Is Brut champagne dying out?

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Blake Brown
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Is Brut champagne dying out?

#1 Post by Blake Brown » July 10th, 2019, 7:27 am

Here's an interesting article written by Gary Westby of K&L. He demystifies a few of mis conceptions about sugar in the dosage and more and about the trend toward no or less dosage:

https://onthetrail.klwines.com/on-the-t ... agne-dying
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#2 Post by Jim Friedman » July 10th, 2019, 7:33 am

Thanks.It was a worthwhile read.

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#3 Post by David Glasser » July 10th, 2019, 7:48 am

Fun read. I see an analogy here between Champagne's sec/extra dry/brut/extra brut and Germany's kabinett/spatlese/auslese designations. The labels have meaning but don’t necessarily translate into what you will taste. A knowledge of producer, vintage, and sometimes individual wines is necessary.

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#4 Post by Mike Maguire » July 10th, 2019, 7:51 am

Conclusion, as always drink what you like and ignore the hype.

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#5 Post by Yao C » July 10th, 2019, 8:37 am

Let me quote this entertaining bit from Terry Theise's 2019 catalog [stirthepothal.gif]

(the catalog is available here: https://www.skurnik.com/wp-content/uplo ... OG-WEB.pdf)
Having established and sold this portfolio for 22 years now, the only thing I quest for in Champagne is—beauty. Just like I seek in all wines. I appreciate experimentation—this entire portfolio is built on the idea of breaking free of old assumptions—but I prefer the experimenters to be searching for new ways for Champagne to be delicious and beautiful, whereas, distressingly, too often they seem only to be groping for novelty. At times they pursue bad ideas and false gods.

Why am I telling you this?

An entire crop of passionate young growers, encouraged by the pioneers who paved the way for them, are entering what is now a comfortable world. I don’t mean they’ll get rich, or want to get rich, but I mean they don’t need to doubt that a demand exists for grower Champagne. And they can look at the landscape and see how they might contribute.

This is a mixed blessing.

I am thrilled at how vibrant the grower-Champagne culture is, thrilled at the excitement in the air around it, thrilled at the breaking down of the walls that prevented growers from sharing information with one another, thrilled that the grower-culture is seen as a culture, and well-pleased to be active, doing my part in such happy times.

And yet. These young growers are often…. very young people. I used to be one myself. Wanna know how I was in my twenties? I was often an *sshole in my twenties, and I was way too sure that every idea I had came right from the lips of the angels, and I was serenely certain that I was entirely right in all my views and opinions. That is to say, I was a person in his twenties: Often wrong and never uncertain. In some ways it’s one’s job to be smug and cocksure and vainglorious as a 20-something. Because if you weren’t, life wouldn’t be able to kick your conceited ass in your thirties.

This new generation of Champagne growers are full of ideas and plans and concepts, and many of the ideas are good. I tasted the collection of one conspicuously interesting grower—a friend of a friend—and was really thirsty to crack into those samples because the guy looked wonderful on paper. The wines, though, were pretty meh. It was clear to me that here was talent, here was energy, here was derring-do, here was everything but - palate. Somewhere in all this conceptualizing the guy had forgotten to consider what tasted good.

Part of this can be explained by the current fad for low-or-no-dosage Champagnes. I respect (and love) the minority of these wines that work, but I lament the majority of them that don’t, and the muddled and incoherent thinking that underlies them. Today’s young grower emerges into a Moment where the catechism is to reduce dosage at all costs, to zero if possible. He’s also laboring under the delusion that Champagne should be as intense as other wines. Small wonder that he makes awkward, painful, difficult, unpleasant wines. And sadly, small wonder that they are greeted with approval by people of corrupted (or simply unformed) palates.

There is wheat among all this chaff—I think of Chartogne and Moussé and feel a massive <whew> of relief that here are two sensible men making superbly delicious Champagne in line with the Zeitgeist but not enslaved by it. Another excellent young grower will join their ranks in my offering. You can tell me any story you wish, if your wine tastes good. I love a good story—we call them “selling points” in our filthy mercantile personae—but no story, no matter how good, means anything if the wine’s lousy. And so I ask of you, dear reader, to hold the “story” in abeyance even if it’s compelling, and taste the Champagne dispassionately. Taste it with your wits and your actual honest palate. Like it if you truly like it, and not because the story encouraged you or made you hope you’d like it.

