Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

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Jay Miller
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Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#1 Post by Jay Miller » October 28th, 2019, 2:01 pm

As La Fete approaches I was hoping for some advice from the collective experience of the board (at first I typed "wisdom of the board" but then I came to my senses).

These are the people I intend to hit first:

Agrapart
Bérêche & Fils
Robert Moncuit
La Closerie
Louis Roederer
Pol Roger
Salon

After that I was leaning towards

Drappier
Moussé Fils
Chartogne-Taillet

I will skip

Krug
Rodez
Laval
Paillard
Ruinart
Bollinger
Jacquesson
Lanson
Billecart-Salmon


I was hoping for opinions on prioritizing these remaining producers who I either haven't tried recently or have never tried at all:

Etienne Calsac
La Caravelle
Delamotte
Dhondt-Grellet
Pierre Gerbais
Michel Gonet
Henriot
Leclerc-Briant
Legras & Haas
AR Lenoble
Philipponnat
Savart
Tarlant


Thanks!
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#2 Post by Joshua Kates » October 28th, 2019, 2:24 pm

Odd, to me, that you're skipping the Krug and the Bolly. Too familiar? The last three I know can be of some interest. The Savart Expressions, zero dosage, made an impression the last time I was at La Fete; same with the Tarlant, which is always zero dosage I believe. Philipponat is a serious producer--not saying the others are not--but his wines seemed way too young and tight when I tried them.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#3 Post by Yao C » October 28th, 2019, 3:00 pm

Personally, I’d make a point to try Dhondt Grellet and Savart
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#4 Post by ybarselah » October 28th, 2019, 3:09 pm

i wouldn't skip at least half of your skip list.
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#5 Post by Frank Murray III » October 28th, 2019, 3:10 pm

Jay, to answer you question.....rather than 'leaning towards' Mousse and Chartogne-Taillet, just do them. These are excellent producers, are in my own cellar and make terrific wines.

As for the remaining list, I would do Dhondt-Grellet, Pierre Gerbais and Etienne Calsac. Visit their tables and test them out, as they each offer some things that I really enjoy.

Enjoy the event.
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence BdB Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie PN Platt SC
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut
2017 Carlisle Zin Mancini Ranch RRV

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

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#6 Post by Doug Schulman » October 28th, 2019, 4:44 pm

Why skip Krug, Bollinger, Jacquesson, and Billecart? I'm assuming they pour their top wines at this event (those other than Krug; it doesn't matter what they're pouring to me)? That aside, Chartogne-Taillet would be a definite for me. I tasted their current releases recently and was very happy with them. I'd probably pick Savart from your final list. I am not a buyer, but the wines are interesting to taste.
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#7 Post by Howard Cooper » October 28th, 2019, 4:57 pm

I would taste Ruinart and Philipponnat. Also, Lanson.
Last edited by Howard Cooper on October 28th, 2019, 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#8 Post by Dennis Atick » October 28th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Yao C wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 3:00 pm
Personally, I’d make a point to try Dhondt Grellet and Savart
+1
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#9 Post by Kris Patten » October 28th, 2019, 5:39 pm

Dennis Atick wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 4:58 pm
Yao C wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 3:00 pm
Personally, I’d make a point to try Dhondt Grellet and Savart
+1
Which bottlings if you'd be so kind to suggest some.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#10 Post by Dennis Atick » October 28th, 2019, 5:48 pm

I like most of Savart's range. I used to buy his stuff a good bit. Expression Nature if they have it and Bulle Rose. I cut my teeth on L'Accomplie and Overture which are terrific in the entry range.
DG- Le Bateau and Premier Temps are my experience and v. good.
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#11 Post by Brad Baker » October 28th, 2019, 7:38 pm

Jay,

In order, I would hit:

Etienne Calsac: This is a rising star who still seems to be under the radar. Everything he makes is good, crisp, clean, and expressive of the place or places it comes from. His Les Rocheforts Chardonnay is a wonderful example of Bisseuil and his Clos des Maladries is one of the best from Avize. Les Revenants is his Pinot Blanc, Arbanne, Petit Meslier blend and it might be the best 'alternative' grape wine in Champagne.

Savart: The biggest star of the last group and very much worth tasting though the wines can sometimes come across as quite young on release and I sometimes wish the dosage was a touch higher.

Dhondt-Grellet: The most popular rising star in your last group and well worth tasting. Very pure and expressive wines.

Leclerc-Briant: Very well made and tasty wines. The fact that Leclerc-Briant essentially lost its vineyards and became nothing but a name yet is now better than it ever was says alot about the folks running the show now.

Tarlant: The original modern Brut Zero producer (they went there in 1976 which was a few years before Laurent-Perrier did) and a family full of intelligent, hard working, fun folks. Very solid wines across the range.

