Thursday, December 10, 2009

NV Marguet Pere et Fils Rosé Champagne

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. 

14 comments:

sam klingberg said...

I think it was the '47 Pol Roger vintage that Winston Churchill squirreled away 20,000 bottles to last him the rest of his life, or so I've heard.

I agree though, there are a lot of good sparkling wines, but only one Champagne.

Jeff said...

Yeah, I heard something to that effect as well. They make a Winston Churchill Cuvee too...You're right though--there's something Champagne has that other sparkling wines don't. Thinking back to a fairly nice bottle I had from California earlier in the year (that was rated fairly high), it was obviously different--much riper, rounder, and less elegant.

maulmatt! said...

Have you tried the Gruet sparkling wines from New Mexico? Those are great and only about $15 a bottle.

I'd like to drink more champagne, but it is a little price prohibitive. There are so many other things I will go to first when I'm going to drop $30 plus for a bottle.

Ironically, when I do drink Champagne it's often the high dollar Armand De Brignac in the gold bottle... the company I work for is part owner of the brand... it's actually good stuff (especially when free).

Jeff said...

Nice...sounds like you have the hook-up on that. Gotta love a luxury brand that shared a name with a Motorhead Song...Lemmy drinking Champagne? Hmmm. Doesn't quite fit, but it is funny. And I totally agree with you that the price is prohibitive--if I'm dropping 30-50$ on a bottle of wine, there are a lot of things that I would probably be more interested in, just in general. But I have found my tastes gradually getting whiter and lighter since I was a complete neophyte.

I haven't tried it, but I have heard lots about the Gruet. Next time I see a bottle of that, I think I'll pick it up and try it. Thanks for the suggestion.

CabFrancoPhile said...

I'm getting some Iron Horse sparklers for the holidays. I recall loving their Blanc de Blanc when I tasted it at the winery. Seemed like the best use of 100% Chardonnay possible. It'll be interesting to have a full flute or two, though it ran me about $35.

Is Roederer Brut Anderson Valley decent? Seen those at Costco. Cool climate and French owners might be promising.

Jeff said...

I haven't had the Anderson Valley Brut, but W Blake Gray recently posted about that saying that it was really good. Heard Iron Horse was good too. All the California Sparklers I've had have been either much riper or not as complex as the Champagne I've had.

On another note, you got a lot of clicks on that Graphite Post today. The link that I posted on Twitter had 42 clicks on bit.ly today.

CabFrancoPhile said...
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CabFrancoPhile said...

I'll post how the Iron Horse BdB turns out. I remember it was very dry and pure, though not as austere as their Ultra Brut. Hoping for some yeast and earth, but we'll see. Green Valley is a definite cool climate, great potential.

Will check out W Blake's post.

Thanks for linking to me. Guess I should get on Twitter to self promote my 'personal brand.' I could be the next The Wine Whore! Wow, already set a new record for visits according to analytics, now I know why. Thanks!

Jeff said...

That was an awesome post. I was against Twitter too...I do think that it is a great way to get information and/or network though. Anyways, @lenndevours tweeted that post too (The New York Cork Report). Funny you bring up the Wine Whore...I have a feeling we feel the same way...haha.

Here's a link to the W Blake Gray thing. I like his writing; I don't ever recall reading his stuff when he wrote for the SF Chronicle. http://wblakegray.blogspot.com/2009/12/roederer-estate-go-to-bubbly-from.html

CabFrancoPhile said...

TWW, well, he's a character alright. If a blog gets a lot of samples (Vinography comes to mind), cool. Building a blog solely on trading PR for samples, not cool. Kind of ironic TWW has a post up trashing a magazine for offering wine advice with sexual double entendres when the blog itself has a bawdy title and double entendre sub-title.

Jeff said...

Funny thing to me is that he trades his space for so cheap! It makes him seem desperate to me. I mean really, 20$? How is that worth his time?? Also, just on another note, when I was in college, I had a marketing professor (yes, I got one of THOSE degrees), who also happened to be a romance writer on the side. She was awesome. Basically a super cool, super raunchy, single, 40-ish year old woman. But she constantly talked about how sex was one of the worst ways to sell a product to a wide-reaching audience. Basically, all the studies show, that in general, people remember the ribald parts, and not the context or advertisement contained within.

CabFrancoPhile said...

Well, short term, $20 and free samples is better than nothing. I'm sure he sells a few t-shirts as well. But there's not much substance there, though he's working on it. That's the catch, he started with a clever idea, now he has to have real content. If you develop your palate on samples of random CA wineries, it's gonna be a rough road.

Maybe I'm wrong and he can play the anti-snob card forever, even once he realizes what he actually likes.

Jeff said...

Dude that made me laugh out loud. Seriously. You're right though, I don't think he knows what he likes. We were all there at one point. (Theoretically, at least.) I can remember buying 6 bottles of Thomas Hyland Shiraz from Penfold's because I thought it was so good. Wonder if I would like it now??? I remember lots of blueberry jam. It wasn't until I started shopping at this tiny store called Madison Cellars and started to ask "What's interesting, but not too expensive," that I really started to develop what I liked, as opposed to blindly following points.

maulmatt! said...

@CabFranco, I would totally recommend the Roederer Anderson Valley stuff... I'd like to try the Iron Horse sparklers, I'm planning on visiting there in April.

@Jeff, I'm not sure my higher ups have thought about Lemme as a spokesman but I would be all for it!