...

One grower whose wines I tasted is an avowed explorer of his terroir, which he understands in geological terms but doesn’t seem to know how to register sensually. The Champagnes were so Stalinist, so dour and ominous, that terroir was obliterated, swept under a prevailing ferocity and bitterness. Does he really suppose that terroir is subsumed by dosage? It would seem so, and it contradicts a lifetime of evidence I myself have accumulated, that the right dosage makes terroir sing out. Obviously too much sugar is as bad as too little (but even then I’d argue that the over-dosaged Champagne is at least palatable, albeit mundane, whereas the under-dosed wine is shrill and unpleasant), but if you begin by assuming that dosage is public-enemy-number-one
to terroir, you’re starting with a frame of reference that’s 180º false.

My new motto is: Learn to discern!
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#6 Post by Todd F r e n c h » July 10th, 2019, 9:16 am

I blame Frank Murray
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#7 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 10th, 2019, 9:20 am

It's not dying out.

No dosage is just another fad that will either fade away (as some no dosage wines do before their time), or become part of the overall landscape, with less of the religious fervor, and more of a nod towards balance, regardless of dosage level.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#8 Post by Blake Brown » July 10th, 2019, 10:48 am

I like Theise`s motto: "Learn to discern!" It`s so appropriate in this discussion.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#9 Post by Hao Lu » July 10th, 2019, 11:19 am

Blake Brown wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 10:48 am
I like Theise`s motto: "Learn to discern!" It`s so appropriate in this discussion.
so true!

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#10 Post by William Segui » July 10th, 2019, 11:26 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 9:16 am
I blame Frank Murray
there are few inalienable truths in this world, but this is one.

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#11 Post by Frank Murray III » July 10th, 2019, 11:45 am

Blamers. flirtysmile

I drank a Mousse Effusion Rose last night that was labeled at 6 g/l. This is a bit further from zero, and it worked because it was balanced. If it would have tasted like 7-Up/cherry soda, I would have dumped it but in this instance, it worked and the wine was terrific. On the fringes, I have had some Laval zero that I did not care for, yet if you look at my signature line, that Marie-Courtin Eloquence I would put up against anything I have tasted this year, including Cristal.

You dudes know me, and my palate. I have shifted big time away from higher ABV, perceived heavy/sweet wines, and I simply find that the lower register of dosage generally hits it for me. Vilmart is not lower register, yet I like it, and same with Cristal.

Brut ain't gonna die out. But, some of us want to drink in this lower range and this is generally where my dollars go now.
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge SC PN
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Platt SC PN
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#12 Post by John Danza » July 10th, 2019, 11:48 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 9:20 am
It's not dying out.

No dosage is just another fad that will either fade away (as some no dosage wines do before their time), or become part of the overall landscape, with less of the religious fervor, and more of a nod towards balance, regardless of dosage level.
+1

It's known that the vast majority of wine drinkers (not us wine nerds that hang out here) prefer wine that's got some sweetness to it, although not sweet wines such as sauternes or ice wine. So I wouldn't see some mass movement to champagne that's even dryer than brut.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#13 Post by John Morris » July 10th, 2019, 12:23 pm

Yao C wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 8:37 am
Let me quote this entertaining bit from Terry Theise's 2019 catalog [stirthepothal.gif]
.... Obviously too much sugar is as bad as too little (but even then I’d argue that the over-dosaged Champagne is at least palatable, albeit mundane, whereas the under-dosed wine is shrill and unpleasant), but if you begin by assuming that dosage is public-enemy-number-one to terroir, you’re starting with a frame of reference that’s 180º false.
That's certainly where I come out after trying various zero-dosage Champers.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#14 Post by Frank Murray III » July 10th, 2019, 4:02 pm

I'm disappointed in all of you. No one has posted yet that "Brut is dead in retail". [scratch.gif]
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge SC PN
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Platt SC PN
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

Kindness matters.

