Ferry Plaza Building, San Francisco, California
Tasted Monday, September 28, 2009 by Richard Jennings with 807 views
This has been a great annual event for about five years, I believe. I've been attending for the past three. The event is underwritten by Moet Hennessy USA, and the Champagne producers represented donate the bottles for this tasting. One great aspect of the tasting is that you pour your own samples (with the exception this year of the vintage Rosés, since there were fewer samples of those, which were poured for us by Peter Marks, MW). There were more producers represented this year than the past two years (and more attendees too), and I was able to sample 91 different Champagnes in the three-hour period of the tasting. I found the non vintage Champagnes to be significantly better than last year, and somewhat better even than in '07, so this looks like an excellent year to buy non-vintage Champagne. The rosés, in particular, were very strong. Most of the vintage Champagnes were at least as good as prior years, although I was a little underwhelmed by a couple of the 2000s I tasted.
The producers that most impressed me with what I tasted at this event were Delbeck, Drappier, Charles Heidsieck (as always), Henriot, Krug (of course), Lanson, Bruno Paillard, Pol Roger, Ruinart, Taittinger (much more than in years past), and Vilmart. My WOTT was the '98 Dom Perignon Rosé. Also very fine were the Krug Grande Cuvee, the '97 Lanson Gold Label Brut, the 2000 Pol Roger Brut Rosé, the '98 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, the '03 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé Brut, the '98 La Grande Dame and the 2000 Vilmart Coeur de Cuvee. In general, the tasting left me very excited about the Champagnes available this year, much more so than for the last two years.