Spring in San Francisco – Top Champagne Picks
Catherine Fallis Master Sommelier, aka grape goddess®
Find these selections at D&M or at K&L Wine Merchants in San Francisco
grape goddess® recommends:
– Henriot Brut nv $38, a soft lemony expression with notes of seashell, starfruit, yellow rose and chalk,
– Camille Savés Cuvee Brut Carte Blanche Bouzy nv $60, an aperitif style with notes of golden delicious apple, lemon drop and croissant,
– Diebolt-Vallois Brut Rose nv $66, all strawberry and earth with a long, chalky finish,
– the recently disgorged Marguet Rosé Grand Cru nv $40, a bone dry, austere, piquant and racy Champagne with notes of potpourri, wild strawberry, sassafras and hot black sand,
– the oxidative and bold Bernard Torbray Extra Brut $45, with strong, savory notes of curry, tar, Vernor’s Ginger Ale and toffee and a saline finish,
– the softer, more mainstream Louis Roederer Carte Blanche Extra Dry nv $46, a lovely, refined effort with notes of honey, quince, jasmine tea, lemon rind and chalk, and barely perceptible sugar,
– the incredibly complex Henri Billiot Cuvee Laeticia Brut Grand Cru nv $115, which opens with lemon zest, pear, and tar, continues on with a chalky minerality, and finishes with just a hint of nuttiness and smoke.
In vintage selections, look for
– the 2006 Franck Bonnville Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru $45, a wine of great finesse with apple, pear, musk, seashell, ginger, sandalwood and woodsy notes,
– the 2004 Nicolas Feuillate Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs $45, floral with citrus, pear and toasted almonds,
– the 2002 Moet Grand Vintage Brut $70, aged seven years on its lees and showing nutty, fragrant, floral and citrusy notes and an almost bitter finish,
– the 2002 Pol Roger Brut Rosé $105, a precise, linear wine with notes of wild strawberry, pink rose and white pepper.
In luxury cuvees look for
– the 2002 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs $140, a spectacular, bold, sleek and creamy effort from relatively new Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis,
– the incredibly complex, layered, and toasty 1999 Pommery Cuvee Louise $160 Vranken Pommery N.A., a mature, indulgent wine with notes of lemon curd, honey, ginger, banana pudding, apple pie, sage, and sea spray.
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