1998 Champagne - which one?

Celebrating our 12th anniversary - no Krug or Dom, please [thankyou.gif]

Deutz Cuvee William Deutz Brut

Taittinger - Comtes de Champagne

Pol Roger Winston Churchill

The Sir Winston, but you’d better like them doughy and yeasty. Alternate choice, if you can find any, is Bollinger RD. Similar style.

A 2nd for the Winston Churchill - if Paul Lin sees this, he’d likely give you the same recommendation. I LOVE yeasty/bready Champagnes, so it’s right up my alley. You might also look at Bollinger Grande Annee

The Comtes is solid for Champers but is a let down at the price and pedigree. The Churchill seemed very reserved when I had it a year and a half ago. Can’t speak to the Deutz.

Winston. Hands Down.

Gotta be the Winston Churchill. Now that was an easy question.

Thanks, everyone, seems fairly unanimous - we have FTLOP for Port, Burghound for Burgundy, any specialty sites for champagne?

The site is pricey, but Peter Liem seems to be something of an authority:

A lot cheaper than Burghound and even more of a singular authority. He doesn’t just write about Champagne, he lives there so he has his finger on the pulse of what’s happening, especially with the the smaller growers.

Peter is a friend, but he is also among the best wine writers in the world. You’d have to pay a lot more to catch his occasional pieces in the World of Fine Wine.

I was just reading the site yesterday and it got me really excited about drinking some Champagne.

And as to the question, I’d go for the Comptes. If you are open to other suggestions, 1998 Vilmart Cuvée Creation is at Hi-Times for $105. I had the 1996 recently and it was outrageously good. Peter rates the 1998 as one of the wines of the vintage. Also, Vilmart stopped producing this in 1999, so it has a neat niche.

I guess I’m not familiar with the costs of other, similar sites to Peter Liem’s; I was in no way trying to say I don’t think it would be worth it. I love his columns in World of Fine Wine. He is a great writer and probably knows more (at least as much) about the small grower producers in Champagne than anyone.

Burghound is $125/year. Champagne Guide is $89.

I really like the amount of detail that Peter provides on the different producers and their wines. To me, that’s more valuable than a tasting note.

You’ve got three very different styles here:

  • BdB (lighter style): Comtes
  • Majority Pinot (medium bodied): William Deutz
  • Majority Pinot (fuller bodied): Winston Churchill

My personal preference is the Comtes, but that is also the wine with the most upside. To me, the Churchill is pretty good, but a bit monotonous and a touch heavy. The William Deutz is right down the middle and drinks very well right now. None are going to blow you away and each is good (I would say the Comtes is very good). Which to choose would come down to style preference to me.