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Jun 9, 2004 04:33 PM

Speaking of Champagne, what's your favorite?

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As said in my earlier post, my most favorite champagne, and the only expensive champagne I've had, is Henriot Cuvee des Enchanteleurs, 1988. I find this champagne to be utterly delicious. I prefer this to any alcoholic beverage, and I think it's the start of a beautiful, and expensive, relationship with champagne. So, what are some other truly delicious bottles of bubbly? Thanks!

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  1. It's been awhile so, I can't provide an exact name/vintage but for a change of pace I enjoy a nice rose champagne.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bk

      The Billecart-Salmon is superb, one of my favourites.

      1. re: cap

        A second to the Billecart-Salmon....

        Also, Renardat Fache Cerdon de Bugey is outstanding as well. Less pricey than the Billecart, with a taste of strawberries.

    2. Try DVX or J, both from California. You'll love them.

      1. j
        Judith Hurley

        It's actually on the low end of the price list, and I imagine real knowledgeable wine people would laugh out loud, but I like Piper Sonoma Brut. Here in California it's the kind of thing you easily find in any supermarket.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Judith Hurley

          I'm not laughing. I like it.

          A nice Veuve Clicquot (oh I'll bet I screwed that spelling up!) is always good, too.

          1. re: snackish

            I don't understand the ubiquity of Veuve Clicquot. I find it too lean and flinty for my taste, with an unpleasant finish. Lately I've been enjoying Jose Dhondt and Camille Saves.

        2. Last fall I had a quick taste of several cuvees of Henriot. I liked them all very much. It was my first exposure to this marque and when I asked the retail pricing, I was stunned. For the quality in the bottle, you'll pay 20-30% more in other brands. You have happened upon something that's not only delicious but a great value in wine these days. That 1988 is well worth the $60-70 retail price. There are not many vintage champagnes from good years that you can touch at that price. The house has not been a player in the US market and is re-building the brand here. Snatch it up while you can before it becomes better known.

          It's my understanding that Henriot uses no Pinot Meunier in its blending and has a high percentage of Chardonnay which gives it delicacy, freshness and a long life. You may want to try the other Henriot bottlings, if the house style appeals to you. They'll provide good drinking at lower prices.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Melanie, you really hit the nail on the head when you wrote about the high percentage of Chardonnay. Blanc des blancs (white champagne made from white grapes) are revered in France. My favorite is the Pol Roger Chardonnay. What a superb wine! A quick glance through internetland found a '96 for $66. I don't know about this specific vintage, though the 'idea' is that poor vintages don't get produced.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              The Cuvee des Enchanteleurs 1988 is the only Henriot I've tried, and I'm well aware of the steal: in St.Louis, the same bottle goes for $90-100. I'm tempted to buy all the bottles they've got at my store, $60 for this fantastic champagne is a wonder.

              I'm definitely going to scout out these other recommendations, and try another Henriot. Thanks for the tips!

              1. re: eating out
                john gonzales

                winesearcher shows they are selling the 88 Henriot for $65. They ship.

            2. For special occasions, I'm a fan of Veuve Clicquot ($34), and its lemon-y, mineral-y taste. If I could afford it, I'd drink the Grande Dame that V.C. produces (apple-y, less dry)-- but I find myself serving Rottari (sp?) Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, more and more at my dinner parties. It's less expensive, and goes well with the cheeses, olives, and other antipasti I tend to serve as appetizers. I also like the Sparkling Wine produced by Westport Vineyards, a vineyard on the MA/RI border that makes astonishingly good and inexpensive sparkling wine.

              As an alternative, some of the sparkling hard ciders made by West County Winery (Colrain, MA), esp. their Reine de Pomme variety can be wonderful, and are not "rough" or too appley. The Reine de Pomme is like a lovely pink champagne, and is incredible with roast pork.