There is nothing quite like sipping on champagne. At Parker Payless Liquors we look forward to bringing you the best France has to offer. At a tasting this last summer I was given a mission: taste through an amazing portfolio of producers and pick the best four wines. Out of twenty-five wines I tasted, these
two champagne houses stood head and shoulders above the rest. Here are my picks for your holiday season.
Grande Reserve Brut
The blend here is 2/3 Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay. This is the original cuvee, and its reserve wine comes from a perpetual cuvee first begun by Edmond Barnuat in 1874 that has been drawn from and replenished every year since. This is history in a glass. Toasty and rich, the mouthfeel has inherent density and depth of fruit that Bouzy offers, while never losing its fine focus and finesse. A tour de force in winemaking! On sale $49.99
Blanc de Noirs, Brut
Quintessence Du Pinot Noir
Winemaker Phillipe Seconde significantly raised the bar when he first made this wine in 1995. There is no other champagne at this price that comes close to this wine in quality. This wine stands shoulder to shoulder with another wine called Egly Ouriet Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru from a single vineyard in Ambonnay and that wine is over double the price. The mouthfeel here is full, powerfully fruity and at once bone dry. A cascade of citrus, toasty brioche and touches of cherry and raspberry with a racy finish that seems to last a minute or longer. This would be great wine with a main course such as salmon, tuna, pork or roast chicken. Mindblowing! On sale $49.99
Cuvee n* 741 Grand Vin
This release of Jacquesson’s seven series champagne is based on the 2013 vintage and its quality will come as a surprise for those guided by vintage reports. The vineyards harvested for this bottling are located in the Cotes des Blancs and in the Grande Vallee de la Marne, largely escaped the difficult rains of nearby zones in champagne. The blend here is Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. The wine shows Jacquesson’s hallmark breadth and complexity of flavor. It is pale yellow in color with citrus peel, floral notes, a smoky nuance and a bright minerality on the very long finish. Only $74.99
Cuvee n* 736 Disgorgement Tardiff
Cuvee 736 is a late disgorged wine that is based on the fantastic 2008 vintage and spent 88 months on its lees. The blend here is 53% Chardonnay, 29% Pinot Noir and 18% Pinot Meunier. This wine is expansive with citrus peel, pear, dried flowers, mint, chamomile and a whiff of smoke that all build to the bright and showy finish. This wine is absolutely stunning and would trounce other wines at five times the price in a double blind tasting. Haute couture in a bottle! Only $124.99
Kudos to the wines of Barnaut and Jacquesson!
Michael S. Rodriguez
Parker Payless Liquors