The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2017

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Page 30 of 128

30  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2017 The Ransom Note is a monthly column by The Tasting Panel's East Coast Editor, David Ransom. Each month, David connects readers with some of the people, products and events that are making news along the Eastern Seaboard. F all is upon us, and my thoughts and palate are slowly weaning themselves off this year's "Summer of Rosé" to focus on other wines—like Champagne! In preparation for this, I had the opportunity to do some reconnaissance (because summer is Champagne season, too) and find some new and interesting bubblies to celebrate the arrival of cooler weather and the upcom- ing holidays. At New York City's Corkbuzz, I attended a seminar and tasting focused on Champagnes based on the Meunier grape (Pinot Meunier's new name). It was hosted by the Meunier Institut, a group of eight grower-producers formed in 2015 to champion (and elevate) the status of Champagne's second-most-planted yet "under-discov- ered" grape variety, which is traditionally utilized in the region as a blending accompaniment to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This tasting showed Meunier can make quite interesting wines in its own right, and, while long thought not to age well, can in fact age for years and even decades when placed in the right hands. Producers included Roger Barnier, A & J Demière, André Heucq, Roger-Constant Lemaire, Météyer Père & Fils, Moutardier, Serveaux Fils and Eric Taillet. (Various importers.) Next, at a small dinner in the New York's East Village, I had the pleasure of getting to know the wonderful wines of Champagne Tribaut-Schloesser, a family-owned Champagne house with vineyards throughout Roméry, Cormoyeux, Fleury-La-Rivière and Aÿ. Founded in 1929 when René Schloesser emigrated to Champagne from Luxembourg and now run by fourth-generation family members, Tribaut-Schloesser makes a full range of styles, both vintage and non-vintage. (Importer: Partners Wine Marketing Group; Lastly, I attended the James Beard Foundation's annual Chefs & Champagne event at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in the Hamptons. Now in its 27th year, Chefs & Champagne serves as a fundraiser for the culinary-focused foundation, and 1,200 thirsty revelers attended to toast honoree Chef Marcus Samuelsson. The exclusive Champagne sponsor for 2017 was Champagne Barons de Rothschild, and the Brut and Rosé were flowing freely. (Importer: Esprit du Vin Fine Wine Merchants; The lineup of wines at the Meunier Institut event. Bubbles for Late Summer and Fall by David Ransom Susan-Anne Cosgrove of Esprit du Vin Fine Wine Merchants and James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro with The Connected Table's Melanie Young and The Tasting Panel's East Coast Editor David Ransom at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Chefs & Champagne fundraiser. PHOTO: MARK VON HOLDEN/INVISION FOR JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION PHOTO: DAVID RANSOM

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