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#15 Post by Troy Stark » July 10th, 2019, 4:28 pm

As they say in Champagne, non-dosee is like a woman without makeup.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#16 Post by Blake Brown » July 10th, 2019, 5:09 pm

Frank Murray III wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 4:02 pm
I'm disappointed in all of you. No one has posted yet that "Brut is dead in retail". [scratch.gif]
Brut is dead in retail
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#17 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 10th, 2019, 5:31 pm

Retail is dead.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#18 Post by Russell Faulkner » July 10th, 2019, 6:16 pm

Troy Stark wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 4:28 pm
As they say in Champagne, non-dosee is like a woman without makeup.
Who exactly says that please. I’d like to know to avoid buying their wine.

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#19 Post by Troy Stark » July 10th, 2019, 6:21 pm

It's an old colloquiallism from a different time.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#20 Post by Russell Faulkner » July 10th, 2019, 7:02 pm

Best not repeated I’d say.

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#21 Post by Troy Stark » July 10th, 2019, 7:11 pm

The French view such things a little differently. Not saying it's right.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#22 Post by Frank Murray III » July 10th, 2019, 9:28 pm

Blake and David (which by the way is an excellent name for an NBC sitcom for the Fall), thank you for making things right again. grouphug
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge SC PN
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Platt SC PN
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

Kindness matters.

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#23 Post by R. Frankel » July 11th, 2019, 12:39 am

I thought this article (published by a retailer so also just be viewed through that lens) was actually pretty interesting as well. The only annoying misleading thing was the bogus click-bait title. But that’s the way things go in web publishing.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#24 Post by Steve Nordhoff » July 11th, 2019, 7:08 am

I am happy to report that Frank thought the blind Champagne last night was low dose and it was Vilmart at 8 grams 😬👍🏻
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#25 Post by Blake Brown » July 11th, 2019, 7:09 am

Frank Murray III wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 9:28 pm
Blake and David (which by the way is an excellent name for an NBC sitcom for the Fall), thank you for making things right again. grouphug
David and I could do gourmet gift baskets, fruit and nuts, and the like. Oh, that's Harry and David.
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#26 Post by Frank Murray III » July 11th, 2019, 8:33 am

Steve Nordhoff wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 7:08 am
I am happy to report that Frank thought the blind Champagne last night was low dose and it was Vilmart at 8 grams 😬👍🏻
"Happy to report".....you're supposed to keep this kind of sensitive information within the family. [pwn.gif]

Vilmart sometimes for me can reveal the dosage, but the acidity consistently aids in the balance of the wines. I also found that wine last night to be better when it was cooler in temp, yet as Chris Seiber said to me later in the night as we tasted it again at a warmer temp, he found the sweetness to stick out a bit more.
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge SC PN
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Platt SC PN
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

Kindness matters.

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#27 Post by Brad Baker » July 11th, 2019, 8:59 am

I don't think Brut Champagne is dying. Dosage has definitely come down from those who used to dose in the 10-12 g/L range, but it has also come up from a lot of folks who used to dose in the 0-2 g/L range. What we are seeing now is a lot of wines in the 3 g/L - 9 g/L range. There are certainly a lot of 0-2 g/L wines too, but not as many as I remember from 5 years ago. A lot of folks talk about climate change as the reason for this shift, but I think it is minimal. To me, the biggest reasons are folks aiming for more ripeness at harvest, using more data than just the acidity and potential alcohol numbers to determine when to harvest, and residual sugar left in the wine after the second fermentation. A lot of the no dosage wines end up with a 1-3 g/L of sugar in them (sometimes more) and this doesn't have to be noted. At the end of the day, it all comes down to balance and you can find balance at both ends of the spectrum.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#28 Post by Russell Faulkner » July 11th, 2019, 9:00 am

How much of all Champagne is Brut? 80%? More probably?

