There is something magical about bubbles in big bottles. Don't ask me what it is, or why, but they just taste better.
I was introduced to this concept sometime in the late '90's when my band would take the long Presidents' weekend off each year and head up to Mendocino to jam our faces off for 3 days and nights at a rented house somewhere in the middle of the woods. Those were indeed fun times, but I'm off subject.
One year, due to my insistence, we stopped at the Roederer winery and tasting room in Anderson Valley on our way up to Mendo. The band (there were 6 of us) took over the quiet tasting room, and we were helped by a kind woman who helped navigate us through the wines. It seemed she knew a thing or two about music, as her boyfriend "played in bands." It was then and there we learned about magnums. She poured the same wine, one from bottle, one from magnum, for each of us to taste. It was unanimous! We all thought the magnum samples tasted better. "Why is that?" We all asked, but to no avail; some things remain magical. Magical, yes, but somehow still a fact. We thanked our kind guide for her time and headed on up to our weekend jamboree, toting 3 magnums of Roederer sparkling wine!
Over the years, I've heard much about the subject, and have sampled sparkling wines side by side, one from bottle, one from magnum. The magnum wins ... every time.
We are open today, December 30, and will be closed both tomorrow and Monday. So today is your last chance to pop in and pick up a magnum of fizz for your 2018 celebrations! Here is a quartet of our best-priced magnums of sparkling wine.
NV Cava Brut Segura Viudas $17.98
By far, our best priced magnum of sparkling wine. This is a great choice for a mixed crowd; it's dry and delicious enough to enjoy on its own, and inexpensive enough to be okay if someone decides to pour peach or orange juice in it!
NV Cava Brut Reserva Heredad Sigura Viudas $44.98
Something much more serious from Segura Viudas. This regal bottle tells us everything about its contents. Pure, clean, refined sparkling wine at a "less than Champagne" price. Oh, why not, this one's worth sabring!
NV Vouvray Brut Domaine d'Orfeuilles $39.98
100% Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. This is another outstanding, Champagne-like value, with its tangy Granny Smith apple fruit and dusty mineral notes. The magnum bottle just screams, "It's party time!"
NV Crémant de Bourgogne Perle de Roche Jean-Marie Chaland $59.98
We just mentioned the recent arrival of the Perle de Roche Crémant de Bourgogne from Jean-Michel Chaland. It's all Chardonnay, and with it's tiny bubbles and delicate aromas, can easily charm Champagne lovers.
or whatever else you may call your sparkling wine, there is no question that THE most popular time of year for the stuff is upon us now. So whether you need a bottle or two to ring in the New Year, for Sunday Brunch, or if you would just like a great pairing partner for your caviar, fried chicken, or bowl of potato chips, we've got a nice selection of sparkling wine at a variety of price-points.
Beginning with our sub $10 Cava sparkling wines from Spain, we have a handful of offerings which range from $10 - $30, each one with its own allure. Then, we have a fine line of great Champagnes, many of them Grower Champagnes, ranging in price from the $30's all the way up to a very special bottling of Krug (Pssst: It's on sale!).
So, no matter your budget, we've got the sparkling wine for you this year. Need help choosing? Our friendly, knowledgable staff is more than happy to give recommendations and help you zero in on that special bottle for 2018! Come see us or give us a call - we'll be here!!! Happy (up-coming) New Year!
2014 Cantine Russo Mon Pit Brut Blanc de Blancs $25.98
Feed your inner wine-geek, and/or impress your friends with this two grape blended fizz from Sicily. Grown in volcanic soils around Mount Etna, the grapes are Carricante and Catarratto, the former is known for its inherent acidity, while the latter is known for its lemon fruit expression. This sparkler from Sicily can take the world by storm ... once the world tastes it!
1998 Arlaux Millesime Rare Reg. $84.98 SALE $64.95
What a great way to ring in 2018! This soon to be 20 year old bottle of Champagne is in a glorious place at the moment. The tiny bubbles push an initial yeasty/briochey element which opens the door for an incredibly complex bouquet. The palate is racy and lively with all of that complexity pinging every sensor.
NV Jean-Marie Chaland Crémant de Bourgogne Perle de Roche Brut Nature $28.98
That's a mouthfull, we know, but it's the mouth feel of this Crémant de Bourgogne that has our staff buzzing. Tiny bubbles, soft lemon verbena aromas, and a well-constructed palate had our staff in agreement that this could be a "ringer" in a Champagne tasting. It's all Chardonnay, and it's amazing.
2007 Vilmart & Cie Coeur de Cuvée $144.98
A most extraordinary Champagne from one of the region's greatest growers and producers. Made of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, this Champagne is refined, expressive, complex, even grandiose. It's like Montrachet with bubbles.
