A Bubbly New Year!

Hi VinoVerver’s! It’s getting to be the end of the year and almost everyone starts thinking about champagne. Luckily, I got to go to a champagne tasting here in Chicago sponsored by the Comité Champagne and located at the beautiful Tree Studios where hundreds of champagnes were poured and I got to taste a bunch! Here are a couple of my favorite:

Beaumont des CrayeuresI tried the champagnes from Beaumont des Crayères.

The first of their sparklers that I tasted was the Grande Réserve.  This wine is 60% Pinot Meunier, 15% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay and spent  2 to 3 years on lees. The champagne has  plum and bready overtones.

The Fleur de Prestige is 50% Chardonnay 40% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Noir with fresh tropical fruits  and a  creamier finish.

The Grand Nectar is off dry tasting of cookies and jam with tiny bubbles.  It was 60% Pinot Meunier, 25% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir.

 

Next up where the wines from Canard-Duchêne.  I love a good story about Champagne House and this one has one.  Victor Canard was tonnelier or barrel maker or cooper.  He married Léonie Duchêne a winemaker and founded the house in 1868.  Their house was granted the right by the Russian Imperial family to use their coat of arms on their bottles.  This reminds me that a. Russians love Champagne and b. women were often vital to the industry.  If you question that, just remember the Veuve Clicquot….

Canard-Duchêne RoseCanard-Duchêne Brut Authentic is a blend of 45% with the remaining grapes being Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay and expresses the essence of the house’s style.  The bubbles are small, the taste like brioche if a bit bland.

The Rosé Authentic is subtle and delicate with bright strawberry and raspberry flavors.  This was my favorite of the three

The Cuvée Charles VII is the premiere Blanc de Blanc from the winery.  It tastes of peach and lycee and is creamy.

 

I wonder what other bubbles I will encounter?!

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Geology Term of the Day: Terrane

Terrane, not Terrain. More specifically a tectonostratigraphic terrane

In geology terrane is a block of the Earth’s crust from one tectonic plate that get attaches (accretes) to another plate. A piece of the earth’s crust that differs from the surrounding material, and is separated from it by faults.

Where are they found?

All over California, dude. All over.

Example? Part of Ben Lomond Mountain in California is part of the Salinian Block that is found parts of Santa Cruz County, the Monterrey Peninsula, Bodega Head, Point Reyes and the Farallon Islands. The source of these rocks? The Sierra Nevada Mountains… at least 150 miles to the southeast of the Bodega Bay. How did they get there? After being sliced off the Sierra Nevadas they moved along the San Andreas Fault guided in part by the Big Pine and Nacimiento Faults.

Farallon Islands photo by NOAA

Why does this matter? Ben Lomond Mountain is an AVA which is located on this geological intrusion. Kinda makes the area different from the surrounding terrain, doesn’t it?

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This Wine Might Be Past its Prime

A couple of years ago, I saw an article about the discovery of the oldest wine ever discovered.  Found in Armenia it was made 6,100 years ago.  No. It was not liquid.

At the time I was amazed but as it was known that wine was originally produced in Georgia (not the Peach Tree State but rather the one in the Caucasus), I wasn’t really too surprised as Armenia is in that general area.

Now an announcement has been made that even earlier wine has been discovered and in Europe.  Found on an ancient mound on the Greek Drama plain, the site of ancient Dikili Tash has been undergoing excavation since the 1920s.  The last dig in begun in 2008 and completed in 2010 has continued to explore further back into time.

In an analysis of the pottery found on the site, showed evidence of tartaric acid which is sign of fermentation as well as carbonized grape seeds and skins.  Carbon dating indicates that this  wine was being produced 6,200 years ago.  That is 100 years earlier and nearly 1,400 miles to the west of the previously known discovery of early wine.

For more information:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/02/6000-year-old-wine-greece_n_4027039.html
http://www.iksis.fr/r-dikili-tash_fr.htm (in French)
http://www.dikili-tash.fr/content_en/recherche/prog3.htm (in French with English translation)

Gretchen Miller Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

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