor enamoured but i am a fan. i think they have been doing really good things over the last decade. we had their 2004 la grand dame thursday. spectacular, but you'd hope so for the top wine of a top house and a top year. but they have recently lost their winemaker (he went to Laurent Perrier and then on to Lallier). Didier Mariotti has recently joined and he is also an excellent winemaker - he is the guy that turned Mumm from rubbish to respected (i think we had him on a video ages ago - he is a keen cigar smoker, but that might have been spitbucket not cigar vids. can't recall). there has been musical chairs throughout the houses with winemakers of late so everyone is waiting to see how it shakes out. 

as for demi-sec, we do not see a lot over here. there is a lot more in places like the States, i believe. VC have always persisted with theirs.

demi-sec is a lot sweeter than the standard NV, well, certainly sweeter. if that is your preference, jump on them. but most champagne will be much drier.

i would argue that you would have to go back a lot further than forty years for dom to be that style. i've seen doms back into the fifties and they were certainly far closer to today's styles than demi sec. the 59 is big and rich but not a sweet style and the 64 is one of the greatest champagnes ever made, but again not a sweetie. that said, champagne was once very much sweeter than we see today. there was a famous wine, the 1874 pommery, which was deliberately made much drier than was the norm for the day and the brits loved it. that was the wine which saw the style of champagne change (there were a couple of dry efforts earlier but this was the one that resonated). there was even a song 'ode to pommery 1874' written about it. to auld lang syne. did a piece on some pommery and this for Q&P (https://quillandpad.com/2020/01/23/pommery-cuvee-louise-champagne-and-the-invention-of-brut/), which looks at the move from sweeter styles to dry. 

i agree with BC re giving the top wines time to breathe, though for me, only really the very best with some age. only when you are looking at a champagne as a wine and not as a champers. otherwise you lose the fizz. depends on how important that is for you. but it does allow the wine to open up. 

but mainly, just keep tasting. 

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply like this, Ken! Really appreciate it. The wine is one of the first things I’m looking for in the review vids!!
 

Two quick questions if I may?:

1) If you had to pull one book off of the shelf from these authors to hand to a newb, which would it be?

2) Stemware - Preferences or suggestions? Do you really change it up much depending on vintage, reserve, etc?

Thanks again!

Jordan

 

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50 minutes ago, J-Slay said:

Thanks for taking the time to reply like this, Ken! Really appreciate it. The wine is one of the first things I’m looking for in the review vids!!
 

Two quick questions if I may?:

1) If you had to pull one book off of the shelf from these authors to hand to a newb, which would it be?

2) Stemware - Preferences or suggestions? Do you really change it up much depending on vintage, reserve, etc?

Thanks again!

Jordan

 

the Liem one is perhaps the most in depth. juhlin lots on wines going back decades. stevenson probably the most dated of them at the moment. tyson's a good place to start and probably the easiest to get. 

i don't really get that excited about mixing glasses but i am very much inclined away from the narrow flutes (and definitely very anti-the old coupe style - keep them for prawn cocktails). a big flute or even something like a riesling glass works for me. others may have different preferences. 

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9 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

the Liem one is perhaps the most in depth. juhlin lots on wines going back decades. stevenson probably the most dated of them at the moment. tyson's a good place to start and probably the easiest to get. 

i don't really get that excited about mixing glasses but i am very much inclined away from the narrow flutes (and definitely very anti-the old coupe style - keep them for prawn cocktails). a big flute or even something like a riesling glass works for me. others may have different preferences. 

Thanks again, Ken!!

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10 hours ago, SirVantes said:

Already spectacular. Will be interesting to chart its development. 
 

6B52D9FF-AA6B-498F-AC90-6339D2860C77.jpeg

one of my absolute favourite producers and a brilliant vintage. should be fantastic.

years ago, did vinitaly - a lot of fun (although at one stage, i was at a lunch and saw some brochures on the table - didn't take much notice as everything in italian and i didn't speak a word - but then something caught my eye. turns out it was a brochure advertising a lecture being given the next day by me about some weird italian variety which i had never even heard of, let alone tried. it did not go very well). sorry for the digression. 

but more fun was spending a day in the barolo section which was nearly empty - no idea why - and one of the things i did was a tasting with elio's daughter, silvia i think. amazing wines. went through the range. only wish i had a lot more in the cellar. 

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4 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

one of my absolute favourite producers and a brilliant vintage. should be fantastic.

years ago, did vinitaly - a lot of fun (although at one stage, i was at a lunch and saw some brochures on the table - didn't take much notice as everything in italian and i didn't speak a word - but then something caught my eye. turns out it was a brochure advertising a lecture being given the next day by me about some weird italian variety which i had never even heard of, let alone tried. it did not go very well). sorry for the digression. 

but more fun was spending a day in the barolo section which was nearly empty - no idea why - and one of the things i did was a tasting with elio's daughter, silvia i think. amazing wines. went through the range. only wish i had a lot more in the cellar. 

I met Silvia at their cantina and she was great - full of energy and, importantly, fluent in English.  She took us through their immaculate winemaking area, complete with Japanese barrel monkey and the controversial roto-fermenters (which she emphasised was set to rotate very very slowly).  I remember that they had just lost their lease to their Brunate plot (the last vintage produced was 2011) and how sad they were to lose a distinctive part of their portfolio.

I can't imagine any barolo expo not be thronged, and especially not Vinitaly with Elio Altare to be had.  You have the touch of the uncanny about you, Ken.

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3 minutes ago, SirVantes said:

I met Silvia at their cantina and she was great - full of energy and, importantly, fluent in English.  She took us through their immaculate winemaking area, complete with Japanese barrel monkey and the controversial roto-fermenters (which she emphasised was set to rotate very very slowly).  I remember that they had just lost their lease to their Brunate plot (the last vintage produced was 2011) and how sad they were to lose a distinctive part of their portfolio.

I can't imagine any barolo expo not be thronged, and especially not Vinitaly with Elio Altare to be had.  You have the touch of the uncanny about you, Ken.

vinitaly is great fun to visit. the year i went - about 12 years ago from memory, the different regions were all in different pavilions, though they were interconnected. piedmont was sort of a double one and the part with aldo conterno and vietti and others all crowded in one and they had heaps, but the other part had winemakers standing around hoping someone might come in. spent ages with Altare and went through the full range from clerico and a few others. great morning. 

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Very nice...will grab a couple to age c8cb3e19ce446ce8c803b70dce547a1c.jpg


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43 minutes ago, Mr.T said:

Very nice...will grab a couple to age c8cb3e19ce446ce8c803b70dce547a1c.jpg


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literally got the pre-arrival offer for these from the importer yesterday. would absolutely love to fill the cellar but even at importer prices here, they have become so expensive. 

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40 minutes ago, Ken Gargett said:

literally got the pre-arrival offer for these from the importer yesterday. would absolutely love to fill the cellar but even at importer prices here, they have become so expensive. 

And the single vineyard bottlings can cost 4 times as much! Such great wines though. 

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1 hour ago, SirVantes said:

And the single vineyard bottlings can cost 4 times as much! Such great wines though. 

wonderful producer but barolo has almost gone burgundy-esque with pricing. sad. 

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wonderful producer but barolo has almost gone burgundy-esque with pricing. sad. 

Ken, I paid $65 for this bottle so it’s on the expensive side for me, but not so prohibitive that I can’t grab a couple to age. Lots of delicious berry and earthy notes and towards the end there was a very discernible hint of mint..


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