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Aug 14, 2010 11:19 PM

Your favorite blanc de blancs

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!

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  1. 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

      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

        Roederer 1990 Cristal
        Dom Perignon 1996

          1. re: invinotheresverde

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

            1. re: zin1953

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

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

      2 Replies
      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        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

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

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

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

          5 Replies
          1. re: Midlife

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

            1. re: Midlife

              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

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

                1. re: jock

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

              2. re: Midlife

                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. 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

                  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

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