Tag: champagne

What is a “Prestige Cuvée” champagne?

 TAGS:A champagne Cuvée Prestige (or Prestige Cuvée) is considered to be the very best product of each producer. One of the first Cuvée was Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon, launched in 1935 thanks to the idea of Robert-Jean de Vogüe. As the Great Depression was striking he thought that only a luxury champagne could bring comfort to his privileged consumers.

It is a mix between the best plots, made with grapes from the best Grand Cru. For being the highest quality product its price is higher than the rest of the options that we can find in the market.

According to Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon cellar master, each year they are trying to create the vintage but it only happens when they decide whether they have enough quality to produce a second fermentation. The Dom Perignon is aged for at least 7 years. There are 3 stages of maturation: The first stage creates a vibrant and energetic champagne, the second stage happens after his first release when it is still strong but more complex than in the first step, the last and third stage is when the wine is fully mature.

The mixtures made to produce the Dom Pérignon are central in the structure and complexity of the champagne, but aging is just as important in order to have the excellent result that one in expecting from a Prestige Cuvée. Another important Prestige Cuvée would be the Louis Roederer Cristal Brut created in 1876 by Tsar Alexander II of Russia, with the idea of serving it to his Emperor.

Undoubtedly one of the factors that make this drink one of the favorite for special occasions is the standard that ensures a higher and constant quality to the consumers. Prestige Cuvée is definitely the best companion to celebrate victories and moments of joy.

Got something to celebrate? Today we recommend two Prestige Cuvée:

 TAGS:Ca del Bosco Cuvee Prestige BrutCa del Bosco Cuvee Prestige Brut

Ca del Bosco Cuvee Prestige Brut

 

 

 TAGS:Henri Abele Premier Cuvee PrestigeHenri Abele Premier Cuvee Prestige

Henri Abele Premier Cuvee Prestige

Why do we need to know the date of disgorgement

 TAGS:The most important brands of Sparkling wines crown it all right now. It is time to consume their wines, toast with them and make a few splurges as those we cannot afford so often during the rest of the year. Joy and happiness among consumers, but just the opposite among producers. The reason of it: to make public the date of disgorgement.

The reason for this concern is purely economic and logistic: in only one vintage you may need to print 3 or 4 different back labels which would reflect the different disgorgement dates on the bottles.

Brands like Veuve Clicquot or Bruno Paillard were already doing it and this last one has been doing it for decades; impressing an air of exclusivity to each of their bottles.

However, for the consumer this is an important data to know. Knowing this date we can know when some particular wine aging is considered finished, which means that from then on that wine is ready to be consumed if desired.

Moreover, it can also alert you to potential unpleasant surprises. For example if you discover that you are about to buy a champagne or a sparkling wine that has been bottled almost forever so, as they are not a keeping kind of wine, it would probably not be very interesting to take the chance and buy it, no matter how good the offer was. It is also true that the cork would give us the final clue, if we find out that it looks like a “t” instead of having mushroom shape.

Many cava (Spanish sparkling wine) houses have been offering this information to consumers for years. Both Agustí Torelló Mata and Can Feixes, among others, provide this information on their bottles, transparency prized for their customers which also contributes to the spread the wine culture.

However, there are those who, after the disgorgement and after providing the corresponding metal bottle cap to prevent gas loss, leave the wine aging for months or even for years. The flavours evolve and fresher hints become more floral. When flavors continue to mature they show us their deeper side with hints of nuts. It’s a different way of knowing our favorite sparkling.

Now, the question that arises is whether Bollinger, uncompromising defender of freshly uncorked, will change their disgorgement methods and will also join this informative fashion or not.

 TAGS:Agustí Torelló Mata Brut Reserva 2008Agustí Torelló Mata Brut Reserva 2008

Agustí Torelló Mata Brut Reserva 2008

 

 

 TAGS:Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin BrutVeuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut

The other sparkling wines

 TAGS:Cava, champagne, lambrusco and counting. Most of us have spent half of our lives living in complete ignorance regarding sparkling wine. I have to confess that I was the first committing that error but my visits to Scandinavian supermarkets have opened my eyes to the universe of the other side of sparkling wines.

Yes, there are a lot more apart from the ultra famous that I mentioned on the first line of this post, and we were very close to them (we could find them in Uvinum without going further) but we had not noticed them until now.

The first thing that caught my eye was their colors and labels. I know that the inside is what matters, but one of the things that usually call my attention regarding many things are the colors and presentations, thanks to which I can talk today of these other sparkling wines.

Apple green, pink and lilac, orange and mint… taking a deeper look was inevitable. Who can not notice this breath of fresh air in the wine department where the muted and sober tones of red wine bottles cover the 75% of the shelves getting only slightly released by the yellowish and greenish bottles of white wine in a much smaller proportion.

 ?I have to try these ones?. And without looking composition, alcohol content or anything else, I collected several different ones. After some tastings at home and to my surprise I liked them. They are not similar to this non-alcoholic champagne for children, neither Cherrycoke (my God! what an evil invention and what an unpleasant taste). Generally based on Muscat grape the taste is usually very mild and their alcohol content is less than in the rest of wines.

