New Year's fizz
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- Tabby - 08-12-1999 01:12 PM
I was just curious as to what you all will be drinking on New Year's Eve. Have you already got that special bottle(s) tucked away - and if so, what is it?
I have a bottle of non-vintage Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label waiting patiently under the stairs at the moment. Never tasted it before, hope it's a goodun...
- Thomas - 08-12-1999 06:23 PM
The yellow label is ok, but nothing spectacular. I have a Pol Roger and am thinking of adding another producer, but no decision yet. Incidentally, I always have Pol Roger around the house; New Year's is just another day in the cycle of days, when it comes to champagne.
- Bucko - 08-12-1999 08:57 PM
I'm with Foodie here -- the Pol Roger Brut is an amazing value and beats the Clicquot Yellow Label hands down. That said, the Clicquoc Reserve is one of my favorite Champagnes in the $45-50 range. Two small houses that get my dollars are Lasalle and Lanson -- both good value Champagnes. The Lasalle Cuvee Angeline is what I'm opening for the millenium. FWIW.
- Thomas - 08-13-1999 07:57 AM
Sometimes Bucko gets it right...
Lanson is always a good value, too.
- Tabby - 08-13-1999 01:07 PM
I'm distraught that you rate my Yellow Label as being merely "OK"! Maybe I should re-think things. Thanks for your input.
- Randy Caparoso - 08-13-1999 07:54 PM
Wait, wait, wait, wait! Let's not throw the Veuve Clicquot out with the baby and the bath water. Clicquot happens to my personal favorite Champagne house (and when it comes to Champagne, there really are no "bests" -- but there are a lot of "personal favorites," which is what all the other guys are expressing.
In my opinion, for instance, NV Clicquot is a heckuva lot better than the vintaged Bruts from most houses. They have great vineyards, great winemaking, and great distribution (the latter factor accounting for the freshness of their nonvintage cuvees -- as opposed to the deadened quality of a lot of lesser known, less popular houses which end up sitting around in overheated warehouses).
In fact, Tabby, the Yellow Label Clicquot is made in the definitive style for Clicquot -- round, toasty, richly yeasted, and smooth as the literal baby's bottom. More than a few times I've found that I like it better than their pricier vintaged "Gold Label" Brut (depends on the quality of the vintage).
But then again, it's a matter of taste. If you like the Clicquot style, there's a good chance that you'll also like those of Louis Roederer and Bollinger, which are even yeastier, and usually fuller -- although all three house styles could be classified as rich, full and aggressive for French Champagne.
So that's where you have to be careful. Although Pol Roger is a fabulous house, their style is a little lighter, creamier, and (in my mind) somewhat fluffy in comparison with the meatier style of Clicquot. If that's what you like, great. Lanson, I'd describe as a "between" style -- tending to be quite richly yeasted in the nose, but fine and moderately weighted on the palate. Mumm and Moet & Chandon are other examples of this "between" style -- nothing sacrificed for the sake of either pure intensity or pure lightness, just a fine, elegant sense of proportion.
Finally, in my estimation Lasalle is another excellent style. Handcrafted, flavorful Champagnes. Noses that capture terroir and grape complexity within a finely yeasted package. However, I've had bottles (having sold it for many years) that have been rather flat in their wine-iness compared to more conventional styles. So if you like richly flavorful Champagne, go for Lasalle. But don't expect it to have the consistently fresh, exuberant, bubbling, airy fruit quality that you can always depend on finding in, say, a Pol Roger, Mumm or Moet & Chandon.
Re your question on what will I be drinking on the "Millennium" New Year's Eve: We're starting off with a non-Champagne sparkler from South-West France -- a Cremant de Limoux by Domaine Delmas, which has an incredibly fresh, apple cidery yeastiness and lightness. Then we're moving up to a cuvee selected exclusively for our restaurants (finished just this past month with a personally designed dosage) -- a silken, creamy textured, markedly yeasty, dynamically fruited '91 Blanc de Blancs by Iron Horse Ranch & Vineyards in Sonoma's Green Valley. Thirdly, we're going to (you guessed it) a nicely matured '91 Veuve Clicquot Brut. But at that magic moment at the stroke of 12, hopefully it will be either a Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon or Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame. Heck, I'll do both of them, if possible! But seeing that I'm working on that night at the same time (doing a 13 course/13 wine dinner in Honolulu), we'll have to see!
