Sunday, December 9, 2012

Vintage Champagne

One of my frequent haunts was hosting a caviar and champagne tasting last Friday.  Quite tasty and very interesting, but what it mostly did was just make me thirsty for more champagne.  Fortunately that was a very solvable problem. A bottle of 2002 Lancelot-Pienne, Cuvee de la Table Ronde, Brut had been resting quietly in the cellar for a few years.  The wine is a blanc de blancs, or made from all chardonnay.   

I brought home a small amount of caviar from the store and rubbed a plump chicken with inside and out with an herb butter and popped it in the oven sitting on a bed of butternut squash chunks.  I quickly made a small batch of buckwheat blinis and pulled the cork from the champagne. What a nose on this wine with some bottle age to it.  If ever one needed an example of bread dough and brioche aromas in champagne this wine was it.  There were hints of cardamon as well.  We poured two glasses stoppered the bottle.

There were wonderful, tart and sharp flavors of ripe fruit and bread.  The bubbles were proper and not overwhelming and the amount of flavor and length were great.  The salinity in the caviar, a variety from California sturgeon, was remarkable with the wine.  The blinis were toasty and warm, the caviar and champagne cold and cool respectively and they blended together seamlessly.  The bubbles in the champagne were great with the light crunch of the fish eggs.

The wine was equally good with the chicken after it rested for a few minutes.  Warm chicken and squash, cool champagne and some happy people and soon the bottle was empty.  Still smiling.

Lancelot-Pienne, Cuvee de la Table Ronde, blanc de blancs, brut.  12% alcohol  and $50.

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