I enjoyed a wonderful bottle of Champagne with some friends over the weekend. It was a small producer, non vintage brut. I was happy because I was able to open the bottle without wasting a single drop.
Champagne Gardet Cuvee Foudres Selected Reserve, $44.95. The producer ages it for 2 years in barrel, and then another 3 years on the lees, for its secondary fermentation. This longer aging gives it more character, which is quite noticeable. This is a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier.
I love drinking sparkling wines in regular tulip-shape wine glasses. I find it expresses and opens up the wine much better than a flute. A flute is nice to look at but..........it's what happens in the nose and mouth that counts. This wine was so, so yeasty on the nose. Lots of citrus, yeast, toasted breads on the nose. Nice acidity on the finish, maybe we should revisit this wine with some more bottle age. But very delicious, extremely unique and very, very rich.
I really want to start exploring these smaller Champagne producers. I think they produce wine that is much better than the luxury brands. I just don't see how Veuve Clicquot can justify charging $80 for a bottle. I just can't see it.