AR Lenoble: A small negociant that is at the top of its game across the range. Great wines from Chouilly, Damery, and Bisseuil.

Philipponnat: I only put Philipponnat last because it is easy enough to find the wines in their range and taste them at other events. Their wines are stellar and stopping by is likely a chance to meet Charles Philipponnat.
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#12 Post by Jay Miller » October 29th, 2019, 4:18 am

Thanks everyone!

In answer to the above questions I’ve never been a fan of the Krug style and while I like Bollinger well enough I don’t like them enough to ever buy the wines. Ditto for Billecart. I’ve been avoiding Jacquesson for a long time so maybe they’ve gotten better but while I liked them a long time ago I had a number of to my palate harshly made low dosage wines so I started avoiding them.

Given that even taking tiny sips I can only manage a limited number of tables before my palate shuts down I have to be selective. So I hit the tables of producers I like, buy or know I want to try and then try some I’m not familiar to me. last year I discovered Marguet. That was worth the price of admission by itself.
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#13 Post by Len Fox » October 29th, 2019, 8:17 am

Hi Jay - Will be at La Fete Grand tasting with my wife, daughter and her boyfriend.
Etienne Calsac's wines are beautiful, not to be missed. Opened the Clos des Maladries and Les Revanents Friday evening. A treat with a superb dinner that Abe Schoener prepared for us.
My limited experience with LeClerc-Briant was quite good and I will seek them out. At a recent dinner in Helsinki, the wine was slightly oxidative with a strong expression of umami.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#14 Post by Jay Miller » October 29th, 2019, 10:41 am

Len Fox wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 8:17 am
Hi Jay - Will be at La Fete Grand tasting with my wife, daughter and her boyfriend.
Etienne Calsac's wines are beautiful, not to be missed. Opened the Clos des Maladries and Les Revanents Friday evening. A treat with a superb dinner that Abe Schoener prepared for us.
My limited experience with LeClerc-Briant was quite good and I will seek them out. At a recent dinner in Helsinki, the wine was slightly oxidative with a strong expression of umami.
Thanks Len! After such strong recs from you, Brad and Frank they'll probably one of my first visits.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#15 Post by Howard Cooper » October 29th, 2019, 1:17 pm

Jay Miller wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 4:18 am
Thanks everyone!

In answer to the above questions I’ve never been a fan of the Krug style and while I like Bollinger well enough I don’t like them enough to ever buy the wines. Ditto for Billecart. I’ve been avoiding Jacquesson for a long time so maybe they’ve gotten better but while I liked them a long time ago I had a number of to my palate harshly made low dosage wines so I started avoiding them.

Given that even taking tiny sips I can only manage a limited number of tables before my palate shuts down I have to be selective. So I hit the tables of producers I like, buy or know I want to try and then try some I’m not familiar to me. last year I discovered Marguet. That was worth the price of admission by itself.
And Dom Ruinart?
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#16 Post by c fu » October 29th, 2019, 1:31 pm

Frank Murray III wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 3:10 pm
Jay, to answer you question.....rather than 'leaning towards' Mousse and Chartogne-Taillet, just do them. These are excellent producers, are in my own cellar and make terrific wines.

Agreed. Just tasted through their lineup yesterday. Cedric and alex are making really awesome champagne. Cool young guys too
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#17 Post by Jay Miller » October 29th, 2019, 1:47 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 1:17 pm
Jay Miller wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 4:18 am
Thanks everyone!

In answer to the above questions I’ve never been a fan of the Krug style and while I like Bollinger well enough I don’t like them enough to ever buy the wines. Ditto for Billecart. I’ve been avoiding Jacquesson for a long time so maybe they’ve gotten better but while I liked them a long time ago I had a number of to my palate harshly made low dosage wines so I started avoiding them.

Given that even taking tiny sips I can only manage a limited number of tables before my palate shuts down I have to be selective. So I hit the tables of producers I like, buy or know I want to try and then try some I’m not familiar to me. last year I discovered Marguet. That was worth the price of admission by itself.
And Dom Ruinart?
Still haven't had one that thrilled me.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#18 Post by Hank Victor » October 29th, 2019, 2:27 pm

I would try and taste Philipponnat.
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#19 Post by Frank Murray III » October 29th, 2019, 3:10 pm

Jay, so you're going to the NYC event on 11/7, right? Would love to see some photos and TNs so if you do that kind of thing. As a few other postscript comments to my post, since Bereche is in your first cut to visit, taste the Le Cran if they are pouring it. This comes from a plot in Ludes. I had a bottle of it over this past weekend, the 2008, and it was unique and really caught my attention.

