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One of the most serious English Sparkling producers. This historic estate has been in the Goring family since 1743. The tiny 16-acre vineyard is close-planted on a steep south-facing chalk escarpment described as 'similar to the Côte des Blancs' in Champagne. The fruit is picked very selectively with quality being the absolute focus. The grapes are pressed gently using a traditional Coquard press. After three years on the lees this wine, composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 22% Pinot Meunier, is hand disgorged and balanced with a minimal dosage of just 4g/L. It has a fine counterbalance between toasty richness and power from the wines élevage in Burgundian French Oak barrels, with racy acidity, tension and a focused chalky minerality.

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Entries in Michel Arnould (3)

Friday
Oct262012

Champagne Friday: It's International Champagne Day!

Benoit Marguet inspecting one of his magnums.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Today is International Champagne Day, so it is a very special Champagne Friday. Later today, I will be in the San Francisco store pouring a tasting of all magnum, all estate-grown Champagnes from 5pm until 6:30 PM. Please join me to celebrate International Champagne Day in SF  if you can! Even if you can’t come, you can still do your part and drink some Champagne today.

Why magnums? I believe the best premium that one can pay in regards to Champagne is the upgrade to a magnum (1.5L) format. Whenever there are enough people to drink two bottles of Champagne- at my house that means three people- I consider a magnum. Since Champagne undergoes its second fermentation in the bottle, a magnum is at a tremendous advantage: not only does it enjoy double the wine to oxygen ratio in the larger bottle, but the curve of the glass allows for more contact with the yeast before disgorgement. This means you get more of the aged character that you do want (contact with the lees) and less of the ageing you don’t want (contact with oxygen).

I hope you can join me this evening in San Fransisco. The cost to taste is only $10! Here's what I will be pouring:

If you have enjoyed the wines of Lallement, Bollinger and Krug in the past, I think you will very much enjoy Michel Arnould.

Bruno Michel "Blanche Brut" Champagne $32.99/ $$79.99 magnum

Marguet Pere et Fils "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Champagne $34.99 / $74.99 magnum

2002 Michel Loriot Vintage Brut Champagne 1.5L $99 (magnum only)

Ariston Aspasie "Brut Prestige" Champagne $39.99/ $84.99

Michel Arnould Verzenay "Brut Reserve" Champagne $32.99/ $64.99 magnum

Michel Arnould Verzenay Brut Rosé Champagne $34.99/ $74.99 magnum

 

A toast to you, hopefully with you!

–Gary

Friday
Aug032012

Champagne Friday: Pinot Power

Patrick Arnould at his forklift during bottling

By: Gary Westby| K&L Champagne Buyer

Michel Arnould: Pinot Power Champagne

Champagne Michel Arnould is our top producers of dry, powerful Pinot based Champagnes. Located on the Mountain of Reims, Verzenay is one of the most exciting and unique terroirs in all of Champagne. The furthest north of all of the Grand Crus, it faces north away from the sun and still manages to produce some of the most powerful Pinot Noir in the region. Some of the locals say that a mysterious warm air current is the explanation for this ripening anomaly; others will say that it is impossible to explain, like the flight of the bumblebee. I love the distinct, hazelnut quality that this special village stamps on its wines, and I feel very lucky to have convinced Mr. Patrick Arnould to sell us some of his great wines.

Patrick is the fifth generation of Champagne Michel Arnould. They own 27 acres in the village of Verzenay, a quite sizable holding in this high rent area. It is planted to 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, which reflects the average plantation for the village. The black Pinot is king here. The Arnould’s have quite a few plots of vines that are very old and positioned in the golden band of the mid slope, where the sun exposure is best. They have a high proportion of old vines (40 to 50 years old) and all of the wines undergo complete malolactic fermentation in stainless steel and enamel vats.

If you have enjoyed the wines of Lallement, Bollinger and Krug in the past, I think you will very much enjoy Michel Arnould. Here is what we have from Arnould:

Michel Arnould Verzenay Brut Reserve Champagne $32.99 750ml/ $64.99 magnum: This is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, entirely from estate vineyards in the grand cru of Verzenay. This is a great party Champagne, since it is full of flavor yet refreshing and moreish. The hazelnut Pinot character so unique to the village of Verzenay is pronounced in this wine, and many good tasters have mistaken it for barrel fermented (it is actually all stainless and enamel fermented) when presented the wine blinds. The texture is full and the bead is refined- a Champagne that you will be proud to serve to your guests, or perhaps not too proud to save for yourself!

 

Michel Arnould "Grand Cuvée" Brut Champagne $34.99: Exclusively from the 2002 harvest, although not labeled as such, this Champagne is composed of two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay. The color is gorgeous gold studded with tiny bubbles. The aroma is amazing. The Champagne has a graceful, delicate balance that Verzenay wines sometimes lack but with the signature hazelnut Pinot core. I found it to have creaminess to complement its racy cherry fruit on the palate, and an extraordinarily long, dry finish. It is dosed at 9 grams per liter: very dry! It will age very well.

 

Michel Arnould Verzenay Brut Rosé Champagne $34.99 750ml/ $74.99 magnum:  100% Pinot Noir Grand Cru, acquired by assembling different vintages and red Coteaux Champenoises coming from old vines. This lovely Rosé Champagne offers hints of raspberry, strawberry and redcurrant. Very refined on the palate where more berries and finally grenadine notes emerge.

 

 

Michel Arnould Verzenay Extra Brut Champagne $39.99: Although not labeled as a vintage, this is based entirely on 2005 juice. It is 100% pinot noir from Verzenay, the northernmost of all the Grand Crus in this northernmost of French wine regions. The whole village faces north, the wrong way, away from the sun, and yet miraculously ripens pinot noir, the most difficult Champagne variety to ripen perfectly. Some say it’s because of a meteor that in prehistoric times hit the area that is now the village, creating the faux de Verzenay, a forest where the trees bend and fold in on themselves like a dark wood in The Lord of the Rings. Pair this wine with salmon, smoked as an appetizer or even served as sashimi.

Happy Champagne Friday!

-Gary

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 Shop our complete Champagne selection on KLWines.com!

Friday
Apr132012

Champagne Friday: Gary Makes Tuna Mousse 

Join K&L Champagne buyer Gary Westby at home for a cooking demonstration on the preparation of one of his favorite pairings for Champagne: Tuna Mousse! It's easy to make and pairs perfectly with a rich, expressive vintage bubbly like Michel Arnould's Vintage "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne. Gary says he likes to serve it with breadsticks, but it works great on crackers as well!

2005 Michel Arnould Vintage "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne $59.99

This Grand Cru vintage, made from this estate's oldest Verzenay vines and the the Côte des Grands Blancs vines, and only wines from an exceptional year. A maturing process of at least 3 years donates all that is necessary to allow this vintage to be called 'Carte d’Or'.