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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