Event Video - Champagne & Cigar Masterclass 2021


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I love it how @Fuzz desktop image looks like a label on a condiment bottle,  or that it's pinar del rio disapearing into the distance.  Great backdrop

This was fantastic, thank you for all involved for putting it together, it was riveting 

As someone who doesn't tend to enjoy Champagne, with the majority of previous experiences being either on the wrong side of too Dry or too Sweet.  I have had a few really enjoyable experiences, but as much as I tried to memorise the labels/house.... these were at parties and I was a little to far cut to recall

I question to @Ken Gargett , if he is still with us at this point (get better soon).  The mystery Champagne that blew me away was unlike anything I'd had before, the aroma and palate was like buttery brioche dough,  a deep toasted tuile biscuit note, and a that clean floral tangerine like smell you get from high quality fresh bakers yeast. It was it's almost savoury character that really appealed 

I was wondering if you could recommend any Champagnes that are little bit more dynamic and interesting.  I wholeheartedly respect Champagnes that are super clean and accurate, however are there Champagnes you could recommend that may have an aspect of an umami character going on?  I really enjoy gastronomic products or experiences where you have something that is defined in its perfection, by a very slight imperfection,   A little touch of something rotten, that elevates the whole experience to greatness.       It would be great to find Champagne I like, but I often struggle with stuff that is either too cold/clinical or one dimensionally 'perfect'. 

I hope some small part of that made sense.

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11 hours ago, 99call said:

I love it how @Fuzz desktop image looks like a label on a condiment bottle,  or that it's pinar del rio disapearing into the distance.  Great backdrop

This was fantastic, thank you for all involved for putting it together, it was riveting 

As someone who doesn't tend to enjoy Champagne, with the majority of previous experiences being either on the wrong side of too Dry or too Sweet.  I have had a few really enjoyable experiences, but as much as I tried to memorise the labels/house.... these were at parties and I was a little to far cut to recall

I question to @Ken Gargett , if he is still with us at this point (get better soon).  The mystery Champagne that blew me away was unlike anything I'd had before, the aroma and palate was like buttery brioche dough,  a deep toasted tuile biscuit note, and a that clean floral tangerine like smell you get from high quality fresh bakers yeast. It was it's almost savoury character that really appealed 

I was wondering if you could recommend any Champagnes that are little bit more dynamic and interesting.  I wholeheartedly respect Champagnes that are super clean and accurate, however are there Champagnes you could recommend that may have an aspect of an umami character going on?  I really enjoy gastronomic products or experiences where you have something that is defined in its perfection, by a very slight imperfection,   A little touch of something rotten, that elevates the whole experience to greatness.       It would be great to find Champagne I like, but I often struggle with stuff that is either too cold/clinical or one dimensionally 'perfect'. 

I hope some small part of that made sense.

It sounds like you tasted age. Particularly age "on the Lees" which gives champagne that heavy bread character. The mushroomy, Umami, flavor you describe also comes from aging. I prefer very dry champagne for the most part and I also drink most champagne young (less than 10 years) so I can't recommend a specific bottle under about $200 that would check your boxes. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, I'm just not aware of one. You'll probably be looking at something Vintage, most NV champanges get less than two years on the Lee's while some Vintage champagnes can sit for over a decade. Maybe some of the "RD" or Oenotheque bottlings would fit the bill?

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19 minutes ago, Corylax18 said:

It sounds like to tasted age. Particularly age "on the Lees" which gives champagne that heavy bread character. The mushroomy, Umami, flavor you describe also comes from aging. I prefer very dry champagne for the most part and I also drink most champagne young (less than 10 years) so I can't recommend a specific bottle under about $200 that would check your boxes. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, I'm just not aware of one. You'll probably be looking at something Vintage, most NV champanges get less than two years on the Lee's while some Vintage champagnes can sit for over a decade. Maybe some of the "LD" or Onotheuqe bottlings would fit the bill?

This is very much appreciated.    So is this a sort of Champagne version of 'dunnage' for whisky?

How did I know the answer was going to be.....'spend more money' Ha!.   In all seriousness that shouldn't be an issue, I like the idea of Champagne being a special thing, and not a weekend occurance, so a lofty price tag shouldn't hurt too much.     "heavy bread character"  is a very good descriptor to what I experienced and enjoyed. 

I must confess the level of enjoyment in comparison to all other Champagne I had previously experienced, was so stark, that it made the other stuff seem completely and utterly pointless,  but again I think thats more of a reflection on my general indifference to the drink itself

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6 hours ago, 99call said:

This is very much appreciated.    So is this a sort of Champagne version of 'dunnage' for whisky?

How did I know the answer was going to be.....'spend more money' Ha!.   In all seriousness that shouldn't be an issue, I like the idea of Champagne being a special thing, and not a weekend occurance, so a lofty price tag shouldn't hurt too much.     "heavy bread character"  is a very good descriptor to what I experienced and enjoyed. 

I must confess the level of enjoyment in comparison to all other Champagne I had previously experienced, was so stark, that it made the other stuff seem completely and utterly pointless,  but again I think thats more of a reflection on my general indifference to the drink itself

I'm not a whiskey Drinker, so I had to look up "Dunnage" Haha. Its not exactly the same. Bollinger is the only producer I know that uses the "RD" designation, others use different names, but the point is the same. 

