Toronto Wine Cru - WineSpectator Off-Line Event - Champagne OL

La Palette (French Bistro)

Tasted February 13, 2014 by Jhcwine with 326 views

Introduction

January 31, 2014. Attended by Jhcwine, Robert_Sutherland, VinCentric and Sunnylea57. Jhcwine organized the event. Robert was the resident Champers expert. VinCentric found the restaurant and Sunnylea57 added his sunny personality. A wonderful evening. Learned a tad more about Champagne and began to develop some taste preferences.

Flight 1 - 1998 Pol Roger & 2002 Taittinger (2 notes)

Enjoyed with excellent horse and beef tartars and oysters.

White - Sparkling
1998 Pol Roger Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill France, Champagne
93 points
Tasted at WS TWC OL. I brought the wine. Nose - not much on initial opening. Abit of bread (toasted brioche), quite fresh. Could still use afew years. Palate - Clearly a pinot based Champagne. Developed some sherry notes as it sat in glass. This was the Champagne of the night for me, preferable to the Taittinger. I found it to have more complexity and interest than the other Champers.
White - Sparkling
2002 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne France, Champagne
93 points
Nose - Definitely chardonnay based. Palate - Much more effervescence that the 1998 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill tasted along side it. Initially very light, but the wine opened up and developed fruit over the evenning. Improved over the evening, from an initial 92 to a 93. But not a 94 in my view. And not a Salon, or so I'm told.
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Flight 2 - 2005 Drappier and Bruno Paillard (2 notes)

Enjoyed with individual main courses.

Rosé - Sparkling
2005 Drappier Champagne Grande Sendrée Rosé France, Champagne
91 points
Nose - None at all, initially. Palate - very young and fresh. A clear pinot taste. A tad more interest than the NV Bruno Paillard tasted along side it.
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Bruno Paillard Champagne Rosé Brut Première Cuvée France, Champagne
90 points
Nose - not much initially. Palette - also quite young and fresh. Quite lemony.

Flight 3 - Sauterne Flight (1 note)

White - Sweet/Dessert
2007 Château de Myrat France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
91 points
An enjoyable sauterne, but lacks finesse. Quite young at this stage. Needs another 5 years. However, I do not think this wine will improve to beyond a 92 or 93 at most. There are better.

Closing

Yet another most enjoyable OL, with good conversation, fine food (thanks for the La Palette recommendation, VinC) and fine Champagne. Great to see Sunnylea57, Rob_Sutherland and VinCentric again.

Having tasted another four Champers, and thanks to Robs guidance, I am beginning (albeit barely) to understand Champagne and develop some misplaced preferences.

The 1998 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill started quite fresh, with bread (brioche) notes, but developed sherry notes in the glass. When compared to the Taittinger, one could clearly tell it was a pinot based Champagne.

The 2002 Taittinger Brut Blanc de Blanc had a definite Chardonnay nose, with a much lighter and more effervescent palate than the Pol Roger. However, it developed fruit in the glass over the course of the evening.

The 2005 Drappier Grand Sandree Rose was quite young and fresh, with obvious pinot notes in the palate.

The Bruno Paillard Rose Brut was also quite fresh and lemony, and remained so in glass.

For my taste, I liked the greater complexity of the Pol Roger, imparted by its age. However, I am beginning to lean towards chardonnay rather than pinot based Champagne, but that could well change. I initially found the Taittinger too light and fresh. However, once the fruit opened up, I liked it as much as the Pol Roger. My personal WOTN was the Pol Roger, followed closely by the Taittinger.

Based upon Rob's advise, what I am keen to try next is a Salon, perhaps a 1996. As Rob puts it, "its like a Montrachet with bubbles".

So, on with the Champagne adventure. Thanks for a great evening, VinC, Sunnyle57 and Rob.

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