Need an excuse to drink champagne….

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Tomorrow, October 23, 2015, is the sixth annual Global #ChampagneDay —

All you need to participate is a glass of Champagne — share your photos, tasting notes, experiences and videos on any social media site, and be sure to add the #ChampagneDay hash tag so your wine friends from around the globe can share in the fun.

Yes, it’s that special time of year to raise your flute to the quintessential wine of celebration, good cheer and toasts everywhere: Champagne!

And remember Champagne is from the Champagne region of France, which, on July 5th 2015 was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO and Champagne is from the Champagne region of France, making it the only sparkling wine that can be called Champagne.

Liz Palmer
The Ultimate Guide To Champagne – Release Date: Spring 2016
wwwLiz-Palmer.com

Riedel Launches New Champagne Stemware from the Superleggero and Veritas Collections

4425-28 gefÅllt auf schwarzEarlier this year Maximilian Riedel launched the Sommeliers Superleggero series — he says: “Drawing on 60 years of wine experience and expertise, the new Sommeliers Superleggero Series is designed to carry the charm of a handmade glass with added superior lightness.” The hand blown Superlegerro Champagne stemware retails for £270/pair.

Riedel also launched this year, from the Veritas range, machine blown Champagne stemware that retails for £55/pair.

I met up with Matt Knight, Business Manager of Riedel UK, at The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, at the Royal Opera House, London yesterday and he was very happy to show me the new champagne stemware. Both have the same bowl shape and size, are lead-free and the stems have been lengthened creating a more slimmer and elegant steamware.

My preference is the Superlegerro – the stem was a bit longer giving it a bit more elegant feel.

Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Height: 260mm

Liz Palmer

ARMAND DE BRIGNAC’S BLANC DE NOIRS LAUNCHES AT HARRODS

ArmandDeBrignac_BlancDeNoirs_LPThis week Armand de Brignac launches a new cuvée — Blanc de Noir Ace of Spades made of 100% Pinot Poir at Harrods, London.

Blanc de Noir Ace of Spades sells for the hefty sum of £695 per bottle and is presented in a dramatic gunmetal bottle.

There is a limited production of 3,000 bottles with 240 being allocated exclusively to Harrods.

“A marvellous strength of the Blanc de Noirs is its versatility; it can truly be enjoyed on its own, but it will also be the perfect wine for an entire meal. This is a very sophisticated wine for the pleasure of a lucky few,” comments Gerald Loparco, a representative for Armand de Brignac. “Harrods has a global reach and an unmatched reputation for excellence, so we thought that our common philosophies and traditional approach with a modern twist was the perfect match for this worldwide exclusive launch,” Gerald adds.

Liz Palmer

Moët & Chandon Pushes the Boundaries with Prestige Cuvee MCIII

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Moet & Chandon is set to release a new prestige cuvee into the US market early October.

Their new cuvee “MCIII” is highly unusual as it incorporates base wines from the 2003 vintage and a range of older reserve stocks, includes non-sparkling vin clair wines, with an assemblage of vintage wines aged both in stainless steel vats and oak casks.

This unique blend is 50 percent of Pinot Noir from the grand cru village of Ay, and 50 percent Chardonnay from Chouilly and Cramant.

Gouez has also included a high proportion of still, oak-aged wines: nearly 40 percent of the blend is reserve wine matured in oak barrels, hailing from the 2002, 2000 and 1998 vintages.

The Chef de cave Benoit Gouez completed this truly unique blend by uncorking vintage Champagne from 1999, 1998 and 1993 vintages.

With the price set at $450, this new prestige cuvee is being introduced gradually, with a limited production of 15,000 bottles.

The presentation is quite dramatic — MCIII is presented in a black bottle with a metallic cap, medallion base and beautiful wooden coffret.

Chef de cave Benoit Gouez has stated: “We have created a cuvee of great complexity, which is composed of three strata” or layers.”

Liz Palmer
@ChampagneHouses

From one harvest to the next – Richard Geoffroy

images“In only a few weeks my attention will be fully devoted to the 2015 vintage. The month of August is the calm before the storm, the perfect time to reflect on the past and contemplate the tasks to come. Since my last recap on the 2014 harvest I have had the opportunity to taste the wines several times.

In 2014 the selection of vineyards and grapes themselves were of utmost importance. The sanitary conditions created a scarcity effect, and we could only hope to reach our goal of excellence through careful and drastic sorting. The 2014 vintage was certainly heterogeneous: however there were hidden gems to be found throughout Champagne. Thankfully, through the diversity and quality of our grape sources, we could afford to be picky and to choose fruit only from the best vineyards.

The Pinot Noir grapes were few but had reached a high level of maturity. They contributed tropical aromas of exotic fruits, and were marked with generosity, fullness and amazing length. The Chardonnays, also quite mature and of high quality, were able to provide the much need acidic backbone to bring balance on the palate.

It is again too early to offer a final pronouncement about the 2014 vintage, which was certainly the most challenging since 2005. In this context I am already quite satisfied with what we have been able to achieve.”

Richard Geoffroy
Chef de Cave, Dom Pérignon