And assuming your 'lean' has become 'do', then for Mousse et Fils, I would taste the late disgorge Or d'Eugene, the Mon Village, Terre d'illite and Special Clubs. For Chartogne, they have a good size range, and see if Les Barres is open, as well as Orizeaux and Chateau Couarres.
Last edited by Frank Murray III on October 29th, 2019, 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence BdB Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie PN Platt SC
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut
2017 Carlisle Zin Mancini Ranch RRV

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

Kindness matters.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#20 Post by Jayson Cohen » October 29th, 2019, 3:52 pm

Frank Murray III wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 3:10 pm
Jay, to answer you question.....rather than 'leaning towards' Mousse and Chartogne-Taillet, just do them. These are excellent producers, are in my own cellar and make terrific wines.

As for the remaining list, I would do Dhondt-Grellet, Pierre Gerbais and Etienne Calsac. Visit their tables and test them out, as they each offer some things that I really enjoy.

Enjoy the event.
I’d listen to Frank.

Chartogne’s Barre was tremendous (12-15 blend), and i think Alexandre is going to present his dosage experiment at Fete.

Also you will like Tarlant. And Melanie Tarlant, who I expect will be there, is a lovely person. Don’t miss.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#21 Post by Howard Cooper » October 29th, 2019, 5:39 pm

Jay Miller wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 1:47 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 1:17 pm
Jay Miller wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 4:18 am
Thanks everyone!

In answer to the above questions I’ve never been a fan of the Krug style and while I like Bollinger well enough I don’t like them enough to ever buy the wines. Ditto for Billecart. I’ve been avoiding Jacquesson for a long time so maybe they’ve gotten better but while I liked them a long time ago I had a number of to my palate harshly made low dosage wines so I started avoiding them.

Given that even taking tiny sips I can only manage a limited number of tables before my palate shuts down I have to be selective. So I hit the tables of producers I like, buy or know I want to try and then try some I’m not familiar to me. last year I discovered Marguet. That was worth the price of admission by itself.
And Dom Ruinart?
Still haven't had one that thrilled me.
Interesting. I am a big fan of Dom Ruinart
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#22 Post by Jay Miller » October 30th, 2019, 6:44 am

Frank Murray III wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 3:10 pm
Jay, so you're going to the NYC event on 11/7, right? Would love to see some photos and TNs so if you do that kind of thing. As a few other postscript comments to my post, since Bereche is in your first cut to visit, taste the Le Cran if they are pouring it. This comes from a plot in Ludes. I had a bottle of it over this past weekend, the 2008, and it was unique and really caught my attention.
I generally love Le Cran, but then I love all the non-negociant bottlings from Bereche. They are a table I try to visit since it decides which of their wines I'll buy for the year. Last year I found their 2014s disappointing but I'm looking forward to seeing what this year has to bring.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#23 Post by Nathan V. » October 30th, 2019, 6:55 am

Jay Miller wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 2:01 pm
As La Fete approaches I was hoping for some advice from the collective experience of the board (at first I typed "wisdom of the board" but then I came to my senses).

These are the people I intend to hit first:

Agrapart
Bérêche & Fils
Robert Moncuit
La Closerie
Louis Roederer
Pol Roger
Salon

After that I was leaning towards

Drappier
Moussé Fils
Chartogne-Taillet

I will skip

Krug
Rodez
Laval
Paillard
Ruinart
Bollinger
Jacquesson
Lanson
Billecart-Salmon


I was hoping for opinions on prioritizing these remaining producers who I either haven't tried recently or have never tried at all:

Etienne Calsac
La Caravelle
Delamotte
Dhondt-Grellet
Pierre Gerbais
Michel Gonet
Henriot
Leclerc-Briant
Legras & Haas
AR Lenoble
Philipponnat
Savart
Tarlant


Thanks!
If it were me, I would add:

Rodez (I found the parcelle wines to be very special, but it seems like it's just Peter and I)
Savart
Tarlant

I like Jacquesson. I'd probably drop Pol Roger and Salon from your list to concentrate on more growers, but that's just me maybe.
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#24 Post by Jayson Cohen » October 30th, 2019, 7:00 am

I like Rodez. So that’s three.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#25 Post by Jay Miller » October 30th, 2019, 7:02 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 7:00 am
I like Rodez. So that’s three.
I tried them at my first two La Fetes and decided I wouldn't waste any more time as they weren't for me.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#26 Post by Jay Miller » October 30th, 2019, 7:17 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 5:39 pm
Jay Miller wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 1:47 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 1:17 pm


And Dom Ruinart?
Still haven't had one that thrilled me.
Interesting. I am a big fan of Dom Ruinart
I haven't tried many so I might like them more than I think but being able to visit a limited number of tables and with the cost of entry outside means a lot of people don't get second chances.

