Dinner w/10 champagnes- small to larger houses incl. Billecart Cuvee Nicholas Francois, Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

Our dinner group revisited a newly opened restaurant/ wine bar on consecutive bi-weekly occasions, a first ever in its 20+ years of existence. A friend of the group heads up Uncorked Wine Tasting & Kitchen and has done a fantastic job of putting together a quality wine experience with a creative and tasty assortment of dishes.

Eleven of us were seated at an elevated long wooden table on comfortable full back bar stools. Quality and appropriate Riedel stemware was provided for our wine theme which was champagne from large and small growers/ houses plus white Burgundy.

All wines were chilled and kept at close to ideal serving temperature. We started with 3 roses:

NV BILLECART-SALMON BRUT ROSE- this is 1 of 2 roses I took and it came from a 6 pack purchased over 5 years ago so it had a bit of age on it; the color was a mild red salmon and the nose and taste profile included fresh red cherry with a little spicy element that added pizzaz; it was crisp, refreshing and ready. Cherry pie in liquid form.

NV VILMART & CIE CUVEE RUBIS BRUT ROSE- I brought this to honor the fine “small” grower this producer is and to check out another bottle for any variation as I just opened one a week ago; the notes are pretty consistent as this also had nice red cherry, strawberry, blood orange and a bit of cranberry accented by spice and chalk; the red cherry was more pronounced in this bottle to the betterment of the profile; it is made of 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay and was disgorged 12/16 at 9 gpl dosage; its a blend of 2013 and 2014.

NV HEIDSIECK & CO. MONOPOLE ROSE TOP BRUT- medium red salmon color; this was laden with oak and spice notes in the nose and thereafter; toasted burnt cherry was most prominent and a bit of sweetness showed up past mid palate; this had lots of wood influence from the nose through the tail and may need time for integration and balance.

We moved on with this flight of 4:

NV PHILIPPONNAT ROYALE RESERVE NON DOSE- this seemed to be somewhat understated with mild expressions of spicy citrus notes which finished a bit on the dry side; it was medium bodied at best and faded rather quickly at the end.

2014 JEROME PREVOST LA CLOSERIE les BEGUINES EXTRA BRUT- Prevost`s 2 main offerings are both 100% Pinot Meunier from Les Béguines so this is 100% PM; I liked the nose and taste profile for its mildly spicy, peppery apple, pear and citrus notes and it had a real easy approachability and nice graceful feel.

2009 MOET & CHANDON GRAND VINTAGE- 40% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir, 23% Pinot Meunier; I`ve had a couple of bottles of this and enjoyed each with consistent notes as this one also provided; there’s a streak of toasty brioche from the early aromas on which accents the bright citrus fruit with lemon and lime most prevalent; following 2 non dosed champagnes, the full bodied and increased weight stood out as well as the extended finish.

2004 DANIEL GINSBURG CUVEE RENE BLANC de BLANC BRUT- the label is now named after the founder of De Meric who made this wine to honor Rene Collard [legendary Champagne maker of Reuil and Damery, 1921-2009] ; our bottle gave mild and mature stone fruit notes early on and all the way through; it had some depth and complexity and held on nicely.

We pause for a slight and pleasant deviation for 2 white Burgs:

2015 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY le TREZIN PULIGNY-MONTRACHET- impressive for the “entry” level status it holds for PYCM, in fact, it can stand on its own merits with pride; fresh lemon zest starts it off followed by orange peel, kiwi and pear, all with a touch of a spicy accent; the mouthfeel was superb being somewhat oily, viscous which added to the overall pleasantness.

2012 LUCIEN LE MOINE BOURGOGNE BLANC- I’ve had a few from different vintages from this prouder and all have been remarkably good; this reasonably priced delight had a yellow toward gold color; I got aromas of fresh and ripe citrus and apple notes which translated to lemon and golden delicious apple fruit on the palate; the creamy like texture added to the sensory experience; the wine just crescendoed beautifully to a grand finish.

Back to bubbly and some serious stuff at that:

2000 BILECART-SALMON CUVEE NICHOLAS FRANCOIS BRUT- the nose suggests something more serious is on the way and it holds true as this unfolds and spreads over the palate leaving glee and happiness; there’s nice spicy and toasty brioche accents to the ripe citrus notes throughout; what stands out is the finesse and elegance from the nose through the tail; after tasting the Clos des Goisses, I define this as the epitome of feminine elegance {vs. masculine elegance}.

2002 PHILIPPONNAT CLOS des GOISSES BRUT- Wow! this nails it even during pouring as its yellow gold color denotes royalty supreme; the nose is huge and redolent with spicy stone fruit especially peach, apricot and white cherry; the taste profile is a lot of the same character, but less intense; this is rich and full bodied, in perfect balance and harmony and as stated above, very masculinely elegant.

NV GEORGES LAVAL CUMIERES BRUT NATURE- disgorged in Oct, 2018 and sourced from 1er Cru fruit, this light yellow colored bubbly had lots of spice and toast to compliment the apple and peach fruit; its full bodied and has enough complexity and weight to hold its own with the big boys it followed.

Our Prince of Sweets treated us to another sweet ending:

2007 CHATEAU DOISY-VEDRINE SAUTERNES- 375 ml; liquid gold with plenty of honeyed pear and apricot, delivered in a thick and syrupy texture leaving a thick coat on the palate to enjoy the next morning.

Fun night with lots of fellowship, love and celebration shared amongst the group while enjoying a fitting wine theme rendering lots of champagne. As often mentioned, “you can never have too much champagne”.


Hi Blake,

Great notes! The Prevost was a 2014. The number after the LC on the label is the vintage.



B-S brut rosé w 5 years of age is always a treat.

Thanks Hal. I appreciate the oversight call.

My thought as well Alan. The fresh and mild red fruit notes develop a bit more flavor with some time.

I fell in love with the Billecart-Salmon Francois with the 1999 vintage. Fortunately it was available back then for sub-$70/bottle. Unfortunately, that was the last vintage available for anything like that price (now double that when released). Oh well, stocked up pretty well with the 99, which I will open tonight with a couple of other wines.

Reminds me of my exposure Neal which was the 02`. It was one of many wondrous wines during dinner at an Italian restaurant, La Bruschetta, in Beverly Hills last year. I raved about it so much, but never acted on acquiring any. And now this one just screams, “Buy me or any other vintage”.