|Give the people what they want, when they want it|
And they'll want it all the time
First, a non-vintage from one of the big names in Champagne.
Louis Roederer, Champagne Brut Premier, nv.
I wanted a fresh Champagne for New Year's Eve, one that would be more about immediacy than the depth of a vintage wine, and this fits the bill, striking a balance between freshness and depth, with all the typical accruements of Champagne: apples, some toast and minerals. Cheers! (Dec. 31, 2013)
Wine Route, 350 NIS.
Gimonnet is one of my favorite producers in Champagne, and probably the one I buy the most from.
Pierre Gimmonet, Fleuron, Brut, 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs, 2004
While I prefer my Champagnes a little drier and more focused, this is tasty. It's saline, full flavored, yet elegant, with flavors and aromas of apples, citrus, toast. Amir Sheinman says Fleuron is the softest of the Gimmonet bottlings - sounds legit (although the 2002 wasn't that soft, but then, 2002 was likely a better vintage).
Fat-Guy, about 400 NIS.
Pierre Gimonnet, Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, 1er Cru, Cuvee Gastronome, 2008
Lime, apples, fossils and chalk, a hint of brioche. Quite a Chablis of a Champagne, steely and focused, with a suggestion of the complex, umami nuttiness of Champagne. Young and fiercely refreshing.
Fat-Guy, 279 NIS.
Lallement is a very small producer, making less than 2000 cases of bubblies in all. His Champagnes are heavily Pinot Noir based. Eldad was sold out by the time I decided to buy, but I scored a couple of bottles at Wine Route.
Jean Lallement, Champagne Brut, Verzenay Grand Cru, n.v.
Hardcore jollies. This Pinot Noir dominated Grand Cru is funky and yeasty, more about walnuts and cashews and salt than about fruit. Quite distinctive, taut and focused, reserved yet uncouth - like making love to a gymnast!. (Jan. 17, 2014)
Fat-Guy, about the same price as the Gastronome.
Ernest Rapeneau, Epernay, Brut, n.v.
Apples and chalk, bits of brioche. Nothing fancy, just a very refreshing and pure Champagne. A Macon of a Champagne.
Wine Route, 2 for 300 NIS on discount. Good value, in Israeli terms, although you can get prices just as friendly if you buy six packs of non-vintages from Fat Guy.