Friday, September 14, 2007

More Champagne - Jean Milan Brut Carte Blanche

My fascination with Champagne is growing, sadly for my wallet. I've been controlling myself, honestly, but let's just say that if I have a good night in my weekly poker game, lately it's a bottle of Champs that I treat myself to. I tasted some wonderful stuff the other day at the Martin Scott trade tasting, but that's for next time. This time, it was another excellent selection from Terry Theise.

There is nothing that I can tell you about Jean Milan Champagne that you cannot read yourself on pages 19 and 20 of Theise's highly informative and entertaining catalog. I will say this: apparently the wine I tasted (and LOVED) is the "lowest" offering from the Domaine, the wine from young vines, the sweeter wine that the Domaine wants to phase out in favor of an older vines Brut. I can only image the "higher" wines - I hope to taste them some day. This one was, to my tastes, spectacular. It fared quite well in Eric Asimov's recent Champagne tasting too.

We opened it to celebrate my last day at my old job. It was a beautiful late summer Friday night an we enjoyed the wine as an aperitif while grilling and hanging out on the deck. Hard, this life, isn't it?

NV Jean Milan Champagne Brut Carte Blanche Grand Cru, $40 (Prospect Wine Shop).
This is a Blanc de Blancs, a Champagne made entirely of Chardonnay grapes. We immediately noticed the differences in texture and weight, compared with the recent Champagnes we've tasted. This had a lighter mouth feel, a more elegant and lacy structure, and the lingering sensation in the mouth after swallowing was light and floral, as compared with the fruity feeling from a Champagne that is about half Pinot Noir. Could be just this particular bottle though, I do not have anywhere near enough experience with Blanc de Blancs to make definitive statements.

This wine had a rich golden hue, a bit of lemon yellow in there. The nose was really exciting, with roasted nuts, citrus fruit, and flowers. It became more expansive over the first half an hour open. But it was the overall experience of the wine on the palate that made me go out and buy more. The feeling of the wine in the mouth was of light and elegant flowers and a bit of toast, but hanging on a sturdy core of minerals and acidity, just electric and racy. This contrast is, to me, what is thrilling about Champagne.


Unknown said...

You have peaked my interest in Champagne. Though I usually only drink it at the holidays or on my birthday. I thought I would mention a Champagne I have in my wine cellar recommended by Ric at VC. NV Allouchery-Perseval Brut Reserve. The Champagne runs about $29.99. When we do drink Champagne the group I drink with usually go for something with more of the Pinot Noir Blend. My friends usually have a house Champagne that they drink and buy it by the cases I believe this is their choice now.

Brooklynguy said...

Hey Sheila - Glad to hear that my Champagne foray has inspired you. I feel proud! I encourage you to bust out of that "only on a special occasion" thing for Champs - it deserves more time on your wine radar. There are plenty of yummy Pinot heavy blends - ask your VC folks. I've enjoyed Lallement lately. never tasted the Allouchery-Perseval - nice? See you...

RougeAndBlanc said...

Unfortunatley, those you scored with 9 points are really expansive (north of $90). If you have to pick one under $50, which one would you choose?

Brooklynguy said...

Hi Andrew - I imagine you are referring to the Martin Scott tasting post above. I would recommend the Paillard Blancs de Blancs, but it might be over $50. For under $50, I like the Jean Milan B de B, or the Billiot Brut (see earlier post).