It’s hard to believe another year is coming to a close! As we get ready to welcome 2012, I can’t help but think back to all the delicious champagnes and sparkling wines I’ve enjoyed this year.
Here’s some of the bubbly that I’d love to taste one more time as the calendar changes:
NV Vouette et SorbÃ©e SaignÃ©e de SorbÃ©e
I heard about this grower champagne house in the Aube from both Christine Dufault and Rajat Parr while interviewing them for a story this year. I was thrilled to get to taste the range at the Arlequin Champagne Tasting. Each of the wines had a singular quality; the Blanc de Argile is extremely lean and austere, while the SaignÃ©e de SorbÃ©e is a bold wine, extra-brut with flavors of plum, strawberry, minerals and smoke. About $88.
NV Champagne Lanson Black Label
I first tasted Champagne Lanson at the Grand Champagne Tasting at the Fairmont Hotel this spring, and rediscovered it again this winter after meeting Lanson Managing Director Paul Beavis. I love the way Lanson Black Label has a bright and fresh quality mixed with an edge of toastiness that to me says fine champagne. According to Beavis, the difference is that Lanson is made without malolactic fermentation, so the acids in the champagne stay bright and crisp, like a green apple. About $40
NV Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs
I love blanc de noirsÂ – sparkling wines made from a mix of pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes – for the way they showcase the flavors of those red grapes. This style is extremely food-friendly as well, working with richly flavored dishes like salmon, pork or lamb. Every time I taste the Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs, it delights me with hints of strawberry, baked apple and white flowers.Â About $14.
Schramsberg 2008 Blanc de Blancs
Jack and Jamie Davies’ Schramsberg was the first U.S. winery to make a mÃ©thode champenoise blanc de blancs, which is crafted from chardonnay grapes. It’s still one of the best, with a 2008 vintage that’s vibrant with flavors of citrus balanced by a richness from two years on the yeast. This wine became internationally known in 1972 when then President Nixon served it at Toast for Peace in Beijing, China. About $25.
NV Krug Grande CuvÃ©e
With its blend of youthfulness and age, simplicity and complexity, each time I taste Krug Grande CuvÃ©e, it inspires me. A tasting at the Hotel Vitale was even more memorable by the opportunity to meet the charming Maggie Henriquez, CEO and President of Champagne Krug. About $135