mid-week magnums: large format champagne poured by the glass, 4pm - until we run out
Why drink out of a magnum? Magnums are one and a half liters, twice a standard 750mL bottle. The reason magnum is the ideal format for enjoying your favorite bubble beverage has to do with the relationship between volume and oxidation. Wine corks are watertight but not airtight. They allow for the slow and steady passage of oxygen gas in and out of the bottles which contributes to the ageing of the wine. Magnums have twice the volume of a regular bottle but roughly the same diameter neck, which means that they age slower and more steadily. You can expect greater freshness from older vintages when drinking champagne from a magnum. Additionally, magnums are usually bottled first with the best barrel selection, so you’re likely to find better juice in there from the get go. Cheers!
October 3rd: Drappier Carte d’Or, $19/glass
The Drappier vineyard covers 100 hectares and constitutes the House’s essential trump card. Since 1808 our family has used its skill to select parcels of land which are particularly well exposed and extremely rich in limestone. For the most part they are located around Urville, where Pinot Noir, the predominant grape variety, finds its loveliest expression and allows the production of very elegant, aromatic wines.
The Carte d’Or cuvée is the very expression of the Drappier style. With its very high proportion of Pinot Noir, one is almost tasting a Blanc de Noirs. Champagne with a fine aromatic richness, it opens with aromas of stoned fruits such as white vineyard peach. A spicy hint announces a powerful and complex palate. A vinous Champagne of lovely complexity with a characteristic note of quince jelly.
October 10th: Bérêche et Fils Brut Réserve, $17/glass
Bérêche is one of our favorite grower Champagnes new to the U.S. Racy acidity firms up this rich Champagne, with a honeyed overtone to the well-spiced palate of grilled nut, poached pear, lemon parfait and ripe raspberry. Lacy in texture, with a smoke-tinged finish. Disgorged January 2015. Drink now through 2020.
October 17th: Lanson Black Label Brut, $20/glass
This emblematic wine owes its name to Victor Lanson, who in 1937, wanted to pay tribute to the House’s leading market, Great Britain. The colour black, the symbol of elegance, was a natural choice for this Champagne dominated by Pinot Noir. A combination of 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier, from numerous crus selected by the WInemaker and from almost ten different years. Lanson Black Label is further enhanced by three years resting in the cellar, including 6 months following disgorging, at which point it reached perfect maturation.
Lanson Black Label is a balanced alliance of power and elegance, freshness and complexity. It has the taste of spring and subtle hints of long-lasting honeydew. Notes of ripe and citrus fruits give a sensation of lightness and fullness with a long, fresh finish. Black Label is perfect as an aperitif and a call to celebration.
Today is an extra big Wednesday. We’re pouring wine from a Jeroboam!
October 24th: Roland Champion Grand Cru Brut 2007, $24/glass
Since the 18th century, the Champion family has been growing grapes from father to son and all the harvest has been sold out to negociants. But since four generations, the family has been producing its own champagne. The history of the family started with André Champion in 1929, the year when the brand “Champagne André Champion” was merchandised for the first time. Later on, the founder will increase considerably his vineyard on the terroir of Chouilly, in the famous Côte des Blancs, on the best soils for the renowned Chardonnay grape.
His early death will propel his elder son Roland, 16-year-old at that time, at the head of the family company. Roland took over the family business with courage and dignity and continued to increase the family’s estate. The champagne house is then re-named “Champagne Roland Champion” in 1951.
The descendants of Roland and Jacqueline Champion: François, Vincent and Clara as well as their children Carole, Ambroise, Clémence, Astrid and Félix represent this family inheritance today. François is henceforth the winemaker of the house. From generations the Champion family has been proud to make you share its passion for champagnes that offer character and prestige to accompany the most memorable moments of your life, just like its founders wished.
Green apple on the nose with undertones of toast and almond. Very developed and complex.
October 31st: Aubry Brut NV, $17/glass
You may be familiar with Champagne’s main grape varieties, pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier. But they’re not the only ones. Aubry’s brut non-vintage bottling also includes the indigenous varieties, Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Fromanteau. See if you can taste them! They lend this wine its signature complexity with notes of pickled ginger and green apple with some smokey mineral overlays.