Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not Your Usual Halloween Party...

I saw the ad for LearnAboutWine's Vintage Champagne event on Halloween, and thought it sounded wonderful. Then I looked at the price of the ticket (x2, because I would never go to an event like this without JD) and thought better of it.

Imagine my surprise and delight when Ian emailed me and asked if we wanted to participate (and work, of course. You know we work for wine!).  I replied "YES" and then Ian threw in the kicker - He needed me to research all the wines so I could talk about them. I knew Ian would know all the technical stuff about the wines, so I looked for interesting facts and stories. It made for a great combination, especially with Ian as Elvis in a white jumpsuit - with a cape!!

An amazing & delicious group of bubbles!

Wines of the evening: 

NV Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Blue Top Brut ($30) - A perfectly acceptable Champagne, reasonably priced, crisp, clean. And Ian sabered the cork to great effect. That's Ian (right), as Elvis, sabering the wine.

NV Tarlant "Discobitch" Brut ($80) - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier - 33.3333333333334% of each. All grapes from the 2005 vintage and made into a special wine named for a French rock band called...Discobitch. Rhinestones on the label added to the charm - along with Ian putting the YouTube video on the big screen.

NV Camille Savès, Brut Rose ($80) - Beautiful salmon color, fruity, flinty, fresh.

NV Billecart-Salmon, Brut Rose ($80) - Oh yeah. Just lovely. Gorgeous salmon color (nothing to do with the name), strawberry nose. Really liked this wine.

NV J.L. Vergnon, Grand Cru ($40) - distinctive yeasty aromas of Chardonnay from Le Mensil in the Cotes de Blancs with fresh, biscuit and brioche flavors

2002 Vilmart, Premier Cru, Grand Cellier D'Or ($80) - 80% Chardonnay/20% Pinot Noir. - Spicy floral citrus in the nose, medium bodied mouth feel full of vanilla, baking spices, and peaches.

QV Armand de Brignac “Ace of Spades” ($300) - Gorgeous packaging, and the contents lived up to the hype. (See gold bottle, below right.)

NV Jacques Selosse "Initial" Brut ($200) - My tasting notes say 'OOH'. 'Nuff said!

1999 Dom Perignon ($150) - As always, fresh, crisp. I'm not a big Dom fan, but I wouldn't say no to this wine.

1993 Veuve Clicquot, La Grand Dame ($150) - This was my fave of the night. Deep yellow-gold in color. The silky, full palate had rich notes of honey and vanilla custard. The finish is long and smooth. Floral notes on the nose; not much fruit at first. As it opened, vanilla and nougat and pecan came forward. Finish was persistent and clean, with mineral notes adding substance to this noble wine.

1996 Nicolas Feuillatte, Cuvee Palmes D'Or ($240 value) - Lovely, lovely wine. Did I mention I have a birthday coming up?

2000 Roederer "Cristal" ($300 value) - What can one say? Yummy, yet not my favorite of the evening.

All in all, it was certainly one of the most interesting Halloweens I've spent. Great wines, great company!


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