Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

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Robert G.
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Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#1 Post by Robert G. » May 23rd, 2020, 9:27 am

Hello all! New guy here who has only just begun his wine journey.

While I pretty much enjoy all champagne, I am definitely noticing a preference for the bready or nutty profiles. For example, I enjoy Charles Heidsieck's Brut Reserve and Louis Roederer's Brut Premier. As examples of some higher end bottles, I enjoyed the 2002 Piper-Hiedsieck Cuvee Rare, the 2006 Comtes de Champagne, and the 2008 Dom Perignon.

1. Any ideas as to some other producers I might try in the $35 to $65 price range? I have already gone pretty deep on the 2008 vintage, so looking for cellar defenders.

2. From an educational standpoint, what should I be looking for if I like these flavor profiles? Longer lees aging? More pinot noir/meunier and less chardonnay?

Thanks for the insights!

Rob

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#2 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » May 23rd, 2020, 10:05 am

Bollinger Special Cuvee is at the upper end of your price range.
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2020 contenders for WOTY:
2017 Goodfellow Family Cellars Durant Vineyard Chardonnay
2015 Laherte Frères Champagne Blanc des Blancs Extra Brut Les Grands Crayeres
2001 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
2015 Josef Walter Hundsruck Spätburgunder "J"

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#3 Post by M a x S w o m l e y » May 23rd, 2020, 10:08 am

I'm a big fan of both Aubry premier cru brut NV and bereche et fils NV brut reserve, both around/under 50. Aubry is like 32 at winelibrary

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#4 Post by David Mc » May 23rd, 2020, 3:31 pm

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 10:05 am
Bollinger Special Cuvee is at the upper end of your price range.
Opened this last night to celebrate my son's college graduation. It was crisp and dry on the finish with maybe a touch of yeast. We enjoyed the bottle. Paid $55 a few years ago.
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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#5 Post by Ryan A » May 23rd, 2020, 3:36 pm

Robert- don’t hate me for this suggestion as it’s not cheap but was a game changer for me in my journey through Champagne- Krug NV.

It has the components of what you are looking for plus a different flavor profile than perhaps anything you have had to date. What’s cool, is the NV has 10 years of different vintages plus the vintage year included in their cuvée. For me it opened me up to how different styles can excite and entice one to keep coming back for more. It of course would not be an everyday drinker but is worth the price of entry based on your stylistic preference. If and when you do try is, please post back your thoughts as it really is that different. Cost is $150.
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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#6 Post by S teve R edenbaugh » May 23rd, 2020, 3:48 pm

Big plus for Bollinger...wait until it goes on sale...it's prob worth $60...but the closer to $45 you get the better you feel. 20 years ago..on my first trip to champagne we visited bollinger and Cliquot on the same day...not a fair comparison...Bollinger at any level is a true pleasure.

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#7 Post by Ryan A » May 23rd, 2020, 4:05 pm

In my experience Bollinger, no question about it a great value, is less bready/nutty and more fruit (citrus) focused with a hint of the bready/nutty. Again wonderful and great QPR at $50 but less the bready/nutty profile unless possibly with real age- IMHO.
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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#8 Post by Robert G. » May 23rd, 2020, 4:17 pm

Great suggestions!

I will take a look at the Bollinger. Wine Library has it at a good price.

As for the Krug, I had the 165 for our anniversary 2 years ago. I thought it was nice, but not mind blowing. Didn't want to write off Krug on just a single experience, so I've been sitting on a 164. I think I'll buy a couple 375s of the 168. Wife is pregnant with out first child, so 375s make more sense than ever!

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#9 Post by Ryan A » May 23rd, 2020, 4:34 pm

The 164 & 168 are killer. I can’t speak on the 165 (Sorry).

Another suggestion for frame of reference is the Billecart Salmon Rose.

FYI look at the discount thread and you can find $100 off $300 coupon (there are two) from wine.com allowing you to buy all of these at excellent prices. Enjoy
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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#10 Post by Jim Stewart » May 23rd, 2020, 4:35 pm

+1 on the Bollinger
+1 on the 375s
Combining these two thoughts, I suggest taking a look at wine.com. If you are not already familiar with the big code discounts available there, take a look also at the "best online deals" thread here on WB. It is pretty easy to get one-third or more off the list prices at wine.com:
-Bollinger Special Cuvee at $59.99 before discount
-A variety of decent NV Champs (Roederer Brut Reserve, Taittinge La Francaise, Laurent Perrier La Cuvee) available in 375s between $20-$30 before discount.

FWIW
Last edited by Jim Stewart on May 24th, 2020, 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#11 Post by Doug Schulman » May 23rd, 2020, 5:43 pm

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 10:05 am
Bollinger Special Cuvee is at the upper end of your price range.
This is the best recommendation I'm aware of in your price range for the style you want. Yes, some wines are more bready, and those tend to be more expensive. I can't think of anything with that level of lees influence, let alone more, in your price range.

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#12 Post by joejolesch » May 23rd, 2020, 6:28 pm

Ryan A wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 4:34 pm
The 164 & 168 are killer. I can’t speak on the 165 (Sorry).

Another suggestion for frame of reference is the Billecart Salmon Rose.

FYI look at the discount thread and you can find $100 off $300 coupon (there are two) from wine.com allowing you to buy all of these at excellent prices. Enjoy
I’ll pile on here re: Bolly SC and Billecart Rosé are both excellent reference examples at their price points. Currently $59.99 and $80 respectively on wine.com - $40 / $53 with the $100 off $300. Just got 4 more Bollys this week champagne.gif

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#13 Post by Adam Noble » May 23rd, 2020, 6:31 pm

I recommend Guy Charlemagne, Pierre Moncuit, and Jose Dhondt BdBs to try. They should be in your price range and I enjoy many bottles a year from them in various combos. Pierre Peters vintage offerings are also great but more expensive.

