TN: K&L Champagne Tent Tasting

I am decidedly NOT a champagne expert, so these notes are posted with the intent to generate discussion and see what others’ opinions are. If you attended, what did you enjoy? I tend to like fulled-bodied slighty oxidative champagnes, so keep that lens in mind.

K&L CHAMPAGNE TENT TASTING - K&L, San Francisco (10/23/2016)

Another excellent experience to taste through all these great champagnes, though it was very crowded at times around the popular tables.

My take-aways:

  • Comtes de Champagne is still one of my favorite high-end champagnes, though it may need time to integrate based on this 2006 young.
  • Krug is always a treat. I was hoping they would bring a vintage Krug, but they didn’t this year.
  • Cristal is actually a very nice, elegant experience. Even more so from magnum. =)
  • Amaury Coutelas is one of my favorite value wines, especially the Cuvee Louis Victor. Their vintage champagne is excellent as well.
  • Arthur Marc was one of my discoveries at this event. I’ve liked their Pinot Meunier red wine in the past, but their champagnes were stars at this event. The Perla Nera was as good as any other champagne here.
    Always a treat, though just as with my taste a few weeks ago at the W&S Top 100 tasting, the grand cuvee beat out the rose by a large margin.
  • NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée - France, Champagne
    Superb biting acidity throughout, fresh but full bodied, nice yeastiness, overall excellent to drink now. 92-93 (93 pts.)
  • NV Krug Champagne Brut Rosé - France, Champagne
    Peach; strawberry, red fruit; palate is medium bodied, red fruit, nice freshness, but lacks enough complexity for the price point; medium finish. 90 (90 pts.)

I’ve had a good variety of aged Comtes de Champagne that I’ve loved, though when young it can be a little unintegrated. I think this follows the same mold. I’ve bought some to cellar on its reputation of longevity alone, though it’s not drinking at its best today.

  • NV Taittinger Champagne Nocturne Sec - France, Champagne
    Nose is fairly aromatic, slight yeast, good fruit; somewhat sweet, but still fresh, mostly dry, simple. 88 (88 pts.)
  • 2006 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne - France, Champagne
    Lovely nose with fresh yeast but also some brioche, slight minerals; palate is full bodied, lovely high acid, peachy lime fruit; medium-plus finish. Very nice in a fuller bodied style. Excellent but young with a bit too much oak now. 92+ (92 pts.)

Louis Roederer
This is surprisingly good, though still pricey. Wonderful elegant wine, and even better than my last taste 2 years ago.

  • 2006 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut - France, Champagne
    En magnum. Elegant nose, well put together, pear, Apple; palate again has wonderful mousse, great pear and apple fruit, elegant, well knit together, light bodied but has depth; long finish. Superb. 93-95+ (94 pts.)


  • NV Egrot et Filles Champagne - France, Champagne
    Clean style of champagne, good acid but lacks fruit concentration of complexity, a bit watery. 85 (85 pts.)
  • 2009 Egrot et Filles Champagne - France, Champagne
    Nose is moderately aromatic, some yeast and nice fruit, peach; palate is medium bodied, some oak, a bit dilute; medium finish. The nose is nicer than the palate. 88 (88 pts.)

A producer that I’ve loved for their Cuvee Louis Victor as my best buy <$50. It didn’t show as well in this lineup, though I did like their vintage cuvee quite a bit. I will continue to buy their cuvee louis victor and perhaps their vintage when the pricing is right.

  • 2008 Amaury Coutelas Champagne Brut Vintage - France, Champagne
    Lightly aromatic, Apple, pear; palate is light to medium bodied, excellent Apple and pear fruit; medium finish. Nice. 90 (90 pts.)
  • NV Amaury Coutelas Champagne “Louis Victor” Brut - France, Champagne
    Nose seems more reticent here than with my bottles at home, nice richness though; palate is medium bodied with more vibrant acidity than I’ve had in the past; medium finish. Nice, but this doesn’t show as well compared to other champagnes as it does by itself with food at home. 89-90 (90 pts.)
  • NV Amaury Coutelas Champagne “Cuvee 1809” Brut - France, Champagne
    Nose has slight oak, vanilla; palate has slight oak, white fruit, plenty of yeast; medium finish. Less fresh than the vintage or cuvée Louis Victor, but good in its own style. Not worth the premium though by my taste. 89-90 (90 pts.)
  • NV Amaury Coutelas Champagne Brut Rosé - France, Champagne
    Salmon color; a little funky, yeasty; fresh acid, but a slight off note, not the right concentration of red fruit. 86 (86 pts.)

Charles Heidsieck

  • 2005 Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut - France, Champagne
    Nose of yeast, oak; palate is rich and full bodied, medium length, lacks complexity or depth though. Nice but a pass for the price. 90 (90 pts.)
  • 1995 Charles Heidsieck Champagne Blanc des Millénaires - France, Champagne
    Integrated, elegant but rich nose; palate is full bodied, excellent richness with high fresh acid, nice fruit, overall well balanced but expensive for the price of $200. 92 (92 pts.)

Arthur Marc
This is another excellent producer, one that I wasn’t familiar with beforehand. I’ve had their dry Pinot Meunier based red (which they also had at this event, not retasted) which is good, but both of these champagnes were excellent as well. The Perla Nera was fabulous and, tasted blind, I would have guessed was a rose. Would be an excellent wine with almost any meal.

  • NV Arthur Marc Champagne Grande Cuvée - France, Champagne
    Elegant, floral, aromatic nose; palate is off-dry, medium acid, nice complexity, white fruit; medium finish. Very nice aromatics and nice complexity, and I kind of even like the higher dosage, but the acidity could be higher. 89-90 (90 pts.)
  • 2008 Arthur Marc Champagne Perla Nera - France, Champagne
    Blanc de Noirs with 100% Pinot Noir. Nice rich aromatics on the nose, strawberry; palate is medium bodied, tart fresh acidity, Apple, red berries, nice depth of flavor; medium-plus finish. Superb, and this is one of my surprise finds of the tasting. 92-94. (93 pts.)


A very nice rose, especially for the price. Elegant, floral, delicate, but also has good red fruits.

Posted from CellarTracker

Damn Ashish, you’re stingy with your points, but great TN’s, thanks. I agree with you on the three I’ve had, but I would add a couple of points to each: '06 Comte, also one of my favorite young tête de cuvées; '95 Heidsieck Blanc de Millénaires, a beautiful and youthful wine from an under-rated vintage (I bought a bunch of these for $100); and the Krug Brut is always a beauty.


Thanks Ashish - really helpful. Wish I could have been there but your notes are a solid backup :slight_smile: !

I was surprised that I didn’t like the 06 Comtes more now, since I’ve had a few other older vintages and uniformly loved them. Champagne is a hard category for me to rate because I’m very picky and I also have experience with a handful of ridiculous ones. I was at a dinner with the 96 Krug and 96 Salon a few years ago, and another with a full lineup of Selosse including the 6 single-vineyard cuvees, and I was very generous with the points those nights…