Champagne Launch: Champagne Tendil and Lombardi

Tendil & Lombardi recently announce that their Champagnes will be hitting the shelves in the U.S. for the 2012 holiday season!

Background: Tendil & Lombardi Champagne is the project of Laurent Tendil and Stephane Lombardi, childhood friends from Lyon, France. Champagne lovers from early on, Tendil et Lombardi both left top management positions in multi-national companies when they made the leap towards what had been a dream for years, creating their own Champagne. After reaching an agreement in 2007 with a producer allowing them to use parcels and equipment in the Aube region.

Lombardi explains “We both decided to chase down our dream, despite the economic climate and personal financial risks. We’ve had some very rough nights where I would call Tendil saying this project is hopeless, and he’d tell me that we’d be fine — some other nights he would call and I would be the one to reassure him.”

The road is still very long for these two entrepreneurs, nevertheless Tendil & Lombardi Champagnes are already sold in eight countries, and all six cuvees have been rated 90+ by Wine Spectator, not to mention the positive response from Wine Enthusiast, Stephen Tanzer and others.

Tendil & Lombardi’s six cuvees are mainly mono-varietal, either Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. Lombardi explains, “This choice allows us to produce Champagnes that respect the specificity and authenticity of these two noble Champagne grapes.” A highlight of the range is their “Rose de Saignee.”

Whereas most modern rose Champagnes are made by adding red wine, Tendil & Lombardi’s rose gets its enchanting pink color from the traditional method of leaving the juice in contact with the skins of the Pinot Noir. The only blended cuvee in the range is the Cuvee Hymenee.

Tendil explains, “Hymenee is the ancient Greek word for perfect marriage, and we think that this cuvee is the perfect marriage between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.” He might be correct, as this delightful blend of 50 percent Chardonnay and 50 percent Pinot Noir has recently been rated 92 Points by Wine Spectator.

Tendil & Lombardi Rosé de Saignée Millésime 2007
91 Wine Spectator

Notes: Well-cut and aromatic, offering flavors of black cherry puree, toasted raisin bread and pomegranate, with a sweet, smoky base note and hints of tea rose and violet, all set on the lively bead. Offers a bright, creamy finish. Drink now through 2025.

Moet & Chandon replaces Scarlett Johansson with Roger Federer

On Friday the Champagne House of Moët & Chandon announced that it is ending its relationship with Scarlett Johansson and replacing her with Roger Federer as brand ambassador.

In his new role as brand ambassador, Federer will take centre stage in the House’s upcoming advertising campaign, which is certain to generate lots of buzz when revealed in March 2013.

The partnership is expected to last for at four years and that Federer will be “a long-term friend of the house.”

“Federer personifies the glamour of achievement, great generosity, and tremendous style values that have been key to our house throughout its long history,” said Stephane Baschiera, president and chief executive of Moët & Chandon. “As the champagne of victory and an enthusiastic supporter of major tennis tournaments around the world, we are extremely proud to welcome Federer with Moët & Chandon’s hallmark hospitality.”

Federer said: “It’s more than just an honour to be Moët & Chandon’s brand ambassador, it’s an invitation to be part of a very glamorous tradition. Moët & Chandon has always been the Champagne of international trendsetters and I’m proud to be part of a brand that is as dedicated to the pursuit of excellence as I have been throughout my career.”

Air France’s La Première Cabin has Caviar and Champagne on its Menu for the Holiday Season

For the Christmas and New Year holiday season Air France will be offering passengers traveling in the La Première cabin some exceptional dishes to make their flight a refined experience. From December to January 2013 on flights departing from Paris, passengers will now be able to enjoy a unique appetizer, an individual ‘egg’ of Cavier Alverta Royal Eggxiting by Petrossian.

La Première passengers will also get to enjoy exclusive gourmet dishes by Jacques Le Divellec, a noted French chef and a member of the Servair Culinary Studio, with two of his own recipes; the fillet of turbot with clams and the seafood medley with shellfish sauce.

Along with caviar and seafood selections, the dessert menu is designed by Lenotre, and Oilvier Poussier has selected wine from various French regions, along with the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2000.


“A little “extra” knowledge on Champagne is a powerful thing!”

Time and Place
The best time for Champagne tasting is in the morning particularly around 11 am. This is when your senses at their best. If you are tasting and comparing several Champagnes, it is best to serve them in the same type of glass and at the same temperature. Avoid tasting Champagne after a meal, and drinking coffee or other substances that will alter your palate. Also, avoid wearing perfume or cologne when you are tasting as they will mask the aromas in the wines.

Stemware: Flute, Coupe or Tulip?
Stemware is a personal preference. Stemware should be spotless, clean and free of any races of detergent or rinsing agent that might flatten the Champagne. The flute works better for young Champagnes served at the proper temperature. If you can, avoid the coupe, it might look sexy and sophisticated, but does nothing for the wine. If you are serving a “tête de cuvee” or super-premium Champagne my suggestion is to use the tulip – they are tall and large enough to allow the aromas to develop while maintaining elegance and depth. The tulip is used by wine makers for their daily tastings.