While I would not suggest any of them to accompany the main dishes of a meal, they seem perfect for both the appetizer and the dessert. Also at the tea-time they are a very good alternative to a gin and tonic (Hendricks, you give us so many joys!) Another good moment to enjoy these new sparkling wines is when you have a meetings with your girlfriends, accompanied by cup cakes (if you feel trendy) or homemade cake (if you had time to get into the kitchen).

By the way, those ones thinking about that these feminine shades wines are only for women are wrong, because I testify that men also drink (and buy) them. So guys, there you have a good idea for a nice small detail to your loving girls.

Cava Vs. Champagne

 - I was asked about my opinion on the competition between cava and champagne, and the truth is that I dare not say.

First, because it is more than a debate about taste, since there is plenty of politics in all. On the other hand, because there is cavas and champagnes for everyone, so it is difficult to generalize.

Let’s say, I am not particularly inclined to cavas or champagnes, the same way I am not inclined to white or red wines. Depends on the occasion, the desire, the money…

Both cava and champagne are elaborated equal, following the ?champenoise? or traditional method, although there is some cellar on both sides which uses any of the other existing methods.

In principle, the cava seems the best choice for day to day (unless your everyday life includes eating oysters and caviar). There are plenty of cavas from 3 to 6 Euro with more than enough quality to accompany a meal which combines with a sparkling wine. And I do not talk about the cavas of the great wineries we all have in our heads, but something like Xamfrà, a pretty decent brut.

In the next price range is where cavas really make a big difference. Between 6 and 15 Euro there are cavas for everyone, and with a fairly high level. This does mean that large wineries offer great products such as Anna de Codorníu or Sumarroca Cuvée Gran Reserva, and also smaller wineries highlight with cavas such as the exceptional Fuchs de Vidal Únic.

 - The dilemma arises from 20 Euro, which is really where the champagnes enter the competition. There are still cavas which resist the comparison, such as the Recaredo Turó d’en Mota or the Kripta, but the amount and quality of French champagnes really obscure and overwhelm any other sparkling wine. Even in Spain is comparable, but in the international market, more open, it is hard for cavas of these price ranges to compete for more than to give color to a wine exhibition.

However, that does not mean that high-end cavas have little or no sense: it is a matter of taste. The Spanish cavas are like a Ribera, a Bierzo, a Toro or a Priorat wine, more powerful on the palate, stronger flavor and with more presence of aromas. And we do not talk at all about unsuccessful denominations of origin. In contrast, French champagnes are like their Bordeaux, very subtle wines, with nuances of the terroir, with very slight details that add elegance to them.

This gives a bonus to the cava. In the eyes of many Spaniards like me, accustomed to mom’s cooking, which filled the house with aromas and flavors, the subtlety of Champagne sometimes escapes us, and we require an adjustment period to really enjoy the sparkling French. And we not always want to adapt our noses, but simply enjoy a glass of fine cava.

Those who have worked their nose, the experts, those who are accustomed, those persons who I deeply envy because they have known and tested well and extensively, those end up preferring the champagne. Well, not everything in life is Ferrari, in fact, Red Bull is leading…

Shipwrecked Champagne

https://www.uvinum.co.uk/blog/assets/uploads/sites/3/2010/07/775388-271574.jpgAccording to a  Reuters report that will surely inspire jealousy in wine loving divers across the world, a group of Swedish divers discovered what is being called the oldest known drinkable Champagne in a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea. They believe the bottles are from the late 18th century, and they know it is drinkable because they drank it, apparently with great pleasure. The general theory is the Champagne is likely Veuve Cliquot, and  that it was on it’s way to St. Petersburg. This would beat Perrier-Jouet’s current record for world’s oldest Champagne, which only dates back till 1825, probably because unless you happen to lose it in a shipwreck, most of us would find it impossible to hold onto Champagne for that long.

Shipwrecked Champagne

 

Diver Christian Ekstrom was quoted as saying, “It was fantastic… it had a very sweet taste, you could taste oak and it had a very strong tobacco smell. And there were very small bubbles”. Lucky guy. I think I just found a reason to learn to dive.

French wine to become the Coke of the wine world?

France has been slipping for a while from it’s lofty seat at the top of the wine world  due to increased competition across the globe but also internal problems such as inconsistent quality standards, lack of government support, and the recent move among younger generations away from wine to beer and spirits. Yet the country’s wine reputation still stems from having some of the world’s top vineyards and producers. When you mention France many consumers continue to  conjure up images of first growth Bordeaux, rare Burgundies, and grand Champagne houses. But even this illustrious reputation is now being threatened it seems, for as The Independent recently reported, a senior French wine official has declared that French wine will become “like Coca Cola”.

Wine Coca ColaIt is a disturbing thought, but some believe it’s France’s best option to compete, saying the top and upper middle tiered producers can remain unchanged but the lower tiers will benefit from being consolidated to create more uniform wines of dependable quality that will challenge Australian and other New World wines on the cheap and cheerful shelves of your supermarket. 

Is this a win for value seeking consumers disappointed by uneven quality or a tragic loss for the beloved and very French idea of terroir