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#14 Post by etomasi » May 23rd, 2020, 7:10 pm

Adam Noble wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 6:31 pm
I recommend Guy Charlemagne, Pierre Moncuit, and Jose Dhondt BdBs to try. They should be in your price range and I enjoy many bottles a year from them in various combos. Pierre Peters vintage offerings are also great but more expensive.
I second the Jose Dhondt BdB. I am very much in the Bolly/Heidsieck/Krug camp, and I was pleasantly surprised with that wine. Also, strangely enough the Billecart Salmon BdB gets alot of leezy/nutty notes. Unfortunately, its out of that price range by about $10
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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#15 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » May 23rd, 2020, 7:15 pm

Adam Noble wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 6:31 pm
I recommend Guy Charlemagne, Pierre Moncuit, and Jose Dhondt BdBs to try. They should be in your price range and I enjoy many bottles a year from them in various combos. Pierre Peters vintage offerings are also great but more expensive.
I’ve had Pierre Moncuit Hugues de Coulmet BdB, didn’t think it was nearly as driven by yeast autolytic notes as the OP wants.
CT: InZinity

2020 contenders for WOTY:
2017 Goodfellow Family Cellars Durant Vineyard Chardonnay
2015 Laherte Frères Champagne Blanc des Blancs Extra Brut Les Grands Crayeres
2001 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
2015 Josef Walter Hundsruck Spätburgunder "J"

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#16 Post by Adam Noble » May 23rd, 2020, 7:26 pm

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 7:15 pm
Adam Noble wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 6:31 pm
I recommend Guy Charlemagne, Pierre Moncuit, and Jose Dhondt BdBs to try. They should be in your price range and I enjoy many bottles a year from them in various combos. Pierre Peters vintage offerings are also great but more expensive.
I’ve had Pierre Moncuit Hugues de Coulmet BdB, didn’t think it was nearly as driven by yeast autolytic notes as the OP wants.
I’ve drunk a decent amount of Pierre Moncuit up and down the range in various years and it will vary, but the GC BdB and vintage always seems to have a smack of yeast / bread dough to me.

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#17 Post by Cris Whetstone » May 23rd, 2020, 8:22 pm

Bollinger of course. If you pay attention you can get it under $50. Even $40. Buy in quantity when you get it down there.

A couple others that come to mind are Rene-Henri Coutier and Henri Goutorbe.
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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#18 Post by Otto Forsberg » May 24th, 2020, 2:19 am

+1 for Bollinger, but as Ryan mentioned above, the Special Cuvée can be quite crisp and citrus-driven in its youth. The toasty darker-toned elements usually start to emerge after a year or two in a cellar.

And Rob, just like you said in your first post: yes, more Pinot Noir / Meunier, less Chardonnay. The toasty / bready / nutty elements come from three different things: yeast autolysis, oxidation and oak. With long aging on the lees a producer increases the time autolyzed yeast elements can incorporate to the wine, bringing in flavors of yeast, bread, toast and brioche. By aging the wine in oak or cellaring the bottle, one slowly introduces oxygen to the wine, bringing in elements of nuts, caramel and toast. Finally, a producer can age wines in smaller and newer barrels, incorporating not just oxygen but also oak flavors into the wine, which tend to hover in the flavor spectrum of oxidation and autolysis, boosting them much more to the fore.

Why Pinot Noir / Meunier? Well, the red varieties tend to have lower acidity and higher pH than Chardonnay, so they oxidize more readily. That means that they don't tend to make that long-lived wines, but on the other hand, they start to develop those complex oxidative flavors much younger than a 100% Chardonnay.

You mentioned Charles Heidsieck. They don't use any oak, but they do blend a huge proportion of reserve wines into their cuvées (more oxidative material) and age them very long periods on the lees (lots of autolysis).

Bollinger uses quite a bit of reserve wines, but not as much as Charles Heidsieck. However, they use a very large proportion of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in their wines and age them partially in oak (more oxidative style). The NV tends to be still quite fresh when released, but reaches a more evolved stage much faster than a similar NV Champagne that hasn't seen any oak and has a bigger proportion of Chardonnay. Furthermore, I think that Bollinger has toned down their sulfites program, which might make the wines come across as developed even faster.

Bollinger's La Grande Années are aged completely in oak and are made from the best Pinot-driven material they have, so they are pretty much like Special Cuvée on steroids and due to their prolonged aging on the lees they tend to be pretty impressive upon release.

You might also want to check producers from the Aube region, because +90% of the production there is Pinot Noir. That means most of the stuff sees very little if any Chardonnay.

Also producers such as Henri Giraud and Marguet tend to use quite a bit of Pinot Noir and favor oak over stainless steel in their vinification process.

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#19 Post by Robert G. » May 24th, 2020, 6:13 am

Awesome suggestions all and great explanation, Otto! Much appreciated.

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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#20 Post by Andrew M » May 24th, 2020, 7:31 am

This thread made me realize I’ve never tried Bollinger SC and that I should. Grabbed 4x and a 2008 Laurent Perrier from wine.com, with code and 20% cash back from RetailMeNot came out to $204 taxed and shipped. Pretty happy to get these for $40 per bottle.
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Re: Champagne Suggestions (bready/nutty profile)

#21 Post by Ryan A » May 24th, 2020, 8:04 am

Awesome Otto- great education and knowledge dump- thank you!!
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