VA -- Celebrating Champagne with Dominique Landragin
$45
VA -- Celebrating Champagne with Dominique Landragin

VA -- Celebrating Champagne with Dominique Landragin

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Cork & Fork

7344 Atlas Walk Way

Gainesville, VA 20155

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For the month of January, we present three wine classes on California, Tuscany, and Champagne, during which we celebrate these popular wine producing regions with a tasting and class on 8 wines in the mid-tier price point of $55-$100 for the Champagne class. The idea of this class series is to introduce you to a selection of higher priced wines that represent the perfect integration of aroma, palate, and overall profile, demonstrating the depth and immense complexity wine offers.

Flight One Blanc de Blancs vs Blanc de Noirs

More about: Blanc de Blancs (Non-vintage, vintage, and prestige)

Literally meaning “white of whites”, this wine is produced entirely from white Chardonnay grapes and possesses the greatest ageing potential of all Champagnes. Blanc de Blancs may be made in any district of Champagne, but the best examples come from a small part of the Cote de Blancs between Cra,ant and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. If consumed too early, a classic blanc de blancs can be austere and seem to lack fruit and generosity yet with proper maturity this style of Champagne can be very succulent. Given a few years’ bottle ageing after purchase, most blanc de blancs develop a toasty-lomony bouquet together with intense, beautifully focused fruit.

More about: Blanc de Noirs (Non-vintage, vintage, and prestige)

Literally translated as “white of blacks”, these Champagnes are made entirely from black grapes, either Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier, or a blend of the two. The most famous and most expensive is Bollinger’s Vieilles Vignes Francaises, which is a unique example of pure Pinot Noir Champagne made from two tiny plots of ungrafted vines, which between them cannot produce more than 3,000 bottles, hence the hefty price tag. Apart from Bollinger, few producers have traditionally used the blanc de noirs, but the Vieilles Vignes Francaises has given it a certain cachet and a few commercially minded houses have begun to cash in on the term. Bollinger inadvertently created the myth that a blanc de noirs is intrinsically a big, full, and muscular Champagne, but it is generally little different in styles from the other cuvees a house may produce. The Bollinger blanc de noirs myth was completely accidental. Because the ungrafted vines are planted in super-high density, each plant bears relatively little fruit and this naturally ripensone week earlier than the vines in the surrounding vineyards. At first, Bollinger applied for special dispensation to harvest one week earlier, but they were refused; consequently, the grapes have always been over-ripe, making a uniquely rich an concentrated Champagne.

Flight Two Grande Cru vs Grande Marque

More about: Grande Cru

Grand cru literally means ‘great growth’ in French.

More about: Grande Marque

Grande marque is a self-imposed term for some of the major houses or brands of Champagne. The original Syndicat des Grandes Marques was founded in 1882. The term means literally ‘big brand’ in French and is still used informally.

Flight Three : Two vintages comparison

Yet to be determined

Flight Four : Traditional Specialty Cuvees

More about: Rose (Non-vintage, vintage, and prestige)

The first record of a commercially produced rose Champagne is by Clicquot in 1777 and this style has enjoyed ephemeral bursts of popularity ever since. It is the only European rose that may be made by bending white wine with a little red: all other rose, whether still or sparkling, must be produced by macerating the skings and juice to extract pigments. More pink Champagne is produced by blending than through skin contact, anmd in blend tasting it has been impossible to tell the difference. Noth methods produce good and bad wine that can be light or dark in color and rich or delicate in flavor. A good pink Champagne will have an attractive color, perfect limpidity, and a snow-white mousse.

More about: Demi Sec

Although this style of Champagne may contain between 33 and 50 grams of residual sugar per litre, most are closer to the minimum these days and, as such, fall between two stools, two sweet for conventional use at 33 grams, while even at 50 grams, a demi-sec Champagne would struggle with many desserts. Much demi-sec, therefore, is used to dispose of inferior quality Champagne, hidden beneath a veneer of sugar and sold to consumers who do not know better and could not care less as it is quaffed at Christmas or the New Year. However, as a consumer who does know better and has found good use for demi-sec Champagne, Dumont is a seriously produced and highly regarded quality demi-sec styled Champagne.



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Cork & Fork

7344 Atlas Walk Way

Gainesville, VA 20155

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