On the other hand I am certain I don't care for Krug as well meaning friends keep opening it when I'm around. I really wish they'd stop.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#27 Post by c fu » October 30th, 2019, 10:18 am

Jay Miller wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 7:02 am
Jayson Cohen wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 7:00 am
I like Rodez. So that’s three.
I tried them at my first two La Fetes and decided I wouldn't waste any more time as they weren't for me.
just target their single vineyard stuff.
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#28 Post by Robert Dentice » October 30th, 2019, 10:26 am

Jay Miller wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 10:41 am
Len Fox wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 8:17 am
Hi Jay - Will be at La Fete Grand tasting with my wife, daughter and her boyfriend.
Etienne Calsac's wines are beautiful, not to be missed. Opened the Clos des Maladries and Les Revanents Friday evening. A treat with a superb dinner that Abe Schoener prepared for us.
My limited experience with LeClerc-Briant was quite good and I will seek them out. At a recent dinner in Helsinki, the wine was slightly oxidative with a strong expression of umami.
Thanks Len! After such strong recs from you, Brad and Frank they'll probably one of my first visits.
I would also recommend Etienne Calsac. I love the Clos des Maladries.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#29 Post by Jay Miller » October 30th, 2019, 10:37 am

Robert Dentice wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 10:26 am
Jay Miller wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 10:41 am
Len Fox wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 8:17 am
Hi Jay - Will be at La Fete Grand tasting with my wife, daughter and her boyfriend.
Etienne Calsac's wines are beautiful, not to be missed. Opened the Clos des Maladries and Les Revanents Friday evening. A treat with a superb dinner that Abe Schoener prepared for us.
My limited experience with LeClerc-Briant was quite good and I will seek them out. At a recent dinner in Helsinki, the wine was slightly oxidative with a strong expression of umami.
Thanks Len! After such strong recs from you, Brad and Frank they'll probably one of my first visits.
I would also recommend Etienne Calsac. I love the Clos des Maladries.
Thanks Robert! I may make them my first stop.

BTW - you should have an email from me.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#30 Post by Jayson Cohen » October 30th, 2019, 11:01 am

c fu wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 10:18 am
Jay Miller wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 7:02 am
Jayson Cohen wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 7:00 am
I like Rodez. So that’s three.
I tried them at my first two La Fetes and decided I wouldn't waste any more time as they weren't for me.
just target their single vineyard stuff.
I like the multi-vineyard BdN too.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#31 Post by Doug Schulman » October 30th, 2019, 11:38 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 3:52 pm
Chartogne’s Barre was tremendous (12-15 blend)
yes!
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#32 Post by c fu » October 30th, 2019, 12:03 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
October 29th, 2019, 3:52 pm
Frank Murray III wrote:
October 28th, 2019, 3:10 pm
Jay, to answer you question.....rather than 'leaning towards' Mousse and Chartogne-Taillet, just do them. These are excellent producers, are in my own cellar and make terrific wines.

As for the remaining list, I would do Dhondt-Grellet, Pierre Gerbais and Etienne Calsac. Visit their tables and test them out, as they each offer some things that I really enjoy.

Enjoy the event.
I’d listen to Frank.

Chartogne’s Barre was tremendous (12-15 blend), and i think Alexandre is going to present his dosage experiment at Fete.

Also you will like Tarlant. And Melanie Tarlant, who I expect will be there, is a lovely person. Don’t miss.
That Barr was so good i'm picking up some more tomorrow
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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#33 Post by Frank Murray III » October 30th, 2019, 3:26 pm

Charlie, so who offered the CT Les Barres?
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence BdB Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie PN Platt SC
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut
2017 Carlisle Zin Mancini Ranch RRV

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

Kindness matters.

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Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#34 Post by ybarselah » November 8th, 2019, 7:35 am

went to the lanson dinner last night (thank you again generous benefactor!) and was very interesting. a house i have almost zero experience with. all served in magnum going back to 1961.

i highly recommend going to the champagne lounge at the freehand hotel for any pre- of after-hours shenanigans. the list of champagnes on hand is stupendous and the pricing seems a few % over cost. lots of fun.
Yaacov (ITB)

m. ristev
Posts: 684
Joined: October 10th, 2014, 3:57 pm

Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#35 Post by m. ristev » November 8th, 2019, 7:43 am

ybarselah wrote:
November 8th, 2019, 7:35 am
i highly recommend going to the champagne lounge at the freehand hotel for any pre- of after-hours shenanigans. the list of champagnes on hand is stupendous and the pricing seems a few % over cost. lots of fun.
does this mean less than retail?
i never cared for the freehand hotel, it has a strange vibe. i find it an odd choice of venue...
mајкл

ybarselah
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Joined: July 15th, 2009, 2:29 pm

Re: Advice on producers I should try at La Fete du Champagne?

#36 Post by ybarselah » November 8th, 2019, 7:48 am

yes.

you don't have to go if you don't like it, it was just a suggestion. sorry if that wasn't clear.
Yaacov (ITB)

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