Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blind Tasting Grower Champagne at MacArthur Beverages

Last week I was fortunate to be invited to a blogger's tasting at arguably the best wine shop in the District of Columbia, MacArthur Beverages. Not only does the store have a tremendous wine and spirits inventory, its also a nice commute - traversing Key Bridge, Georgetown University, the Reservoir, and returning on Chain Bridge. The topic for this evening's tasting was Brut Grower Champagne - aka - estate driven champagne focusing on a particular estate or vineyard.  And we tasted blind so that we weren't influenced by a particular Champagne house's reputation. This mode made that tasting quite interesting. The first list are my tasting notes; followed by the revealing.

1. Yeasty aroma citrus and grassy
2. Funky aroma - celery
3. Easy drinking - reminds of Furmint - balanced
4. Oaky green apple, longer finish even some citrus
5. Fruity aroma - acidic sweeter aroma & finish
6. Punch in the face - intense. But, finish falls off.
7. Easy drinking; doesn't jump out
8. Jammy cherry plum dried fruit toasty 

1. nv Dosnon & Lepage Brut ($40)
2. nv Louis Roederer Brut Premiere ($40)
3. nv L. Aubry Fils Brut Premier Cru ($40)
4. nv Pierre Peters Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvee de Reserve ($50)
5. 2007 Vilmart & Cie Brut Grand Cellier D'Or ($70)
6. 2010 Cedric Bouchard (Inflorescence) Brut Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine ($60)
7. nv Dosnon & Lepage Brut Rose ($45)
8. nv Pascal Doquet Brut Rose ($50)
My favorite was #4 the Pierre Peters Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvee de Reserve and I found #3 the  L. Aubry Fils Brut Premier Cru very interesting - perhaps because of the 50% Pinot Meunier. Many of my associates preferred #5 the 2007 Vilmart & Cie Brut Grand Cellier D'Or but there was enough funkiness that threw me off.  The rest were generally tasty and easy to drink, except for the  Louis Roederer Brut Premier which had a strong vegetable - celery profile that forced an early dump.

Thanks to Phil and the MacArthur staff for the hospitality and also for a nice tasting of Highland Park Scotch - the 15 year was smooth, lightly peaty, sherry-ish finish -> basically pretty awesome. 
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