Champagne club time again, this time hosted by Nicki with resplendent views of Sorrento to boot. A reduced range of sparkling wines on offer, down to five from the six we had in March, but in line with a reduced number of attendees. It also hadn’t gone unnoticed that the ability to focus was inversely correlated to the sparkling consumed!
A similar format to last time with one Rose, one Cremant, a Prosecco and two pukka champagnes from the top champagnes houses. First up the Vetriano Prosecco which was served to guests on arrival. A delicate drop with a fine mousse and deciduous fruits (pear, white peach) on the palate – certainly one of the better Proseccos around and would be perfect for a Bellini cocktail.
Next the cremant, again from Limoux, but this time the L’Eglise Saint Martin. Not as good as the St. Hilaire – length a little short and the yeastiness probably not in balance with the citrus fruit. So definitely one to inflict on Christmas guests that overstay their welcome!
An Australian Rose was third, the excellent Taltarni Brut Tache 2011. Creamy texture, nicely balanced and the dosage of pinot noir (giving it that sublime salmon colour) also added subtle strawberry and rose petal aromatics. At around $17 a bottle this should be a stocking filler!
Finally two champagnes from the houses of Belle Epoque and Cristal – although sadly neither champagne was within budget. The Perrier Jouet Grand Brut was an excellent expression of a “red dominant” champagne (only 20% chardonnay) – floral and fruity fragrances with notes of vanilla and butter, and citrus, peach and apple on the palate.
However, to my palate the final champagne of the day, the Louis Roederer Brut Premier, was the pick of the bunch. This one just had the edge when it came to balance – some vegetal bouquet with mouth puckering acid and apple on the palate. A fine mousse and evidence of aging (honey and butterscotch) round this one off as arguably one of the best non-vintage French champagnes under $70.