Retailers and online shippers stock up on their sparklers during the holidays, especially Champagnes, giving us our best selection of the year. This includes vintage Champagnes ranging from 2002 to 2007 as well as some interesting variations on the standard presentations.
Here some different choices to help you toot your flute.
NV Pascal Doquet “Horizon” blanc de blancs ($37)
A blend of 2008 and 2009 vintages that was bottled in 2010 and disgorged two years later, it’s a mellow wine but a well-structured one with the flavors of ripe apples, toast, a little vanilla, lemon and general spiciness. Plus a good mouthful of mousse.
NV Pascal Doquet Le Mesnil sur Oger grand cru blanc de blanc ($64)
Crisp and clean with toasted almonds, some candy accents, hints of cream — delicioso!
2004 Pascal Doquet Ier crus “Vertus” ($50)
Halfway between being very elegant and very robust. Lots of toasty mousse to start with a few savory notes along the way. Interesting, if not outstanding.
2002 Pascal Doquet Le Mesnil sur Oger grand cru vielles vignes blanc de blancs ($78)
Warm, toasty nose, but very lean, pleasantly tart, crisp with a long finish and nutty, toasty aftertaste plus a hint of carbon. Quite nice, but bare bones.
NV Pol Roger reserve brut ($58)
Tart apples, minerally, crisp but with a dollop of cream at the end — a textbook non-vintage brut.
2006 Pol Roger rosé ($83)
A touch of red fruit and a hint of gaminess, but a well-defined and structured wine that is bearing its age well — elegance with a purpose.
2004 Pol Roger blanc de blanc ($86)
Somewhat savory with hints of toasted-grain aromas and tastes. Slightly tart with a metallic minerality. Not as lengthy as it could be — more circular in its tasting dynamics — but it certainly gets the gastric juices flowing.
NV Lamiable grand cru rosé ($36)
A blend of tart cherry and citrus flavors, a little “fat” and creamy in mid-taste with a touch of toast and a crisp finish.
NV Lamiable grand cru brut ($42)
Lovely – crisp, lemony, creamy, long on the palate and very elegant.
2007 Lamiable “Cuvée Meslaines” brut ($51)
Quite enticing, savory aroma like a freshly cut round of cow’s milk cheese. Mellow and toasty with some nuttiness and whey notes, it has a lot of guts, and it is very enticing and quite distinctive.