In 2005 we broke our tasting into two different sessions. In the first session - this one - we focussed on French Champagnes only. In the second one, we tried out Californian and Spanish sparkling wines. In each tasting, we first tried each wine without any food, water, or crackers. Then once all the tasting was done through, we introduced Champagne-friendly foods, cheeses and desserts. We experimented with how the wine was enhanced with the appropriate foods.
This began with large bubbles that vanished quickly. It's mostly chardonnay and pinot noir, with a nice combination of flavors - pear, honeysuckle, citrus, pear and buttery flavors. It went very well with a variety of food types. This was by far the favorite of the evening. Price - 20s.
This was extremely bubbly, and had some of the best bubbles of the evening. It's made from 1/3rd each of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It's created from over 30 base wines, and ages for 3 years to maturity. It ends up with 12% alcohol. This was the second favorite wine of the evening. It had a tart, cirtus flavor with creamy flavors of tangerine. It went especially well with pate. Price - 20s.
Big bubbles that vanish quickly. The flavor is tartish, with pear, apple, and a toasty yeast hint. A bit bland. It went extremely well with cheeses. It was less fruity than the Pol Roget. Price - 20s.
Nicholas Feuilette Rose
Gentle bubbles, mostly pinot noir and pinot meunier. The white zin of sparkling wines. Light peach color, fruitier than the Bellefon. Rose aromas.
Mild bubbles, mild aroma, slightly pink. Tiny hint of berry flavor and creaminess. Very mild in general. Price - 40s.
This wine is mostly pinot noir and pinot meunier. The bubbles are tiny, and the flavor is sort of off-yeasty. The aroma was a bit off. When we tried it with food, one comment was "less icky than it was before". Not a favorite. Price - 20s.
The Basics of Champagne
Methode Champenoise - How Champagne is Made
Champagne Pairings and Reviews
Champagne History and Information