Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Night Bubbles

1996 Pol Roger Brut, about $85, Frederick Wildman and Sons. I had one and only one glass of Champagne while in Burgundy. It was quite a glass, though, the 1996 Pol Roger Brut. Jeremy Seysses of Domaine Dujac graciously served this as an aperitif before the fantastic dinner he and his wife Diana prepared, but that's another post.

Allow me to admit that I am biased against big house Champagne. There, I said it. It's not that I am incapable of enjoying the wines when they're good - good wine is good wine. But with the big houses, for me the wines are guilty until proven innocent.

I was not as skeptical about this wine as I might have been, simply because I had the opportunity to drink the 1999 Pol Roger Brut a few weeks ago and I was impressed with the easy going way that it carried its depth and richness. The '96, predictably, was even better. Ample, burly even, this wine was quite a mouthful. Food-like in its presence. I could imagine opening up my lunchbox and instead of finding a sandwich, eating this wine, and feeling completely satisfied.

And somehow, it was a great aperitif. I'm not sure that I've drank a Champagne so rich and full, and so agile all at once. The texture is very fine and smooth, and that helps temper the richness and carry the wine through the palate. There are dark Pinot flavors and rich marzipan too, and the wine leaves a fragrant sweetness lingering in the nostrils.

This is a wine I would happily drink again, and I'd like to try it with food - I'm thinking of a rosy duck breast with ginger and chestnut honey. Actually, now that I think of it, I'd like to drink it again exactly as I did this time - in the Seysses comfortable family room by a glowing fire, the smells of dinner just barely tickling the nose, and good friends on the couch next to me.

7 comments:

THE DYNAMIC NATURE Faheem said...
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Vinogirl said...

Ahh, it's not Cuvee Winston Churchill (my post of Oct. 12th)but it will suffice for Friday Night Bubbles :) Great post as usual.

Joe said...

I nearly fell off my chair when I saw big house bubbles here. Never had a champagne that worked as an aperitif and with a meal, but I have had some that could replace a sandwich. When do we see some Burgundy bubbles?

Brooklynguy said...

hi Vinogirl - thanks for the kind words.

Joe - i think that chams is vastly underrated as food wine. if by Burgundy Bubbles you mean Cremant, I didn't have any. Haven't had any in quite some time, actually.

Joe said...

Yeah, I just meant I couldn't picture a champs that works both ways. I meant Cremant - why no Burgundy bubbles while you are there?

werner.j said...

I think Pol Roger is a Big house with big wines. Try the vintage '98, the Chardonnay '98, the Rosé '96 and the beautifull white foil brut n.v. I am not in favor of the big houses too but they deserve to be discovered.
Just discovered your site through P.Liem website.. A quick reading learned me that what I have is no disease...
Meaning the urge when in a shop, not being able to resist those lurking bottles. My excuse: I need to buy it yesterday because I refuse to pay double the price next year....
Keep up the nice blogging

Brooklynguy said...

hey joe - just wasn't in the cards.

hi werner j., and welcome to the site. i hear you - i'd like to taste everything that's out there, but it's impossible on my budget. i'm trying though. and no, it's not a disease. an obsession maybe, but not a sickness. and the prices will go up on the good rare wines. thanks for your kind words.