But First, Champagne - A Tasting and Book Signing with author David White

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Perhaps no major French wine-growing region is subject to as much change as Champagne. With the rise of grower Champagnes (recolant-manipulants), a new focus on terroir, and ever more vignerons working organically or biodynamically, the area is in constant flux. Consequently, while there are some terrific books about the region, they quickly become out-of-date. So it’s always a cause for celebration when a new book about Champagne is released to fill in the gaps, especially when it’s as well-written and insightful as David White’s But First, Champagne. We have been admirers of David’s work on his blog Terroirist.com in addition to his contributions to World of Fine Wine, the New York Times, and Punch. In honor of the release of his new book, please join us for a book signing and Champagne tasting on Friday October 14, from 5-7 PM. We’ll be pouring sensational Champagnes from Tarlant, Bérêche, Laherte Frères, and Ruppert-Leroy. For those of you unable to join us, we'll have the book available, in addition to the  Champagnes we'll be pouring, for online purchase.

Ruppert-Leroy 2013 Champagne Brut Nature Pinot Noir "Les Cognaux"

While today we tend to think of most wines in terms of fruit or mineral descriptors, some transcend those notes with profoundly savory character. Ruppert-Leroy's 100% Pinot Noir Champagne Les Cognaux hits this sweet spot with loads of minerality, pure fruit, and a rich sapid character which makes it a natural for the table. Here's a wine that will stand up to  all manner of savory dishes, while leaving the palate refreshed. A visit to the vines with Bénédicte Ruppert of Ruppert-Leroy is an illuminating experience. There’s a world of difference between the Aube and the Vallée de la Marne. Not only are the soils different, (Kimmeridgean limestone vs. chalk), but the undulating landscape itself is wilder and less manicured. Often the vineyards abut forest rather than village, which in the case of biodynamic growers is especially desirable to insure a biodiversity according to Bénédicte. Between the vines is a riot of vegetation and flowers, as Ruppert-Leroy has 30 different plants and flowers sown in the vineyard.  One such vineyard is the Les Cognaux whose grey marl soils are planted to Pinot Noir and when we visited in the Spring was aglow with yellow flowers. (These flowers are made into a tissane by Bénédicte to treat the vines for mildew.) The wildness of the countryside is reflected in the wines which are energetic, exuberant, and vibrantly mineral. The 2013 Les Cognaux shows red fruit, peach skin, orange peel, and see spray aromas with notes of daishi and fond. The palate balances lush, ripe flavors of apricot, peach, and Rainier cherry with crunchy acidity, compelling umami character and a pungent sense of minerality. The finish is vibrant and luminous. As of 2013 Ruppert-Leroy vinifies and bottles without SO2. John McIlwain

  • white sparkling
  • 19 in stock
  • no discount
  • $67.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Bérêche, Raphael NV (2012 Base) Champagne Extra Brut Rive Gauche

100% old-vine Pinot Meunier sourced from the lieu-dit Le Misy, located in Port à Binson on the southern bank of the Marne river. Fermented with native yeasts in barrel and aged under cork, Bérêche's 2012 base edition of Rive Gauche makes a convincing case for Champagnes made from the oft-underestimated Pinot Meunier grape. The old vines restrict the sometimes overly exuberant quality of the variety, and while the wine shows lovely ripeness, there is a fine, almost briny minerality framing the generous fruit. The nose shows lovely aromas of stone and orchard fruits: white peaches, Rainier cherry, and golden apple, along with baking spice and dried orange peel. Similar fruit notes appear on the medium-bodied palate, with a layered mineral complexity lending structure and energy, not to mention a fine umami quality to the long driving finish. With some time in the cellar, the effusiveness of the fruit should integrate with the structure and make for even more compelling drinking. (disgorged 11/2015, 4g/l dosage)  John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $69.99

  • Organic

Laherte Frères NV (Base 2012) Champagne Chavot Brut Rosé Ultradition

A long time Chambers Street favorite for both value and sheer deliciousness, Lahete's Rose Ultradition displays pretty red fruits, sour cherry, wild strawberry, lemon balm, tangerine peel. Fresh, and lively with a fine bead, brisk acidity, and a long, sapid finish. This has the panache to make a fine aperitif, but also the mineral core and ripe fruit to grace the table with somewhat richer dishes. Roasted salmon, tuna steak, or even duck confit. (Disgorged January, 2015) John McIlwain



  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $33.99

  • Organic

Tarlant NV Champagne Brut Zero (2008 base)

A blend of 1/3 Chardonnay, 1/3 Pinot Noir, and 1/3 Pinot Meunier, the base wine comes from the classic 2008 vintage. For a Brut Nature (Dosage: 0 g/l), this Tarlant combines bracing acidity with remarkable fruit-forwardness. Lemon pith, preserved lemon, red apple flesh and red apple skin flavors sweep across the palate with broad brush strokes and a pleasing effervescence. With big flavors and deep cut, this Champagne definitely needs food to accompany it: caviar or smoked salmon anyone? (Disgorged: 09/14) - Jonas Mendoza

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99

  • Organic