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#29 Post by Blake Brown » July 11th, 2019, 11:04 am

Thanks Brad for contributing here. My take has always been about balance regardless of dosage amounts and as others including Frank have reported for years now, there are some that come off as being super sweet with a low dosage and some that come off very dry with a higher dosage. As the Moody Blues sang, "It`s a Question of Balance".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#30 Post by J. Rock » July 11th, 2019, 1:45 pm

The idea of 0 or extremely low dosage doesn't sound appealing to me, but, honestly, as the article argues, it just comes down to the balance of the particular wine. I've had brut nature wine that has seemed more pleasant and balanced, and not quite as bone dry, as some brut wines. I guess I've learned to not judge a wine based on whether it's brut vs brut nature and just give it a try (or read notes). I agree with David that it's fairly akin to how different Pradikat designations don't necessarily/always translate to more or less perceived sweetness.

My wife however, loves bone dry Champagne, and she is enticed when she sees extremely low and 0 dosage Champagne.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#31 Post by Blake Brown » July 11th, 2019, 2:11 pm

J. Rock wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 1:45 pm
The idea of 0 or extremely low dosage doesn't sound appealing to me, but, honestly, as the article argues, it just comes down to the balance of the particular wine. I've had brut nature wine that has seemed more pleasant and balanced, and not quite as bone dry, as some brut wines. I guess I've learned to not judge a wine based on whether it's brut vs brut nature and just give it a try (or read notes). I agree with David that it's fairly akin to how different Pradikat designations don't necessarily/always translate to more or less perceived sweetness.

My wife however, loves bone dry Champagne, and she is enticed when she sees extremely
low and 0 dosage Champagne.
A subject for a blind tasting.
Last edited by Blake Brown on July 12th, 2019, 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#32 Post by Howard Cooper » July 11th, 2019, 2:16 pm

Yao C wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 8:37 am
Let me quote this entertaining bit from Terry Theise's 2019 catalog [stirthepothal.gif]

(the catalog is available here: https://www.skurnik.com/wp-content/uplo ... OG-WEB.pdf)
Having established and sold this portfolio for 22 years now, the only thing I quest for in Champagne is—beauty. Just like I seek in all wines. I appreciate experimentation—this entire portfolio is built on the idea of breaking free of old assumptions—but I prefer the experimenters to be searching for new ways for Champagne to be delicious and beautiful, whereas, distressingly, too often they seem only to be groping for novelty. At times they pursue bad ideas and false gods.

Why am I telling you this?

An entire crop of passionate young growers, encouraged by the pioneers who paved the way for them, are entering what is now a comfortable world. I don’t mean they’ll get rich, or want to get rich, but I mean they don’t need to doubt that a demand exists for grower Champagne. And they can look at the landscape and see how they might contribute.

This is a mixed blessing.

I am thrilled at how vibrant the grower-Champagne culture is, thrilled at the excitement in the air around it, thrilled at the breaking down of the walls that prevented growers from sharing information with one another, thrilled that the grower-culture is seen as a culture, and well-pleased to be active, doing my part in such happy times.

And yet. These young growers are often…. very young people. I used to be one myself. Wanna know how I was in my twenties? I was often an *sshole in my twenties, and I was way too sure that every idea I had came right from the lips of the angels, and I was serenely certain that I was entirely right in all my views and opinions. That is to say, I was a person in his twenties: Often wrong and never uncertain. In some ways it’s one’s job to be smug and cocksure and vainglorious as a 20-something. Because if you weren’t, life wouldn’t be able to kick your conceited ass in your thirties.

This new generation of Champagne growers are full of ideas and plans and concepts, and many of the ideas are good. I tasted the collection of one conspicuously interesting grower—a friend of a friend—and was really thirsty to crack into those samples because the guy looked wonderful on paper. The wines, though, were pretty meh. It was clear to me that here was talent, here was energy, here was derring-do, here was everything but - palate. Somewhere in all this conceptualizing the guy had forgotten to consider what tasted good.

Part of this can be explained by the current fad for low-or-no-dosage Champagnes. I respect (and love) the minority of these wines that work, but I lament the majority of them that don’t, and the muddled and incoherent thinking that underlies them. Today’s young grower emerges into a Moment where the catechism is to reduce dosage at all costs, to zero if possible. He’s also laboring under the delusion that Champagne should be as intense as other wines. Small wonder that he makes awkward, painful, difficult, unpleasant wines. And sadly, small wonder that they are greeted with approval by people of corrupted (or simply unformed) palates.

