Every once in a while,a customer will ask us how we resist temptation, working in a place surrounded by bottles of wine from all over the world. The answer is:we don’t resist it; we like wine, so we drink it. Okay, we spend far more time here in the shop than any customer would, so from a time spent in shop per bottle purchased ratio, it may appear that we do resist temptation … most of the time.While stocking our sales floor this morning,it wasn’t a surprise to find several empty bins that needed refilling. Apart from their emptiness, the other thing these bins had in common were theorange sale signs; there are a solid dozen or so wines around the shop that I would consider outright steals now that they have been marked down. On the short list of the finest of these wines is theNV Pascal Doquet Grand Cru Le Mesnil Sur Oger Blanc de Blancs Champagne.


For me, Champagne is one of those wines that I unfortunately don’t get to drink as often as I would like, but before the orchestra of the world’s smallest violins starts up, I will say that I do make a point to do so from time to time. For celebrations, it’s a given. To pair with fried chicken, it’s a must. To share a meal and some time with someone special, a toast with real Champagne makes it complete. Several years ago, I wrote about summer and Champagne, and heeding my own advice, I’m not going to let summer go by without continuing the tradition.
We’re all fans of quality Grower Champagnes in general, though we’re even bigger fans of the wines produced by Pascal and Laure Doquet! The wines have layers of complexity which have garnered the attention of esteemed critics and TWH customers who love Champagne. This non-vintage, 100% Chardonnay Grand Cru Champagne has expressive aromas of citrus blossoms, apricots, pears, and a sleek, stony mineral nerve. On the palate, one gets a hint of brioche in addition to the fresh fruit, mineral, and a hint of hazelnut. The finish is high-toned and perfectly balanced. It’s a stunning wine at a very fair price. Champagne isn’t cheap, but the sale price on this one makes it one sweet deal!
We’re one week shy of Labor Day Weekend, which for some of us comes with an extra celebration. Another TWH tradition worth mentioning is that birthdays for staff members are celebrated with something sparkling at the end of the day. I think we now know what I’ll have a hankering for next week: The NV Pascal Doquet Grand Cru Sur Oger Blanc de Blancs Champagne. What temptation? – Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments regarding sale wines, Champagne in summer, Bordeaux, or English Football: peter@wineSF.com

2000 Pascal Doquet Premier Cru Le Mont Aimé Champagne

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 8:37 PM


It’s that time of the year again … and though I belong to the school of treating October like October, November like November, and then reveling in the madness of December, things are coming into view. I’ve been to not one but two Champagne tastings this month, and as good as that might sound (seriously, what fun is it to spit Champagne???), the writing is on the wall. Champagne distributors are whispering to merchants, “Get your holiday orders in now, people!” So yes, our selection of sparkling wines is set to grow very soon, ’tis that time of year. One producer we don’t need to bother any distributor about is our own Pascal Doquet.

With a brace of Champagne tastings in my wake, a timely Tweet from The Wine Advocate’s Antonio Galloni, and a glance at where we are on the calendar, it seems the four winds are blowing in the direction of Champagne! As has become recent TWH tradition, when one of us has a birthday, we pop a bottle of fizz. My birthday was last month, and we all celebrated with a bottle of2000 Pascal Doquet Premier Cru Le Mont Aimé! What a treat! It is truly a Champagne lover’s dream. Incredible aromas, layers and layers of complexity, and a fresh, snappy finish. My birthday, sure, but a treat for all who tasted! Speaking of Antonio Galloni, here’s what he had to say about the 2000 Pascal Doquet Premier Cru Le Mont Aimé:

“The 2000 Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Le Mont Aime is an incredibly elegant, refined wine endowed with layers of perfumed fruit. This beautifully sculpted, detailed wine flows with the essence of ripe pears, flowers, spices and minerals in a style that is both accessible today, but also fresh enough to age gracefully for at least a few years. This is first-class juice. Anticipated maturity: 2015 – 92 points.”

He went on to say, “Pascal Doquet is a small, artisan producer based in Vertus. This is a beautiful set of wines loaded with personality.” We think so too. It’s hip to drink Grower Champagne.


So let’s treat October like October … it’s Halloween next week! I haven’t heard about any costumes from anyone yet, but I’m sure I will be seeing them. November comes next, and it will be fun to change our clocks back and enjoy the indoor life with the longer nights. Thanksgiving isn’t too far away now, and there’s no better way to kick off the festivities with friends and loved ones than with a bottle of fine Grower Champagne. Actually, if anyone feels like a festive celebration is in order next week, perhaps a bottle of 2000 Pascal Doquet Premier Cru Le Mont Aimé Blanc de Blancs is the ticket! – Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments about Grower Champagne or tomorrow’s big, massive game (I mean the footy match): peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net
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