- Tabby - 08-14-1999 07:02 AM
You're a great comforter, you know that Randy? But please, less of the "baby's bottom" descriptive; you've made me feel queasy.
- n144mann - 08-14-1999 07:03 AM
Gee Randy, that sounds like a great way to spend the New Year Eve....well not working, but at your restaurant...can I come??? I'll help pull corks...
- Jerry D Mead - 08-15-1999 01:33 AM
No one has mentioned my favorite...Krug Grand Cuvee...love that wood-influenced heavily black grape base (Meunier & Noir)...It's nicely aged when released, and I like to age it even more.
- Randy Caparoso - 08-15-1999 05:59 PM
Yeah, Curmudgeon! I always forget Krug because I can rarely afford to drink it, and it's absolutely the greatest! Richness doesn't combine with complete elegance much better. Personally, I've always loved the nonvintaged Krug Grande Cuvee more than their vintage Bruts and Clos Mesnil.
I also forgot to mention Taittinger for those who like the slinky, creamy, delicate, seamlessly harmonious, rather feminine style. If this style is for you, Taittinger's "Comtes de Champagne" Blanc de Blancs will send you into delerium. Better than sex? Depends on your private life!
- Randy Caparoso - 08-15-1999 06:00 PM
Nancy -- if you insist... we can always use the extra hands and palates!
- n144mann - 08-16-1999 07:40 AM
Who Knows Randy, I may just take you up on that offer! The celebration you have planned sounds great, and I would love to try your new sparkler. But, I would have to get a new little black dress....OH DARN! <grin>
[This message has been edited by n144mann (edited 08-16-99).]
- Bucko - 08-16-1999 07:31 PM
<< But, I would have to get a new little black dress.... >>
For Randy? I hear he looks pretty good in a hula skirt.........
- Randy Caparoso - 08-17-1999 01:57 AM
Bucko, you've been gone too long. Over here, its a lava-lava.
- n144mann - 08-17-1999 07:39 AM
HMMMMMMMMM Randy in a hula skirt...sorry Randy...couldn't resist that mental picture Bucko, now that is an experience I have not had the pleasure of having, although he does look quite nice in black silk from what I have seen.
About the little black dress for Randy....I would buy him one Bucko, but don't know his size....so I guess I will have to get it for myself, somehow I think it would look better on me anyway.
You don't actually think I would ring in the new millenium in something I have worn before do you Bucko??? Sheesh...MEN!
[This message has been edited by n144mann (edited 08-17-99).]
- n144mann - 08-17-1999 02:37 PM
Not that it is any of your business, but in case you are wondering about the black silk shirt comment, Bucko....the only place I have seen Randy in a black silk shirt was on the old Roy's website.
- Bucko - 08-17-1999 09:13 PM
I'm not EVEN getting involved here.....
- n144mann - 08-18-1999 07:22 AM
A little too late for that Bucko, you are already here! In fact, you brought us here....all I did was mention getting a new new little black dress for a party......
[This message has been edited by n144mann (edited 08-18-99).]
- Thomas - 08-18-1999 07:35 AM
I don't know. Is black ok for New Year's Eve? Sems to me in this over-hyped millennium thing, Nancy, you might want to go with something outrageously different like, say, oh what, orange! You too, Randy.
Bucko, for bringing this whole frivolous thing to the fore, you are assigned the color gray...
I shall frolic New Year's Eve in something sparse -- that fireplace gets hot. And all that sparkling wine makes things heat up even more...
- n144mann - 08-18-1999 08:01 AM
Well foodie, I understand your point....but black is classic and timeless, millenium or not!!! Elegance, elegance, elegance!! No time is ever a bad time for black...esp when you are tall, and blond. Besides I can be pretty outrageous on my own, you will find that out if you ever get the unlikely opportunity to meet me, not to mention, I look TERRIBLE in orange!!!!!!!!! Don't know about Randy, but considering his coloring, I would guess orange would be okay on him.
If I am at home for the millennium, spending the evening quietly with my companion....I am with you foodie ....something little and comfy in front of the fire.
For Bucko.....grey.....nah doesn't suit him, Foodie. How about.....brown...he is always so full of it. <grin>
[This message has been edited by n144mann (edited 08-18-99).]