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Korbel Cellars, Millennium Commemorative Cuvee - Printable Version

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- Bucko - 08-24-1999 08:12 PM

Korbel Champagne Cellars, Millennium Commemorative Cuvee, $18, 30,000 cases. Light gold with medium bubbles, apple fruit with berry nuances, made in an off-dry style. Okay wine for what it is, a competitively priced CA Sparkler. I'll be sucking back the real stuff myself on New Year's, and yes, I am admittedly biased to French Champagne. No, I am not a snob -- the Korbel was drained to the last drop.

Bucko


- Jerry D Mead - 08-25-1999 02:53 AM

Thornton has a NV Millenium Cuvee ($35) which is mostly 1993 vintage...had 6 years en tirage...and is very toasty and French in style...Thornton is in Temecula...not widely distributed.


- Thomas - 08-25-1999 07:27 AM

I was informed by an informed gentleman that the word Millennium as it applies on wine or sparkling wine labels was trademarked by some sneaky outfit in Ca.; so, anyone using it can be in for a law suit.

Anyone else heard of this?


- Randy Caparoso - 08-26-1999 10:39 PM

Haven't heard of it.

But regarding the Korbel: When I think of it, I haven't had a bottle of Korbel anything (Brut, Blanc de Noirs, Natural, and even still Chardonnay!) lately that wasn't good to the last drop. What a super, underrated (at least insofar as the establishment wine press) producer!

[This message has been edited by Randy Caparoso (edited 08-26-99).]


- Jerry D Mead - 08-27-1999 02:49 AM

Randy...If you want a real treat, have someone get you a bottle of Korbel Rouge...a great Thanksgiving wine. Pinot Noir based (I think there's a little Cab in the blend too) and dosage at the high end of the Brut range (or low end of Extra Dry?)...which makes it not too sweet for food and it works well with the bird and the cranberry relish and the sage dressing. Available...but not widely distributed sue to lack of demand. Always available at the winery.


- Randy Caparoso - 08-28-1999 03:42 AM

Tried it, and yes, it's delicious. Bubbling crude (as, I think, Jed Clampett would put it), but delicious!


- glenora - 08-28-1999 06:53 AM

"I was informed by an informed gentleman that the word Millennium as it applies on wine or sparkling wine labels was trademarked by some sneaky outfit in Ca.; so, anyone using it can be in for a law suit."

Foodie---have heard the same thing and was presented with some documents that seemed to indicate that this was/is true. I will comb my files to see if I find out more detail.

Gene


- Randy Caparoso - 08-28-1999 04:49 PM

Hope not! Even for our restaurants, we've bottled and labeled a 1991 Roy's Millennium Late Disgorged Blanc de Blancs. Absolutely no one in our circles have mentioned a problem.


- tomstevenson - 08-31-1999 02:43 PM

I have been accused of being diplomatically generous in awarding Korbel 68 points in my Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine and I have a certain sympathy with my critics on this one. However, I agree with Curmy about the Korbel Rouge (which is indeed a blend of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon) being the best of the bunch. In fact, when I visited Korbel in April, I suggested they enter it in the International Wine Challenge at London. To be frank, Korbel would not be expected to win any commendations, let alone medals, in UK competitions, but the IWC gets an increasing number of red Australian fizz, most of which is of this sweetness level and it would be interesting to see how Korbel Rouge performs under blind conditions amongst these wines, which have a great cult following.

The Commemorative Cuvee (70% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir, 5% Meunier from 1995 & 1996) is not bad, with more pineapple and melon when I tasted it. The Grand Brut and Brut Rose are both acceptable, but the 1993 Le Premier ranks as one of the worst sparkling wines I have ever tasted. I could not get it past my nose: my body refused it entry!

As for Foodie's story about Millennium being trademarked, somebody called Dave West claims to have registered Millennium with the CIVC (Champagne authorities), but after a number of Champagnes using the term appeared on a variety of drinks on UK shelves, one of the large spirit firm claimed to have registered it as a trademark, but in an announcement published by Harper's Wine & Spirit Gazette this firm magnanimously allowed others to use it free of charge. I have not investigated either claim, but there is now so much stuff about that I doubt anything could be done (either that or the "sneaky" bastard is waiting to rake it in after the Millennium celebrations).


- tomstevenson - 08-31-1999 02:44 PM

I have been accused of being diplomatically generous in awarding Korbel 68 points in my Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine and I have a certain sympathy with my critics on this one. However, I agree with Curmy about the Korbel Rouge (which is indeed a blend of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon) being the best of the bunch. In fact, when I visited Korbel in April, I suggested they enter it in the International Wine Challenge at London. To be frank, Korbel would not be expected to win any commendations, let alone medals, in UK competitions, but the IWC gets an increasing number of red Australian fizz, most of which is of this sweetness level and it would be interesting to see how Korbel Rouge performs under blind conditions amongst these wines, which have a great cult following.

The Commemorative Cuvee (70% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir, 5% Meunier from 1995 & 1996) is not bad, with more pineapple and melon when I tasted it. The Grand Brut and Brut Rose are both acceptable, but the 1993 Le Premier ranks as one of the worst sparkling wines I have ever tasted. I could not get it past my nose: my body refused it entry!

As for Foodie's story about Millennium being trademarked, somebody called Dave West claims to have registered Millennium with the CIVC (Champagne authorities), but after a number of Champagnes using the term appeared on a variety of drinks on UK shelves, one of the large spirit firm claimed to have registered it as a trademark, but in an announcement published by Harper's Wine & Spirit Gazette this firm magnanimously allowed others to use it free of charge. I have not investigated either claim, but there is now so much stuff about that I doubt anything could be done (either that or the "sneaky" bastard is waiting to rake it in after the Millennium celebrations).


- glenora - 09-10-1999 04:24 AM

Regarding the Millennium tradmark issue--from the AVA's 9 September newsletter.

Using the term, "MILLENNIUM"
All wineries should be aware that the term, "Millennium," is
trademarked. Millennium Licensing Corporation, of Tampa, Florida, is the
owner by assignment of all rights in and to the federally registered
trademark Millennium® for wine and alcoholic beverages (class 033) under
the United States Registration No. 1,415,219. Any use of the
Millennium® mark constitutes infringement of their federal trademark
rights. Parties interested in obtaining licensing rights should contact
David H. Hooks, CEO, Millennium Licensing Corporation, (813) 254-0655.


- Thomas - 09-10-1999 07:26 AM

Thought I heard it somewhere, but it is in Florida not California, as I remembered. Nasty little habit of evil capitalists.

Where does this leave all those producers of Millennium wines?


- glenora - 09-11-1999 05:22 AM

I suspect that they are either ignoring it, running for cover, being subjected to threats of royality payments for the use of the word, or perhaps pulling the old Walter S Taylor routine of pulling out the black magic marker!!!