The SOMM Journal

December 2014/January 2015

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Page 52 of 119

{ }  53 POP QUIZ: Putting Bubbly to the Test Côté Mas St. Hilaire NV Crémant de Limoux Rose, Languedoc ($17) "Brisk, clean and precise," it impressed with its bright berries, floral aromatics, minerality and roundness. Thibaut-Janisson NV Blanc de Chardonnay, Monticello ($35) Spicy and a "fuzzy" character (think Pisco Sour egg white) dominated this méthode tradition - nelle wine from Virginia. Though well made, it lacked acid to hold the upfront flavors. Gran Gesta NV Cava Brut Reserva Covides, Penedès ($14.99) Intense can- died notes (Jolly Rancher, "Grandma's candy dish") and a lack of energy hobbled this Cava. The rich peach profile made it a candidate for Bellinis. Dr. Deinhard 2012 Riesling Sekt Extra Brut, Pfalz ($29) Peaches were mar- ried with a citrus beverage-like character (Fanta, Tang) with some slight bitterness like grapefruit or under ripe fruit. Dirler-Cadé 2010 Crémant d'Alsace Brut, Alsace ($22) Lemon and yeasty, this wine was more about savory flavors (chocolate, coffee) than fruit-forwardness. Louis Roederer 2006 Brut Nature, Champagne ($89) The austere profile of this zero-dosage wine masked most of the predicted flavors. A mix of mineral, lemon sugar cookie, some bitterness on the finish. J-P Lamiable NV Brut Grand Cru, Champagne (Tours-sur-Marne) ($60) Full of richness on the nose and palate: marzipan, graham cracker, nutty and buttery, custardy. Pascal Doquet 2004 Premier Cru, Champagne (Vertus) ($100) High-toned and well made. Layers or bright and creamed apple, brioche, tangerine, marzipan. Round, generous and structured. Pierre Paillard NV Brut Grand Cru, Champagne (Bouzy) ($39.99) Rustic, round and yeasty, with tart and baked apples. Satisfying, despite its "shy palate." Pol Roger Brut Reserve White Foil NV, Champagne ($60) More crowd- pleasing than having a "wow factor"; a fair introduction wine from a big house. Laurent Perrier NV Grand Siècle, Champagne ($175) Tasters felt a discon - nect between the nose (spicy and smoky) and unfocused palate. J. J. Vincent NV Crémant de Bourgogne, Burgundy ($25) Garlic, toast, smoked meats character on the nose were more robust than the palate. Laurent Perrier 2004 Brut Millésimé Champagne ($65) Well balanced, sulphur-dominant nose, with some savory notes. With thanks to Benson Marketing, David Bowler, Robert Kacher Selections, Maisons Marques & Domaines, Palm Bay International, Doug Polaner Selections, Frederick Wildman & Sons, Wines of Germany and Teuwen Communications. Our host and team captain, Mike Madrigale, Head Sommelier at Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud. Christophe Mignon NV Blanc de Noirs Pur Meunier Brut Nature, Champagne ($53) The highest-rated, this was praised for its laser- sharpness ("liquid swords") with apple and earthy smokiness. Serve with crudo or oysters. Ferrari 2007 Perlé, Trentino ($41.99) Tropical, mouthwatering and complex with smoky, reduc - tive and saline characters. "Tremendous" introduction to sparkling. Pol Roger 2004 Blanc de Blanc, Champagne ($140) Well-developed biscuit character, vanilla creami - ness but showing fresh acid, "a dance back and forth between high dosage and acid." BEST IN SHOW

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