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Your favorite blanc de blancs

mengathon Aug 14, 2010 11:19 PM

A well-versed wine friend and I were perhaps making plans for a best-of blanc de blancs tasting, without a budget. Going for up to possibly 7 or 8 bottles. Both vintage and NV are eligible. Our list so far:

Krug Clos du Mesnil
Dom Ruinart
Jacques Selosse Version Originale
Charles Heisieck Blanc de Millenaires

And then we ran out of ideas? Taittinger Comtes and PJ Fleur are both nice, but I don't believe to be in the same league as the others. What else should make this list?

My best blanc de blancs experience:
Ruinart 96, following a magnum of Dhondt 2002 blanc de blancs, at Balthazar, following a long night of work, with a jumbo platter of fruits de mer. The manager was also smart enough to bring us white wine glasses instead of the flutes. Not sure what we were celebrating other than, well, life!

  1. w
    whiner Aug 21, 2010 02:15 PM

    Krug Clos du Mesnil
    Taittinger Comtes (esp. the '95 -- ABSOLUTELY deserves to be there)
    Selosse (the best you can find)
    Billecart-Salmon BdB vintage

    are my top choices

    1. z
      zin1953 Aug 18, 2010 09:26 PM

      Presuming -- given the names you've thrown out already -- that price is not of concern . . . are you seriously looking solely at tête de cuvée Champagnes? Let's presume NOT.

      In alphabetical order:
      Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Blanc de Blancs vintage
      Champagne Delamotte Brut Blanc de Blancs vintage
      Champagne Diebolt-Vallois "Cuvée Fleur de Passion" Brut Blanc de Blancs
      Champagne Guy Larmandier Cramant Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs vintage
      Champagne Krug "Clos du Mesnil" Brut Blanc de Blancs vintage
      Champagne Lancelot-Royer "Les Oublies de Crayere" Brut Blanc de Blancs vintage
      Champagne Larmandier-Bernier "Terre de Vertus" Brut Blanc de Blancs non-dosé vintage
      Champagne Pierre Péters Cuvée de Réserve Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs non-vintage
      Champagne Ruinart "Cuvée Dom Ruinart" Blanc de Blancs vintage
      Champagne Taittinger "Comtes De Champagne" Brut Blanc de Blancs vintage
      Champagne Ulysse Collin Blanc de Blancs vintage

      . . . among others.

      2 Replies
      1. re: zin1953
        jock Aug 19, 2010 07:34 AM

        excellent list

        1. re: zin1953
          mengathon Aug 21, 2010 12:44 PM

          Thank you Jason. Exactly what i was looking for! Lots more producers that I had not known about to try.

          I'm not only looking for tête de cuvées. I think The Billecart-Salmon vintage BdB belongs as well.

        2. Hughlipton Aug 18, 2010 06:26 PM

          Don Perignon Rose. Went with a wealthy friend out of my league who instructed me t buy in his neame at our purveyor two bottles of the Dom. we drank the first and it was mopre than enough. My friend then said open the second bottle and I opposed but he insisted. We poured it over our vanilla ice cream. Talk about decadence. And a good economy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Hughlipton
            zin1953 Aug 18, 2010 08:34 PM

            And how does a DP Rosé qualify as a Blanc de Blancs?

            1. re: zin1953
              Hughlipton Aug 19, 2010 09:35 AM

              It doesn't. Lost sight of the OP. Especially when I commented on the Schramsberg Blanc De Noir which just simply put me in a different mind set. whoops and sorry.

          2. vickib Aug 18, 2010 04:34 PM

            Agrapart les 7 cru
            Agrapart Minerale (if you can find it)
            Pierre Peters NV
            Jean Milan
            Robert Moncuit

            I like the smaller houses.

            2 Replies
            1. re: vickib
              carswell Aug 18, 2010 05:10 PM

              Am not a high roller and don't hang with any, so my experiences with luxury cuvées are few and far between. That said, my two encounters with Sélosse wines simply stunned me.

