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In December, we drink Champagne at closing at K&L- and we prefer to drink it out of magnum when possible. The highlight this year was the Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (1.5L) magnum ($74.99) that we had on Christmas eve. This single vineyard beauty comes from the Gouttes d’Or, a very steep east facing parcel in the little village of Brouillet. It was creamy, delicate and perfectly refreshing! We all say to cheers to you, and hope your holiday is filled with fun and friends!

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Friday
Apr142006

Two Champagnes Even Mom Will Love!

As we sequeway into Spring, I have two fantastic Champagne jewels. The first, and one of our most popular, is the NV De Meric, Grande Reserve Brut Sous Bois ($27.99). This is a very small, quality-conscious negotiant begun by the Besserat family in 1843 in Ay. Only Grand Cru and Premier Cru grapes are used in De Meric’s Champagnes. The wines are aged in chalk cellars with rumage still being done by hand. Half oak-aged and half stainless steel-aged, this organic beauty has a big, toasty nose with a roasted hazelnut/almond character and a touch of sea salt. A blend of 80% pinot noir, 15% chardonnay and 5% pinot meunier. On the palate, golden and granny smith apples with an elegant, small bead. Anjou pears and a hint of cocoa at the forefront. A zesty finish with light yeast and toast. Champagne jewel number two is a name that most of you will recognize. The 1996 Laurent Perrier Vintage Brut ($39.99) is one of our top-selling Champagnes from this vintage. Am I selling out, you say? Nay! Although I usually focus on small estate-produced Champagnes, I am crazy for this larger (but, not HUGE) production bubbly. A masterful blend of 55% pinot noir and 45% chardonnay that received an amazing 92 point score from the Wine Spectator. A concentrated nose of citrus fruits, wet stones, lemon and spice. While brisk in the mouth, there is a nuanced texture with lemon cream, honeysuckle and (faint) ginger flavors. Starts out soft and ends with a long, lingering, complex finish. It is also available in half-bottles and magnums. The 1996 will also age well over the next six years. —Scott Beckerley

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