Decanting Champagne …Why?
Decanting is used to tame the most aggressive fizz, soften the mousse of young, non-vintage Champagne, and in particular, reserved for older mature wines to assist in opening them up to express their full bouquet. Decanting should be done with careful attention to the bubbles. A long decanter shaped like a lyre or “U” shape is used, it aerates the wine to release the aromas while preserving the bubbles. Ideally Champagne should be consumed 30 minutes to an hour after being decanted.

The ideal serving temperature is between 8° and 10° C. Cuvees of high quality and good maturity will be more appreciated at 12° C. The proper way to chill Champagne is to put the bottle in a bucket of ice water for about 20 minutes. Never put the bottle in the freezer as this can destroy the bubbles and aromas.

Fill the glass no more than two-thirds full allowing space for the aromas to circulate. Once the Champagne has been poured, allow some time for the wine to open up revealing its complexities and richness of its bouquet.

Tip: To prevent excessive loss of carbonation before drinking, Champagne should be carefully poured down the side of the flute rather than straight into the glass.

How To Taste Champagne

All five senses are approached when tasting Champagne. For our purposes, we are focusing on visual, smell, and taste.


Start by holding your glass over a white surface to examine its appearance. Define the colours, its depth and intensity. The wine should be limpid, sparkling or silky and absent of any particles. It should be more or less brilliant and transparent but not dull. The Colour Palate ranges from:

pale gold/green gold/grey gold/straw yellow/yellow gold/antique gold

Then examine the bubbles, are they:

do they form a ring?
are they discreet or intense?


Once the initial effervescence has subsided, bring the glass to your nose and inhale slowly, without swirling it around. Then, swirl it lightly two or three times to air it and to release the aromas. Try to identify the family of aromas and isolate the aromas that you recognize. The principal aromas in Champagne:

Floral: rose/lime blossom/orange blossom/ violet
Fruity: citrus/apples/pears/quince/peaches/apricots/nectarines/mango/banana/lychee/coconut/red berries/cherries/currents
Vegetal: Almond/grass/fern/underwood/truffle
Epicurean: Butter/brioche/toast/honey/candied fruit/vanilla/spices
Dried fruit: hazelnut/raisin/dried fig

Gustative Examination/Taste

The mouth indicates the balance of the wine (sugar and acidity) its texture and intensity. Take a sip and take note of the first impression [the attack]. It indicates the balance and the freshness of the wine. Then allow the wine to swirl around your mouth, inhale through your mouth and exhale through the nose to release the aromas and try to identify them.

Overall Impression: Fresh/Creamy/Delicate/Complex

Light/Heavy – Length is ________________

Remember aromas and flavours are subjective and there is no ‘right’ description of a wine – only what your senses tell you.

What was your overall perception of the Champagne? How will it mature? What dishes would you serve with it? A good Champagne deserves to be shares and talked about.


• Add a splash of bubble to your oysters for some added flavors
• A well-balanced and structured Champagne has great capacity to adapt to different food and flavors.
• Champagne has the ability to freshen our palate and never leave us with a dull or heavy mouth.

Liz Palmer

Sotheby’s Offering Exclusive Krug Champagne Tastings in France

Sotheby’s has upped the ante for its December 1, 2012 sale of the largest collection of Krug champagne ever, taking place in New York. In addition to the unprecedented offering of precious bottles sourced directly from the cellars of Maison Krug in Reims, Sotheby’s is now offering two exclusive excursions to the house itself, one of which includes a private tasting of historic Krug vintages. The premier package begins with a limousine ride from Paris to Maison Krug in Reims. A tour of the Maison is followed by a fabulous lunch at L’Assiette Champenoise, the luxurious hotel that features a Michelin 2-star restaurant.

Then comes the true pièce de résistance: a tasting to be conducted with either Eric Lebel, Krug’s Chef de Caves, or family scion Olivier Krug himself, of historic and extremely rare Krug vintages. The tasting will include one vintage each from the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s, as well as a “Point To Universe” tasting of the famed Krug Clos du Mesnil 2000, Krug Vintage 2000, and Krug Grande Cuvee, including a suite at L’Assiette Champenoise and a limousine ride back to Paris in the morning. Bidding for the once-in-a-lifetime experience is expected to begin at $5,000.

The other champagne-soaked travel experience includes lunch in the Krug Clos du Mesnil vineyard along with a Krug Clos du Mesnil tasting, and a tour of the Krug Clos du Mesnil and Krug Clos d’Ambonnay vineyards after lunch along with a visit to Maison Krug with the winemaker or Olivier Krug himself. The excursion wraps up with dinner alongside Krug winemakers at L’Assiette Champenoise and a suite for the night. To give you an idea of the scope of the offering, a single case of Krug Clos de Menil is expected to fetch up to $30,000 in the landmark sale. The bidding on the second trip will also begin at $5,000 and only one of each excursion will be offered.

The sale spans 40 years of Krug production, with 530 bottles, magnums and jeroboams coming direct from the cellars of Maison Krug in Reims. Highly prized vintages from 1961, 1973 and 1982 are included among the lots, as well as five Grand Cuvees never previously released by Krug: Finesse, Richesse, Savoir-Faire, Fraicheaur and Memoires.

See for bidding details.