New Years Day: Vrai Champagne, Fourth Annual Edition

Brad & Marcia's Place, St. Paul, MN

Tasted January 1, 2020 by rocknroller with 39 views

Introduction

This was the fourth annual New Year's Day Champagne event hosted by Brad and Marcia. Always a highlight of the holiday celebrations. We had around 30 people this year. There's a bottle of "vrai" Champagne from everyone and a dish to share. The food is always fantastic and we just graze all afternoon. And of course there's the Champagne: three stations are set up with one each for N/V, Vintage, and Rose. If you can't find a Champagne you like, you don't like Champagne.

This is a social and culinary blast, so there are not much to my notes, as they are more random thoughts and impressions - your mileage may vary. But nonetheless, here we go....

Flight 1 (23 notes)

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Ruinart Champagne Brut Rosé France, Champagne
90 points
Pale pink color. Small pour. Strawberry fruit, light, cream: I liked it, but some were underwhelmed. 90+ to 91pts.
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé France, Champagne
91 points
Light pink color. Small pour. Can't remember the last time I had this. Very good, red fruits, strawberry, ripe, light and delicate style, just a little sweetness. Tasty. I preferred the '08 vintage rose, but others thought this was better.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Hugues Godmé Champagne Grand Cru Rosé France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
92 points
Medium copper red color. Drank a glass over 20 minutes. 65PN, 35C. Nicely dry and mineral driven, red fruits, chalk, the pinot fruit shines, very precise.
Rosé - Sparkling
2008 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé Vintage France, Champagne
92 points
Light pink color. Small pour. Very fresh and lively. Good balance of power and grace. I thought this was impressive and clearly better than the NV, but a few thought the reverse. 92+(+)pts.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
N.V. Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Réserve France, Champagne
flawed
Deep yellow color. This bottle had the old B-S label on it. IT was OLD - and VERY TIRED.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Montaudon Champagne Brut France, Champagne
90 points
Small glass. Wow, haven't had this in 5 years. Very consistent with that note though. Green fruits, ginger, yeast.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2008 José Michel & Fils Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut France, Champagne
89 points
Small glass. Apple, chalk, somewhat bitter, apple peel, sour citrus.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Henriot Champagne Brut Souverain France, Champagne
91 points
Small taste. Mild toast, pear, dough, mineral. Very solid again. 91+pts.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Bérêche et Fils Champagne Brut Réserve France, Champagne
92 points
Small pour. Just another super bottle of this, great energy, focus and balance.
White - Sparkling
N.V. R. & L. Legras Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
Had this a week ago too, maybe a bit better bottle. Only had a small taste though and solid as usual. 90pts.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
N.V. Marc Hébrart Champagne Premier Cru "Cuvee de Reserve" France, Champagne
90 points
Small taste. Tart green apple, chalky, good. Still prefer the Bdb by a god margin.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Françoise Bedel Champagne Origin' elle France, Champagne
89 points
Small taste. No notes, a little more angular.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Pommery Champagne Brut Royal France, Champagne
91 points
Small glass late in the party. Maybe it wa the all the Champagnes talking, but I was pretty impressed by this wine; very toasted, pear, lemon, pastry dough.91+pts.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. H. Billiot Fils Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
90 points
Small taste. No notes, good, red fruits.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Charles Mignon Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Comte de Marne France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
90 points
Small pour. Consistent with my last bottle in October. Yeast, citrus, lemon, a bit of grapefruit.
White - Sparkling
2012 Vazart-Coquart Champagne Grand Cru Grand Bouquet France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
91 points
Small glass. Well, I liked this infinitely more than the last bottle. This was much brighter.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Marc Hébrart Champagne Premier Cru Brut Rosé France, Champagne
90 points
Small taste. More chalk, strawberry chiffon, citrus, citrus pith. Struck me as slightly bitter on the back end, but didn't have much either. Usually a big fan of this.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Benoit Dehu Champagne Initiation France, Champagne
92 points
Another new producer for me. Pinot Meunier (something like 70-80% I think) with the balance Pinot Noir. I was quite taken by this. It is was penetrating, mineral driven but with distinct red fruits and just the slightest hint of pink tinge to the sullen gold color. This is brut nature and you get that sense, but without any lack of balance. I'd seek this out. 92+ or better.
White - Sparkling
2006 Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Grand Cru Vieille Vigne du Levant Extra Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
92 points
Light medium gold color. Pear, filberts, structured and deep, this carries some weight, firm but still round and yeasty. 92+pts.
White - Sparkling
2002 Lanson Champagne Gold Label Brut France, Champagne
93 points
This was the third year in a row that this wine has made an appearance at the New Years Day Champagne Fest. And that is a good thing. This bottle was very energetic. The Lanson style is there with mild oxidative notes, but its complimentary. Very consistent with the bootle last year: mature, golden fruits, mushroom and stone. 92+ to 93ts.
White - Sparkling
N.V. José Michel & Fils Champagne Cuvée du Père Houdart France, Champagne
88 points
Just not my favorite producer. Very few of the JM bottlings seem to appeal to me.
White - Sparkling
2006 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs France, Champagne
95 points
Drank a glass over 20 minutes plus. This was splendid, piercing and powerful and still maintains that finesse.. Autolytic and brioche infused, fresh sae breezes abound, spiced pears, roasted almond, creamy, speedy bubbles, lemon custard, elegant and poised, loved it again. This was so easy as to be dangerous. Wow, wasn't thinking too hard here, but this is easily 95pts or better.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
N.V. Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Cuvée de Réserve France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
92 points
Small pour. Lemon, toast, crisp, nice chalk, bright and focused. Excellent tonight.

Closing

Thanks again to our gracious hosts, Brad and Marcia!!

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