Browse Tag



Fleury 1996 Champagne Brut (Champagne) – Very fruity (kiwi, strawberry), juicy, and forward. Turns both sour and salty on the finish, which is kinda weird. Still, it’s appealing, even if it tries a bit too hard to be so. (2/08)

Facial injections

Bottex Bugey-Cerdon “La Cueille” (Ain) – Harder-edged than the last few years, with more of the foundational granite showing and less of the sprightly, fizzy strawberry; but then, this was always a more restrained expression of this appellation even in the best of year. In truth, it’s very slightly serious. And that just can’t be right. (7/08)

Take Carod yourself

[grapes]Carod Clairette de Die “Tradition” (Rhône) – Perfumed and zingy, with a soft palate but a crisp, lengthy finish. A lovely bubbly that doesn’t make too many demands. (2/08)

Don’t louse it up

Bollinger 1992 Champagne Blanc de Noirs Brut “Vieilles Vignes Françaises” (Champagne) – God drinks this, but he saves it for the special occasions. Pure liquid brilliance, a perfect wine, and unimaginably beautiful. There’s restrained power, there’s incomparable elegance, there’s force and there’s delicacy. It’s a gentle breeze, it’s a typhoon, it’s a gently-flowing stream, it’s a waterfall. Berries? Yes: dark and moody. But also Perigord truffle, and artisan croissant, and the finest fleur de sel. Mostly, though, there’s light and shadow…flickering, flickering. Entire religions were founded on less. (8/07)

Krug oil

Krug Champagne Brut “Grande Cuvée” (Champagne) – The old label, and from magnum. Exceedingly toasty, but in the fresher, more yeasty/freshly-baked bread sense, with a fine bead and wonderful poise. It’s very rich, however, and lovers of a more precise Champagne should look elsewhere. For fans, this is in a gorgeous place right now. The word “hedonistic” is much overused in the wine world and has lost most of the essence it might once have had as a descriptor, but this is a wine that deserves the term. (8/07)


Charles Heidsieck 1985 Champagne Brut “Charlie” (Champagne) – Salted driftwood and subconscious sharpness; the aggression is implied more than delivered, leaving ripe apple and lemon of striking purity naked and exposed. But all around is a structure of sparkling crystal, glinting and shifting and refracting. It’s a gorgeous…nay, frankly majestic wine that manages to be that rarity among bubblies, and still ineffably Champagne. (8/07)

Putting the Billecart before the horse

Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut “Réserve” (Champagne) – Dry, almost parched, with windblown fruit buffeted and eroded to a featureless grey-white. There’s an internal anger here, barely restrained, that snarls loudest on the biting finish. A very particular bubbly. (8/07)

David Michlits

Michlits 2005 Pinot Noir Rosé Frizzante (Burgenland) – Geez, pick a language. Strawberry, watermelon, and minerality form the aromatic cohort, with a candied element emerging and eventually dominating the finish. A dull, indifferent wine with no tactility to its sparkle. (4/08)