Archive for November, 2010

November 2010: Holiday Champagne & Sparkling Wines


What a great line up this year for our annual bubbly tasting.  This year had more Champagne proper than previous years, but notice how well the sparkling wines compared (at sometimes half the price).

Click here to see a short video clip with each member of this month’s tasting panel unveiling his/her favorite!


Jean-Louis Denois NV Brut Blanc de Blanc
(94 points)
Region: Languedoc, France; Varietals: Chardonnay
Retail: $19.99 | Mixed Case $15.99 
Tasting Notes:  Wonderful nose of biscuits, beeswax & apples. Elegant, complex & great acidity. Beautiful apple & pear fruit with some citrus notes. Great, long, tasty finish. Champagne? (Jens’ favorite) Tasting Notes: Lemon curd color! N: beach ball plastic, lemon, hazelnuts. P: full mouth of miniature mousse, meaty flavors with equatorial citrus flavors – starfruit, wonderful acidity & softness at once. (Ken)

Gosset NV Brut Excellence Champagne (93 points)
Region: Champagne, France; Varietals: Chardonnay/Pinot Noir
Retail: $44.99 | Mixed Case $35.99 
Tasting Notes:  Polished brass color. N: buttered nuts, brown butter too, roasted pears. P: big bold pear & apple pie flavors, ginger, pecan sandies cookies, taut acidity & style (Ken’s favorite) Tasting Notes: Color is rich honey with pink due (pale). Nose has shortbread & raw almonds  – on the palate – olive & lemons, soft bubbles. Finish lingers & beckons like a fresh baked apple pie cooling. I like this very much. Comfortable & festive. (Gina)

Graham Beck 2006 Brut Blanc de Blanc (93 points)
Region:  Stellenbosch, South Africa; Varietals: Chardonnay
Retail: $27.99 | Mixed Case $22.39 
Tasting Notes:  Light golden hue. Fresh crisp Fuji apples and white flowery bouquet. White melon and citrus on the palate with a lovely creamy mouthfeel. Long finish of white fruits. (William’s favorite) Tasting Notes: N: Cured meat, jamon?, gingered apples. P: rich caramelized apple flavors, lemongrass, crystallized ginger. (Ken)

Aubry NV Champagne Premier Cru (92 points)
Region: Champagne, France; Varietals: Chardonnay/Pinot Noir
Retail: $44.99 | Mixed Case $35.99 
Tasting Notes:  Absolutely gorgeous color. Fantastic  nose with aromas of biscuit & crème brulée. Super texture & acidity with wonderful flavors of citrus, lime, bosch pears & biscuits again. Long, elegant finish. Should be Champagne. (Jens) Tasting Notes:  Fast rising bubbles … light copper edges. In the nose toast, bread dough & a little nut. Round creamy mid-palate. Bubbles fade on finish. Flavors of peach & strawberry. Has great mousse quality, but finish fades fast. (Gina) Tasting Notes:  Granny Smith apple skins, over ripe peach, honey. Clipped finish. (William)

De Gastinière NV Champagne (92 points)
Region: Champagne, France; Varietals: Chardonnay/Pinot Noir
Retail: $33.99 | Mixed Case $27.19 
Tasting Notes:  Gold, light brass. Developed notes of Brazilian nuts, mature apricots & citrus. Balanced by oxidative notes of almonds and dried honey. (William) Tasting Notes: Golden color with aromas of ripe apples, quince & dried apricots. Great acidity – lots of apple flavors on the mid-palate with some pink grapefruit. Nice finish. (Jens)

Domaine Rosier NV Blanquette de Limoux (92 points)
Region: Languedoc, France; Varietals: Mauzac/Chardonnay
Retail: $27.50 | Mixed Case $22  
Tasting Notes:  Expansive bubbles – crisp with fervor! Nose has light yeast but also floral notes. Bubbles dance all over the palate.  Great mousse quality. Clean finish with perfect amount of toasted nuts. (Gina’s favorite) Tasting Notes: Clean, minerally nose, lemongrass & herbal thyme aromas. P: spiced apples, lemon peel, citrus flavors, lemon/lime. (Ken)

Pierre Ferraud NV Blanc de Blanc (89 points)
Region: Burgundy, France; Varietals: Chardonnay
Retail: $24.99 | Mixed Case $19.99  
Tasting Notes:  Lime, freshly squeezed lemons, with kiwi fruit. Young with terrific potential for nuance. (William) Tasting Notes:  Inviting nose of lime, citrus, white peaches. Very good acidity give this wine a lift. Ripe fruit, mainly apples, with citrus & lime. Very refeshing. (Jens)

Vignerons des Terres Socrétes NV Blanc de Noir Cremant de Bourgogne (89 points)
Region: Burgundy, France; Varietals: Pinot Noir
Retail: $25.99 | Mixed Case $20.79 
Tasting Notes:  Beautiful aromas of fresh grass, pears & melons. Soft, medium-bodied, good acidity with nice flavors of citrus, apples & melons. Nice finish. (Jens)  Tasting Notes:  Pale yellow. Nose has almonds & white flowers. Soft & light fruit. Bubbles are subtle … finish has a little grapefruit citrus. (Gina)

November 2010 Tasting Panel:  Jens Strecker, Gina Gregory, Ken O’Hara, William Woodruff, Catherine Reynolds

The following wines are in-stock or can be ordered at:
Portalis Wine Shop + Wine Bar
5205 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
email: info@portaliswines.com
phone: 206-783-2007

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November 23, 2010 at 10:36 pm Leave a comment


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