The Chef de Cave samples the Cuvees(all stored underground, beneath the fields themselves) every year, eventually every few months to check the "progress". Eventually, he decides that a certain vintage is ready to go. (4-10 years for most Vintage champagnes) The "Riddling" process begins where the bottles are rotated to ensure the remaining yeast or "Lees" settle in the neck. At that point, they take the majority of the bottles from that vintage and "disgorge" them. Using the pressure in the bottle to blast out the particles, no filtration should be needed. The dosage is then added, the final cork inserted and the final product is laid down to rest for a few months before they're shipped. 

But many high end producers hold back a certain percentage of each vintage past when the Chef de Cave thinks its "perfect". It can be for just a few more years, or in the case of the Dom Perignon house, they hold some back for 30-40 years. DP Oenotheque 1969 is available right now. These extra years on the Lees change the character of the champagne significantly. It generates a very different final product that ageing that same vintage (post disgorgement) for the same amount of time. 

 

I just got around to listening to the video, Im only about 30 minutes in and I'm bummed I couldn't make it. It sounds like it was a great time. Ken's story about the Ice bucket had me cracking up!

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18 hours ago, 99call said:

I love it how @Fuzz desktop image looks like a label on a condiment bottle,  or that it's pinar del rio disapearing into the distance.  Great backdrop

 

That's my backyard pergola. I live on a hill (a fairly steep slope), so the houses next to mine are about 3m difference in height toward the rear of the property. Standing next to the fence, I can see across and down into the valley.

Weather was actually really good that day, so it is quite picturesque.

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On 11/2/2021 at 3:55 AM, 99call said:

however are there Champagnes you could recommend that may have an aspect of an umami character going on? 

I would look to houses and growers than lean towards a more oxidative style, like Bollinger. If you’re willing to shell out, a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvée (especially with 2-3 years of post disgorgement age) is always a treat. I don’t think anyone can drink Krug and not find it meets your criteria of “dynamic and interesting.”

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Sad and sorry to miss. Last minute tickets to WS game 4 with the nephew took precedence.

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On 11/2/2021 at 5:55 PM, 99call said:

I love it how @Fuzz desktop image looks like a label on a condiment bottle,  or that it's pinar del rio disapearing into the distance.  Great backdrop

This was fantastic, thank you for all involved for putting it together, it was riveting 

As someone who doesn't tend to enjoy Champagne, with the majority of previous experiences being either on the wrong side of too Dry or too Sweet.  I have had a few really enjoyable experiences, but as much as I tried to memorise the labels/house.... these were at parties and I was a little to far cut to recall

I question to @Ken Gargett , if he is still with us at this point (get better soon).  The mystery Champagne that blew me away was unlike anything I'd had before, the aroma and palate was like buttery brioche dough,  a deep toasted tuile biscuit note, and a that clean floral tangerine like smell you get from high quality fresh bakers yeast. It was it's almost savoury character that really appealed 

I was wondering if you could recommend any Champagnes that are little bit more dynamic and interesting.  I wholeheartedly respect Champagnes that are super clean and accurate, however are there Champagnes you could recommend that may have an aspect of an umami character going on?  I really enjoy gastronomic products or experiences where you have something that is defined in its perfection, by a very slight imperfection,   A little touch of something rotten, that elevates the whole experience to greatness.       It would be great to find Champagne I like, but I often struggle with stuff that is either too cold/clinical or one dimensionally 'perfect'. 

I hope some small part of that made sense.

sorry, have been off air for a while. briefly, i agree very much with those suggesting you are looking at age. try and expand soon. 

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12 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

sorry, have been off air for a while. briefly, i agree very much with those suggesting you are looking at age. try and expand soon. 

Just nice to know you are in the land of the living Ken.   Having had covid, the video above looked very covid-esc to me.   Hope you're feeling better

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3 hours ago, 99call said:

Just nice to know you are in the land of the living Ken.   Having had covid, the video above looked very covid-esc to me.   Hope you're feeling better

much appreciated.

not covid. fully vaxxed and they also tested me. all negative. apparently the lungs have been filling up with blood clots and when shingles came along (what a fun year), i could not do any exercise or anything so it all got blamed on shingles. finally, a couple of weeks ago, the leg/shingles felt as though i could start exercising. and i went straight over the cliff. long story but short version is that i had a call from a mate who is a surgeon - wanted to brag about his latest fishing trip - just after the zoom. as soon as he heard me, he insisted i go immediately to emergency. we did not know what it was then but he knew it was really serious. it literally took me 15 minutes to get down the stairs to meet the ambulance and that was only an hour or two after the zoom, so it was not getting better. if not for his call, i have no doubt you'd have never heard from me again. ambos and docs and hospitals and all have been brilliant. now just a long slow process to get back - was to start with a beach walk this morning but raining. might be back to those stairs. 

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2 minutes ago, Ken Gargett said:

if not for his call, i have no doubt you'd have never heard from me again

And the the good lord also saw fit to introduce you to Rob.   Just goes to prove.  he giveth, and taketh away. 

I'm glad Ken, take care, and don't rush it.     I don't think theres anything that a walk on the beach cant cure.....unless it's in the UK, then you more likely to contract something from either a used nappy, or a hyperdermic. 

Best, Stefan

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