The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 22 of 136

22  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2015 NYCSips Proving that you can get a kick out of Champagne with almost anything, Bruno Paillard, from the eponymously named house, poured bottles from his current vintage, expertly matching them with plates from Sushi Samba, which most New Yorkers know as the cocktail den of the Sex and the City quartet. Paillard started his Reims estate in 1981 with "no vineyard, no plantings, just an old car." Today, he manages 89 plots in 14 different crus, with 60 percent of his grapes sourced from his own estate—a rare thing in Champagne. Calling himself a former hippie (the most dapper convert we've ever met), he farms as organically as possible, leaning toward the biody- namic teachings of Steiner. That earthy reveal caused us to think maybe there is a tree-hugger behind brass buttons, after all. Élodie Marion, winemaker for Champagne Marion-Bosser, a family- run estate near Épernay, toured the East Coast with her new importer, Loubaton Imports. Marion, who trained in Beaune and Chablis ("I like chilly places" she says), returned to the family estate to work with her mother in La Vallée de la Marne, Champagne's exclusively Premier Cru appella- tion. The winemaker's 90-plus-point sparklers (Extra Brut Blanc de Blanc and Brut Tradition) boast expressive brioche and nutty layers, while the tart Brut Rosé delivers crisp red fruits. The elegant Blanc de Blanc may be her signature wine, but Marion makes room for rosé—a summertime best- seller—calling it "fun and a fashion." The winemaker does not, however, give into that other current fashion—zero dosage—saying "it's good but not our style. It's difficult for everyone to drink without any sugar at all." Sparkling Holidays by Lana Bortolot Cristina Ziliani of Berlucchi winery. Elodie Marion, winemaker for Champagne Marion-Bosser. We got into the holiday spirit a bit early sipping the samples of sparkling wine producers who made New York their kind of (bubbly) town this fall. Fresh from Columbus Day festivities and a concert with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Cristina Ziliani of Berlucchi winery met us for a lunch- time sampling of the ultra-fresh sparkling wines her father makes in Franciacorta. The pioneering estate put the region on the DOCG map and, as the major producer there, continues to carry the flag for this small appella- tion in Lombardy, in Northern Italy. "It was a long time before the area was understood for quality wine," Ziliani says. Now, producers work in the traditional method, making wines that rival Champagne. Ziliani brought along a Brut and a Rosé and introduced the Satèn Reserve Vintage (typically aged 30 months before dis- gorgement). Ziliani says New Yorkers are catching onto this Italian sparkler. "In one year, things have changed a lot. Something is moving—I saw for the first time at a wine bar they have Franciacortas, whereas last year no one had heard of it." Bruno Paillard, from the eponymously named house.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - December 2015