There is wheat among all this chaff—I think of Chartogne and Moussé and feel a massive <whew> of relief that here are two sensible men making superbly delicious Champagne in line with the Zeitgeist but not enslaved by it. Another excellent young grower will join their ranks in my offering. You can tell me any story you wish, if your wine tastes good. I love a good story—we call them “selling points” in our filthy mercantile personae—but no story, no matter how good, means anything if the wine’s lousy. And so I ask of you, dear reader, to hold the “story” in abeyance even if it’s compelling, and taste the Champagne dispassionately. Taste it with your wits and your actual honest palate. Like it if you truly like it, and not because the story encouraged you or made you hope you’d like it.

...

One grower whose wines I tasted is an avowed explorer of his terroir, which he understands in geological terms but doesn’t seem to know how to register sensually. The Champagnes were so Stalinist, so dour and ominous, that terroir was obliterated, swept under a prevailing ferocity and bitterness. Does he really suppose that terroir is subsumed by dosage? It would seem so, and it contradicts a lifetime of evidence I myself have accumulated, that the right dosage makes terroir sing out. Obviously too much sugar is as bad as too little (but even then I’d argue that the over-dosaged Champagne is at least palatable, albeit mundane, whereas the under-dosed wine is shrill and unpleasant), but if you begin by assuming that dosage is public-enemy-number-one
to terroir, you’re starting with a frame of reference that’s 180º false.

My new motto is: Learn to discern!
I feel like I have read this from Terry before (many times) but this time substituting Champagne for German wines and no-dosage for trocken. The trocken religion has strengthened, not subsided, not sure why the low dosage religion will be any different.
Howard

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#33 Post by Brad Baker » July 11th, 2019, 2:19 pm

Russell Faulkner wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 9:00 am
How much of all Champagne is Brut? 80%? More probably?
Russell,

Don't start bringing facts into the conversation. champagne.gif It is kind of similar to the grower/small producer movement. Most of the small stuff is actually quite bad, but it never leaves Champagne or even its local village. Most only tend to have access to the good stuff which is an extremely small percentage of the big picture. I think the folks on this board tend to see far more Extra Brut/Non Dosage than what the actual spread is. There is no denying that lower dosage Champagne is made in far greater quantity today than 10-20 years ago, but I would also bet that there is more Champagne made today that is sweeter than Brut than there was 10 years ago too.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#34 Post by M.Kaplan » July 11th, 2019, 2:39 pm

Curious, what is the dosage range for Cristal? I tend to like Champagne with no perceived sweetness. To my taste, '08 and '09 Cristal are 1 and 2 of all recent vintage/release Champagnes I've tasted this year.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#35 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » July 11th, 2019, 2:43 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 2:39 pm
Curious, what is the dosage range for Cristal? I tend to like Champagne with no perceived sweetness. To my taste, '08 and '09 Cristal are 1 and 2 of all recent vintage/release Champagnes I've tasted this year.
Those two vintages were respectively around 7.5g/l and 8g/l.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#36 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 11th, 2019, 2:51 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 2:16 pm
I feel like I have read this from Terry before (many times) but this time substituting Champagne for German wines and no-dosage for trocken. The trocken religion has strengthened, not subsided, not sure why the low dosage religion will be any different.
Talking to German winemakers in June they said the opposite. Feinherb is now a big seller for a number of producers. The folks from Jacob Schneider (the wife and sister of the owner/winemaker) made a particularly interesting point when they said Germans come to the winery, and ask to taste trocken, but buy Feinherb. Andreas Spreitzer and other winemakers also reported that feinherb now sells very well at the winery door.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#37 Post by Chris Seiber » July 11th, 2019, 5:37 pm

Russell Faulkner wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 9:00 am
How much of all Champagne is Brut? 80%? More probably?
Good guess. From a 12/2018 article in Town & Country:

While vintage and grape types may be immediately evident even to a champagne novice, dosage can seem more daunting to champagne neophites. Dosage relates to the amount of sugars added to the wine to enhance its flavor. "It’s more akin to salting your food than actually making it sweet,"de Belenet says. "The purpose is to achieve harmony and balance." Dosage designations are noted from the sweetest to the driest: doux, demi-sec, sec, extra-sec, brut, extra brut, and brut nature, also known as non-dosage. Of the types, demi-sec, a sweet dessert style, brut, and extra brut are the most common seen in the US, with brut champagne accounting for 73.9 percent of all champagne shipped to the U.S. in 2017, according to the Champagne Bureau US.

