Brian's Birthday Surprise (Extra Space Boon Keng, Singapore): This was a big bruiser of a Champagne - not for the fainthearted. The nose had a savoury, oxidative twang to it, with rancio notes of preserved fruit peel and brown pears drizzled with a little honeyed accent. Quite nice if you like the style. In spite of having no dosage, the palate gave an appearance of sweetness on the attack, with a fleshy, fruity, almost caramelised apple tone on the attack, and a little sherry vinegar moreishness on the midpalate. Past that though, and the acid spine of the wine really comes out, pummelling its way into a super-dry finish. A quirky Champagne for sure. Not quite my thing, and tt probably needs a lot more time in the bottle too, but I must say that it was quite decent overall. It might have been better with some oily seafood as well - maybe a cod or salmon dish.
That is great zero dosage Pinot. Very brisky on the palate. Three years on lees, 20% reserve wine. Fairly round on the palate, maybe some odd pent up gas on the palate from the poor stopper. Not bad at $70 or so.
Farewell Dinner for Margaret & Kevin (Chez Patrick Restaurant, 2/F, Garden East, 222 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong): Lively white mousse. Light lemon gold colour. Nose is lemon curd and very dry white chalk with nuances of honeyed brioche in the background. Palate is bone dry, like Fino sherry, with hints of dried star anise on the mid palate and a bone dry finish like Tio Pepe sherry. Overall, austere and steely but but very elegant in a lean-boned way. The "no-dosage" dryness is probably too much to be appealing as an aperitif for most people: it needed the oiliness of the Salmon Rilette starter to really bring it out.
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(NV GRAND RESERVE Brut NATURE Penet-Chard) Champagne
Timing is everything.
One of my new stars of Champagne and the natural wine movement (the good side of the movement) was set to debut in November when everyone has more of an inkling toward celebration and all things Champagne – that’s now impossible thanks to Lisa Perotti-Brown’s front page article on the Parker site. In other words, Penet-Chardonnet’s time is now.
For those of you with a subscription to the Parker site, here’s the URL for the full article: http://www.erobertparker.com/inasia/ia100.asp
In a nutshell, Alexandre Penet is one of those “ah-ha” moment winemakers. He only requires a few moments of your time to convince you that grandeur is just around the corner. I feel fortunate (lucky) to have secured the agency before his new-found publicity.
If you are into the brightest and most natural wines of Champagne, this emerging star of Verzy (and Verzenay) has much to offer with a noticeable and poignant freshness and sense of verve that wraps every wine he produces. You cannot go wrong with any of the choices below - lazy weekend afternoon or the finest occasion. The Diane Claire examples are truly special – they rank as some of the finest new wines to emerge from Champagne since our discovery of Cedric Bouchard when Cedric’s principle goal was the production of small lots of wine to please his inner circle of friends (I think his goals have changed just a bit since then!).
Penet produces Champagne labeled as “NV” but they are mostly vintage wines, as noted in the reviews. All below are from Grand Cru fruit.
All are VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as unique wines that are rare, slightly precious and very hard to come by:
NV Champagne Penet-Chardonnet “Grand Reserve Brut Nature” (Grand Cru) - (this wine is revered as one of the very top Brut Nature bottlings in Champagne – a brilliant and cutting style – this is not the regular Brut Reserve, that is the wine below)
NV (2004) Champagne Penet-Chardonnet “Brut Reserve” (Extra Brut/Grand Cru) - (classic expression here with a wonderful sense of lift and cut throughout)
NV (1999) Champagne Penet-Chardonnet “Cuvee Diane Claire” (Grand Cru) - (This is one of the rarest examples in Champagne - less than 100 bottles for export – not joking)
NV (2002) Champagne Penet-Chardonnet “Cuvee Diane Claire” (Grand Cru) - (will be just as great as the 1999 Diane with time, probably even better – only a few hundred bottles for export)
NV (2004) Champagne Penet-Chardonnet Rose (Grand Cru/Extra Brut) - (If you are a fan of rosé Champagne, you will be very glad to discover this multi-layered and fascinating wine)
To order any of the above: email@example.com
This parcel is set to depart the cave – it will arrive in late October in plenty of time for the holidays (please check OARS for local pick up after October 20th). All will ship during the Fall shipping season (late).
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Jon Rimmerman Garagiste Seattle, WA Champ4470 Champ4471 Champ4472 Champ4473 Champ4474
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