Recently I had a chance to taste through some great Champagne’s and sparklers from around the world. It’s that time of year that Champagnes will (hopefully) start to fly off the shelf, so I thought I would write about a few of my favorites. I always find these tastings the “hardest” because for me, discerning one really good sparkler from another is usually a fine line. To me I think the biggest difference isn’t with flavor or aroma but texture and weight (mouthfeel), the ones that I tend to like better are fuller bodied with nice tight bubbles. I also got to join the likes of Jay-Z and sip on the “famous” Ace of Spades.
Here is a sampling of what we got to taste…
NV Ruinart Brut Blanc de Blanc ($77) – extremely bubbly, very tight bubbles, medium body, interesting rose and pear flavor combination, light bread basket aromas
NV Gloria Ferrer Va de Vi Cuvee ($19) – full body, medium to small bubble size, lots of fruit with apple core and lemon rind predominating with fondant flavor on the back of the palate
NV Nicolas Feuillatte ($34.75) – med/full body, loads of tight bubbles, rich yeasty “breadiness”, apple, pear and citrus.
NV Armand Brignac Brut Gold (Ace of Spades) ($325) – very interesting flavor of ginger, creamed corn and apple pie. For me it was a little to light on the mouthfeel, but had nice tight pin prick bubbles.
NV Perrier Jouet Grand Brut ($50) – excellent structure, loads of very small bubbles, rich mid-palate, med/full body, flavors of sourdough, hay, Asian Pear, and grape must
We tasted about 22 sparklers in total but these were my favorites of the evening.