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisu ... gne-guide/

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#38 Post by Frank Murray III » July 11th, 2019, 6:08 pm

Seiber, you're hating on me but I love you anyway. I have more low dosage champagne to tell you about...... blahblah
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge SC PN
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Platt SC PN
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#39 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » July 11th, 2019, 6:19 pm

Low dosage Champagne is *the* reason I'm currently interested in Champagne. I've found many higher dosage Champagnes are too sweet for my preferences, and also give me an immediate headache. Low dosage examples, however, have a way of disappearing *real quick*, and sans-headache, ta boot.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#40 Post by Roy Piper » July 11th, 2019, 6:28 pm

Mike Maguire wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 7:51 am
Conclusion, as always drink what you like and ignore the hype.
It also puts a serious dent in any kind of theory about "natural wine" and even "terroir." 32g of sugar? Jesus. No one can taste terroir at that level. Differences between wine A and B? Yes. Terroir? Not when the sugar level is at Hershey Bar levels.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#41 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 11th, 2019, 6:31 pm

Roy Piper wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 6:28 pm
Mike Maguire wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 7:51 am
Conclusion, as always drink what you like and ignore the hype.
It also puts a serious dent in any kind of theory about "natural wine" and even "terroir." 32g of sugar? Jesus. No one can taste terroir at that level. Differences between wine A and B? Yes. Terroir? Not when the sugar level is at Hershey Bar levels.
Well first of all, 32 grams of sugar is not Brut. And it’s not close to a candy bar.

And I have some German Rieslings that would like to talk to you about terroir at 32 (or more) grams of sugar.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#42 Post by Frank Murray III » July 11th, 2019, 6:33 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 6:19 pm
Low dosage Champagne is *the* reason I'm currently interested in Champagne. I've found many higher dosage Champagnes are too sweet for my preferences, and also give me an immediate headache. Low dosage examples, however, have a way of disappearing *real quick*, and sans-headache, ta boot.
How dare you post something like this. Repent for your post. [rofl.gif]
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge SC PN
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Platt SC PN
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

Kindness matters.

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#43 Post by Roy Piper » July 11th, 2019, 6:38 pm

No, but 32g is what it use to be and shows that in the end, winemakers will change the style to sell when needed as tastes change and will sacrifice "terroir" in the process, if needed. Champagne at 32g? Were they talking about terroir back then? You are right though, 32g is not a Hershey bar. It's 2/3 of a Hershey bar. A Hershey bar is 21g. [snort.gif]
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#44 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 11th, 2019, 6:52 pm

Hershey bars have 24g of sugar in 1.5 ounces.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#45 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » July 11th, 2019, 6:55 pm

Pent

Pent

Pent

Pent

...
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#46 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 11th, 2019, 7:00 pm

Does other sugar give you a headache?
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#47 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » July 11th, 2019, 7:02 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 7:00 pm
Does other sugar give you a headache?
No.

There's just something about Champagne. Not *all* normal/high dosage examples, mind you, but most. It's why I've historically avoided them. Instant headache (as in, 2 or 3 sips in to first glass)


It must be something to do with the bubbles because I'll house sweet Riesling, and no problems with Sauternes or Tokaji.
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#48 Post by James Billy » July 11th, 2019, 8:46 pm

Maybe higher dosage wines have higher sulphur levels?

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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#49 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 12th, 2019, 4:35 am

If he can handle Riesling then it's not sulfur.

Brian is the first person I have ever heard of (in 25+ years of serious wine drinking) cite Brut Champagne as a headache problem, except annually the morning of January 1!
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Re: Is Brut champagne dying out?

#50 Post by Jay Miller » July 12th, 2019, 6:18 am

Brad Baker wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 8:59 am
At the end of the day, it all comes down to balance and you can find balance at both ends of the spectrum.
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