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Monday 26 December 2011

Article: Champagne for New Years Eve

You have all seen it in the Bond movies when 007 orders a Dom Perignon 1997 with Bolivier Caviar. Some of you are wondering how it taste like and some of you is having the smile on your face because you already had the pleasure of tasting it.

Although what is a good Champagne and which Champagne is the best one? These are quite hard to answere for people. Most people do not know what Champagne truly is and how to find out the quality. There are different classes and vintages but also other rules that could be of interest.

French monks were the first to bottle a sparkling form of wine called Champagne, named after the Champagne region of France.
The method of making -mousse- (another name for bubbles) in a bottle was invented by the efforts of Frere Jean Oudart (1654 – 1742) and Dom Pierre Perignon (1639 – 1715), Benedictine monks and cellarmasters at the respective abbeys of Saint-Pierre aux Monts de Châlons and Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers.

Until medieval times, it was the monks who tended the vines: the wine was blessed and drunk during mass. The wines of Champagne were given a unique destiny when the paths of geography and history crossed. It was Saint Rémi, bishop of Rheims, whilst living in a villa surrounded by vineyards near to the present town of Epérnay, who baptised Clovis when he converted.

The first King of France was anointed with wine from the Champagne region one Christmas evening in 496. Several centuries later, the marriage of Jeanne de Navarre, heiress of Champagne, to the heir to the French throne, later Philip the Fair, linked the destiny of the Lords of Champagne to the crown of France. We will present some Champagne tips in this section for your special occasions:

Duval Leroy Blanc de Chardonnay Millesime Vintage 1996
Grade: 5

This vintage Champagne is one of the proudest products from Duval Leroy. The quality is very elegant and made with exceptional taste. 100% Chardonnay and used with traditional Champenois pressing. The colour is green gold and gives away dried fruits and butter aroma. The taste is very fine with a tight finish.
Nr at Systembolaget: 96541
Cost in Sweden: 469 SEK

Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Vintage 1999
Grade: 4

Here we have a gentle and reserved nose, revealing in a rather tight fashion a little core of honey and toffee. There is freshness and delicacy of fruit, so we believe that there is potential for this to come together in bottle.
Nr at Systembolaget: Closest you can find is the Brut with 87914
Cost in Sweden 1060 SEK 

Bollinger Le Grande Annee Vintage 1999
Grade: 5 

Not only is it enjoyed in the new Bond movie but it is also a brilliant vintage champagne from 1999 with distinctive aromas of coconut and vanilla, with oxidation adding complexity, followed by fresh citrus, oatmeal and honey notes. It's all displayed on a firm, powerful structure that needs time to integrate all the elements with a classy finish. 
Nr at Systembolaget: Closest you can find is 2002 with 7579
Cost in Sweden: 849 SEK

Möet & Chandon Brut Imperial
Grade: 2

This is Champagne is average and not so exciting, too commercial, to massive in production and only focused on branding not on quality. It is about sales not about the best. You can find it in Supermarkets, 7eleven and all small shops. It is something you simply drinks because you have nothing ells to drink. However they are the largest Champagne house in the world and one of the most powerful brands in the beverage industry. Some calls it the supermodel brand with no brains and no content, only for show and exterior.
Nr at Systembolaget: 7518
Cost in Sweden: 354 SEK

Cristal Louis Roederer Vintage 2004
Grade: 4 

Expensive, which is the reason for the grade 4; however the quality is very good. Cristal is usually seen with celebrities in US which are the reason for its status and high market value. With a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend, fruity scent and ripe fruity taste makes the Champagne very enjoyable. This wine is to be enjoyed with food and can be paired with shells or salty seafood. This Champagne has aging capacity of 8-10 years.
Nr at Systembolaget: 92096
Cost in Sweden: 1650 SEK

Western Taste wish you all a Happy New Year!

Written by: Alexander Yü

See also the article about Champagne written by Sofie Yü

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