NV Marc Hebrart Premier Cru Cuvée de Réserve Brut $43.98
It all started when David purchased a few cases of the Marc Hebrart Champagnes and declared them, "My kind of Champagne." Well, that was enough for us. Several of our staff took a bottle or two home, and recommended it to our customers. It's already sold out twice, so it must be our kind of Champagne too!
NV Krug Grande Cuvée 164ème Édition Reg. $199.98 SALE $168.95
From Antonio Galloni: "Krug's NV Grande Cuvée 164 Edition is a total knockout. The flavors are brisk, delineated and pulsing with energy, while the more oxidative notes that are such a signature of Krug Champagnes are not especially evident. 97 points."
We're ten days away from the end of 2017!! What to do? Why, celebrate, of course!! If you're in need of wine to celebrate with, we've got you covered!
As is customary this time of year, sparkling wines are very popular as celebratory wines, and we have good stocks of fizz ranging from sub $20 sparklers to fancy, hard to find Champagnes. Click here for a link to our selection of bubbles.
If you like to celebrate like I do, then maybe a bottle of Sauternes from our anniversary sale is the way to go. I always like to celebrate with Bordeaux's Gold wines, and a glass of Sauternes on New Year's Day is a must, if one is going to have a sweet year!
Remember, our sale lasts through January 2, 2018, so if you haven't checked it out, time is running short.
Our ever-popular, dry, pear-scented, Giavi Prosecco is quite an elegant drink for its party-wine price. Careful - the bottle tends to be finished before you know it!
2005 Château De Malle Sauternes 375ml Reg. $27.98 SALE $19.95
From a vintage known for its abundant level of botrytis, the 2005 de Malle is showing rich aromas with citrus fruit and spicy aromas. The palate is well-balanced and harmonious. It's in a great spot right now.
Vivacious Champagne-method bubbly produced from organically farmed Côt, Cabernet Franc, and Grolleau grapes, grown on limestone-clay hillside soils. Fresh and crisp, with surprising complexity.
2007 Chateau Rieussec Sauternes 375ml Reg. $44.98 SALE $34.95
"The palate is very pure and balanced with a wonderful seam of acidity that slices through the viscous botrytis fruit, quite spicy on the finish" - Neal Martin
2004 Pascal Doquet Grand Cru Le Mesnil Sur Oger Coeur De Terroir Reg. $99.98 SALE $74.95
Or one can go the way of true vintage Chamagne with this 2004 Grand Cru from Pascal Doquet. Expressive, yeasty, and nutty, 2004 was great for Chardonnay-based Champagne.
2005 Chateau De Fargues Sauternes 375ml Reg. $59.98 SALE $49.95
Owned by the Lur Saluces family (former owners of Château d'Yquem), the 2005 de Fargues is Sauternes lover's dream. It's intense, complex, rich, and powerful. It's a great wine - for now, or for up to 15-20 years.
I was first introduced to Liébart-Régnier at a trade show last year. These kinds of shows feature scores of producers that are looking for US importers. They are a worthwhile endeavor, but you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your Prince Charming. These Champagnes, shown to me by the charming Alexandra Liébart, were, for me, the hit of the tasting, and a few months later I was in the village of Baslieux-sous-Chatillon paying them a visit. The estate was formed, as one might surmise, with the marriage of a Liébart to a Régnier, both of whom owned vineyards in the Marne Valley. Alexandra's father, Laurent, runs the estate now, and farms their 10 hectares. They have been independent winegrowers since 1960, producing their Champagnes from 100% estate grown grapes. Their wines are based on Meunier and Pinot Noir from Baslieux-sous-Chatillon, with Chardonnay, and a parcel of 50 year old Pinor Noir (used for the Rosé), coming from the nearby village of Vauciennes. They farm some of the ancient Champagne varietals as well, Petit Meslier, Arbanne, and Pinot Gris, and they will release their first cuvée from those varietals in the next year or two.
The Liébarts are farmers first and foremost, and are certified "H.V.E.," which is given to producers that show respect for natural habitats, protect biodiversity, and use natural treatments. Their dedicated farming translates into utterly delicious Champagnes -- generous in fruit, focused and precise, giving boundless pleasure.
All these wines are net-priced, but for December only, to encourage you to partake in these fine Champagnes, we are offering a 15% discount on any assortment of 12 bottles of Liébart-Régnier. You will love having a nice stash around for the coming year! - David Netzer
NV Liébart-Régnier Extra Brut Reg. $36.99 CASE $31.43