I don't know why I don't drink more Champagne. Maybe because it's so fucking expensive? This bottle was 35$ at K&L, and I could spend this much on bottles of wine every night if I wanted to, but I think that misses the point. There are a lot of sub-20$ wines that I am extremely satisfied with. Unfortunately, none of them happen to be Champagne (although the Costco Champagne is pretty good) and it's only 20$ ie dirt cheap). One other thing that I should note is that I know relatively little about Champagne. Ironically, I have had some of the "big guns" of Champagne, where I haven't had many of the "big guns" of red or white wine. There was a bottle of 1990 Pol Roger that I had that was pretty extraordinary (at least to me), as well as a bottle of 1996 and 1998 Dom Perignon. The 1990 Pol Roger, well, thank god that was something I didn't have to pay for (sometimes work can be cool, I guess); it was pretty fantastic. I don't know if I would have been quite as entertained with it if I had to pay for it. The same is true of Dom Perignon--gifts. I don't know that I willingly would have forked out 100$ for a bottle...for that price, you might as well go whole hog and get a bottle of fucking Krug for another c-note (shit, maybe I'll take my own advice soon and be less boring and predictable). I think Champagne, at least to an extent with the big houses, is about conspicuos consumption. But with that said, I would like to learn more about Champagne, and there is something that is inherently festive and fun about drinking Champagne. Which is why I popped the cork on this on a Wednesday night--just to be festive. (Note to self: don't open Champagne with Sarah, because she will only have one glass, leaving you to finish 75% of the bottle. Too much for one night.)
When I popped the cork and poured a glass, the first thing that I noticed were actually a little yeast and apple on the nose. At this point, I was sort of asking myself what the fuck was going on because this is a rose Champagne. Of course, after a little bit, that blew off to reveal a lot of red fruit (strawberry, raspberry, cherry) and hazelnuts lingering in the background. When I looked for some more information, I found out that this wine is 65% Chardonnay and 35% Pinot Noir, which, at least to me, explains that "apple thing" at the beginning. Aged on the lees in the bottle for two years as well. Anyways, there is something about Champagne that makes it graceful. Comparing to the South American sparkler that I had last week probably isn't fair for either wine, but let's just say that I see why people are willing to pay a whole lot more for Champagne...because it's pretty fucking obvious which wine is better. Although this isn't the lemony, citrusy, toasty style, and is instead somewhat fruitier and less savoury, this wine has all the same grace and poise. The bubbles themselves are luxurious and persistent, and of course, really augment salty food. Which in this case, happened to be popcorn I made on the stove (Yep, I'm a freak and am one of 7% of Americans that doesn't own a microwave. I guarantee my popcorn is better than your microwave shit.). I enjoyed this; I think it's a bit pricey within the context of all wine, but within the context of Champagne, it's cheap. Definitely enjoyable. B/B+
UDPATE: Sarah and I drank another bottle of this on 8/19 with a different disgorgement date--December 2009. Very similar, with obvious hazelnut and berry notes coming through. It could be my memory deceiving me, or it could be very real, but the 12/09 disgorgement seemed to be more concentrated, complex and more well made. All together, it seemed to be a better bottle of wine than the first one. Still on the pricey side at 35$, but worth a try.