Fri 28 Dec 2007
A great movement is afoot to extol the virtues of artisan-made champagnes from small, family-owned firms, and I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for the concept, not just because of the notions of authenticity and integrity involved but because the examples I have encountered recently express a great deal of character and individuality.
Packed with those qualities is the Chartogne-Taillet Brut Cuvée Sainte-Anne, a nonvintage blend of about 50 percent each chardonnay and pinot noir. I tasted this champagne twice in the past two weeks and was taken with it each time. The color is medium gold with a blush of brass; tiny bubbles rush upward in a constant and consistent fountain. The bouquet offers apple, quince and lemon with hints of macerated stone fruit, almond and almond blossom, all of this enveloped in a toasty-biscuity melange. See what I mean? It’s a champagne of dignity and effervescent elegance, though quite substantial, and features crisp acid, touches of baking spice and wheatmeal, flavors of citrus and roasted lemon, and a vast limestone-laced finish. Yikes, I certainly rate this one Excellent.
It’s a Terry Theise Estate Selection, imported by Michael Skurnick Wines, Syosset, N.Y.
Prices are all over the freakin’ map for this champagne. It costs about $50 in Memphis, but can easily be found on the Internet for anywhere from $26 to $40.
On The Fifth Day of Christmas … well, you have to check back tomorrow.