              Anyway, ditto on the Agrapart Minéral, even in the current vintage (2003); I'd love to taste some of their other cuvées like the L'Avizoise. I'm also a fan of Jacques Lassaigne's pure and elegant blancs de blancs and Pierre Gimonnet's "Special Club" and "Collection" bottlings.

              1. re: carswell
                mengathon Aug 21, 2010 12:46 PM

                Thank you. I had forgotten about Lassaigne. Never had an Agrapart, but will seek it out.

            2. Midlife Aug 17, 2010 04:48 PM

              Sheesh! Awash in Francophiles!! ..............Or would that be 'mon Dieu' !!!

              How 'bout Schramsberg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              5 Replies
              1. re: Midlife
                waitress Aug 17, 2010 08:11 PM

                I'll give it up for some Schramsberg, woot woot!!!

                1. re: Midlife
                  Brad Ballinger Aug 18, 2010 07:34 AM

                  If I want almost all fruit with little to no minerality, then Schramsburg is fine. But for more dimension and complexity, it's very hard to beat AC Champagne wines.

                  1. re: Brad Ballinger
                    jock Aug 18, 2010 07:40 AM

                    and schramsburg doesn't even come close to most of the second tier french and none of the top tier.

                    1. re: jock
                      Hughlipton Aug 18, 2010 02:05 PM

                      Love to do a blind tasting with you some day. You might be very surprised.

                  2. re: Midlife
                    Hughlipton Aug 18, 2010 02:04 PM

                    Now here is someone who knows what they are talking about. First drank Schramsberg in 1969 and still one of my top choices today. Their Blanc De Noir is also magnificent.

                  3. c
                    craig_g Aug 17, 2010 10:34 AM

                    Dhondt is indeed great, and the list you have there is pretty strong. I would certainly put Comtes in my top tier, and agree that PJ is nice but not up to that level. This year I've had incredible '66 and '82 Billecart BdB, and considering how good theCuvee Elizabeth and Clos St Hilaire '96 are, would expect the BdB '96 to be outstanding too if you can't find those.

                    I haven't had the BdB, but the Pol Roger '99 brut is excellent, so I'd be hopeful about that too, and some very good things seem to be happening at Henriot, so that might be worth throwing in if you have a flight of more modestly priced wines.

                    1. b
                      Brad Ballinger Aug 16, 2010 10:07 AM

                      NV Franck Bonville
                      2002 Louis Roederer
                      2002 Diebolt-Vallois
                      NV Larmandier-Bernier

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Brad Ballinger
                        mengathon Aug 17, 2010 09:52 PM

                        I am definitely considering tHe Larmandier-Berniers. My favorite is probably the Vertus. Not sure if they have a vintage Extra Brut version?

                        1. re: mengathon
                          Brad Ballinger Aug 18, 2010 07:32 AM

                          I've not seen a vintage Extra Brut bottling; only NV.

                      2. j
                        jock Aug 15, 2010 06:48 AM

                        cedric bouchard!

                        also, in my experience tait's comtes in a great vintage belongs in your tasting.

                        i have also had some extraordinary ones from some of terry thiese's portfolio but cannot recall specifics. you can find his annual report on the skurnik website and terry's descriptions tend to be pretty reliable.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: jock
                          mengathon Aug 15, 2010 07:18 AM

                          have only read good things of cedric, but am unable to find too many of his wines to try. thank you. will actively look for them.

                          i, too have had great champagnes out of the theise portfolio, egly-ouriet, aubry, chiquet, chartogne taillet, but truthfully have never found any of the blanc de blancs to be as good as something like the Taittinger Comtes.

                          1. re: mengathon
                            drumwine Aug 15, 2010 09:08 AM

                            Roederer 1990 Cristal
                            Dom Perignon 1996

                            1. re: drumwine
                              invinotheresverde Aug 17, 2010 10:15 AM

                              1990 Cristal is 62% Pinot Noir.

                              1. re: invinotheresverde
                                zin1953 Aug 18, 2010 08:33 PM

                                Not to mention the Dom Pérignon in not a BdB, either . . .

                                1. re: zin1953
                                  invinotheresverde Aug 19, 2010 06:05 AM

                                  I didn't think so, but I wasn't sure on the actual blend in the '96.

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