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Lifestyle magazine DOM PERIGNON CHARLES-HEIDSIECK DEUTZ LARSEN TAITTINGER BESSERAT DE BELLEFON www.planet-vs.com

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THE GALLERY

001 TAITTINGER [ 2008 Vintage: The Fruit of the Earth ] This Reims champagne house called upon a conservationist Brazilian photographer to dress up its 2008 brut vintage. An activist approach worthy of adoption. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

We needed to identify an image that matched the product and elegantly fit the bottle’s format. Our great hope is that this photograph will be worthy of this great vintage”. It took Sebastiao Salgado, his spouse Leila, and Vitalie Taittinger a long time to find the image by the Brazilian photographer that would match the bottle of 2008 brut from the Butte Saint-Nicaise wine cellars. They selected the image of a leopard quenching its thirst at a spring that they encountered in Namibia in 2005, during one of Sebastiao Salgado’s 32 major trips. The symbolism of this “collector’s champagne” was an essential element. The photographer and his spouse travelled the world, particularly across the continents of Africa and South America. There they met fellow humans in all their suffering and greatness, they encountered an animal kingdom that is in a state of jeopardy, and experienced an increasingly tormented natural world. This vantage point is shared by Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger. Composed of equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this 2008 vintage presents the prerequisite freshness, liveliness and acidity for a great aperitif champagne. www.taittinger.com

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ROEDERER 002 [ A Question of Style ] This is the second edition of Brut Nature by Louis Roederer and designer Philippe Starck. Creamy and delicate, it perfectly symbolizes the concept of a modern champagne in its maturity and immediacy. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

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t “L’Assiette Champenoise”, run by the three-star chef Arnaud Lallement, head sommelier Frédéric Bouché reacted enthusiastically to Roeder’s “Brut Nature”, saying “This champagne is magnificent!” “I tasted the 2006 vintage with Philippe Starck. We discussed, at length, his vision of blending.” Philippe Starck is the renowned designer who developed this brut without dosage, and therefore without the addition of the famous Champagne “liqueur” that is typically a taste component. Philippe Starck considered wine from champagne to be so good that nothing was gained by adding anything. “In this way, harmony is achieved between the nose and mouthfeel. A perfect balance,” deems the sommelier. The second generation of this cuvee spéciale is a 2009 vintage. Its elder sibling enjoyed such success that Roederer has repeated the experience. Philippe Starck describes “his” champagne as “tapered, elegant, vertical, balanced by the terroir”. Above all, this 2009 vintage makes the most of the “superb ripeness of sun-drenched grapes from Cumières.” This demi-mousse champagne is “fresh and light.”

After 7 years of good and faithful service, the Porsche Panamera takes its leave to make way for the next generation of the Grand Tourisme sedan. It was concealed under a sheet in the cisterns of Maison Louis Roederer in the Champagne region prior to its unveiling before aficionados of the German brand. Porsche enthusiasts could admire its strengths, combining the performance of a sports car with the comfort of a luxury sedan. Prices begin at 120,000 dollars. To learn more, visit www.porsche.com and www.louis-roederer.com

Style and elegance are part of Maison Roederer’s DNA. This undoubtedly explains the partnership established in 2016 with Porsche, the German automaker, for the launch of the second generation of its luxurious limousine, the “Panamera”. Fully redesigned, this model was presented at Château Pichon-Longueville in Pauillac and in the Champagne vineyards.

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003 DEVAUX [ Paradise for Pinot Noir ] On the banks of the Seine, in Côte des Bars, this lovely Champagne house absolutely worships Pinot Noir wines, which it presents as “the best of the appellation”! By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

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n the department of Marne, wine growers praise the virtues of Chardonnay grapes in producing fine champagnes. Meanwhile, in the department of Aube, in Bar-sur-Seine, it is Pinot Noir that is celebrated by Devaux. This grape variety is indeed presented there as “the best of the appellation”, produced in the renowned “Côte des Bars”, which is grown along a southeasterly orientation. This distinction in no way prevents the Chardonnay grape variety from being valued and grown along the edge of the Marne Valley. Since the mid 19th century, House Devaux has produced champagnes that immediately took the world by storm. In 1987, it was brought into the fold of the Union auboise, which embarked upon a very stringent quality approach regarding 1000 plots (80 ha), dedicated to “cuvee D”. Behind the walls of the charming fully restored 18th century manor, the House’s alchemists developed a “vintage blessed by the gods”, the 2009 Sténopé, the fruits of an exceptional weather year. Devaux limited the production of this vintage to 5,000 bottles and 900 magnums. The holidays would be the perfect time to discover this exceptional champagne during a tasting workshop. www.champagne-devaux.fr

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BOIZEL 004 [ The Sixth Generation Moves Forward ] 2017 will mark the passing of the torch between the fifth and sixth generation at the helm of this riverside house on Avenue de Champagne. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

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velyne Roques-Boizel is “proud”. Over the next two years, this “lady of champagne” will permanently pass the torch to her two sons, Lionel (39), the producer, and Florent (36), the exporter. Thus, in 2017, Boizel will smoothly transition from the fifth to the sixth generation. To mark the occasion, a new strategy will be implemented in one of the riverside houses on the majestic Avenue de Champagne in Epernay. This evolution will indeed be accompanied by a revolution, with the opening of the House to the public next summer. In preparation, two phases of works will follow one other: from the wine cellar to the tasting room, from a large wooden storeroom to a boutique. This approach is connected to Champagne’s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in 1834, Boizel has entered the fold of the Lanson-BCC group, while also retaining its autonomy. Evelyne Roques-Boizel has lead it for four decades. One of Boizel’s flagship products is “Joyau de France”, a “pure Chardonnay” harvested in 2007, and used exclusively for grand cru wine. This exclusive cuvee is limited to 10,000 bottles.

© Leif Carlsson

www.boizel.com

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005 MUMM [ Cordon Rouge Still Holds a Place of Honor ] One hundred and forty years after the birth of the famous “Cordon rouge”, Mumm innovates in its presentation of this iconic top-tier cuvee. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

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n the world of Champagne, the bottle is practically as important as the precious wine it holds. It must be resistant to pressure while appealing to the taster’s eyes and taste buds. Maison Mumm threw down the gauntlet to Englishman Ross Lovegrove, challenging him to “reinvent” the bottle for its “Grand Cordon” cuvee. Lovegrove successfully rose to this challenge! It is worth recalling that the iconic “Cordon Rouge” cuvee was invented in 1876 by Georges Mumm, in reference to the quality of his champagnes and in honor of his medal-winning clients. 140 years later, the new “Grand Cordon” bottle is a true feat of technical prowess. Elegant, sober and typical of its terroir, with a sleek neck, it incorporates the red string within the glass itself. The artist and the cellar master Didier Mariotti worked closely together to arrive at this result; the bottle is thus designed to enable long conservation of the beverage it holds. A champagne in which the best Pinot Noir crus provide structure and power, Chardonnays provide elegance and Pinot Meuniers provide roundness! Sublime with white meat or fish. www.mumm.com

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BESSERAT DE BELLEFON 006 [ La Cuvée des Moines: Causing a Sensation ] With methods all its own, Maison Besserat de Bellefon develops champagnes with the clear willingness to “cause a sensation” among the gastronomic set. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

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a Cuvee des Moines was born in 1830. It has evolved over the ensuing decades to emerge as the flagship product of Maison Besserat de Bellefon. Whether a “Blanc de Blancs” or “Blanc de Noirs”, the contemporary version clearly aims to achieve top tier gastronomic levels. To this end, Besserat de Bellefon called upon Philippe Jamesse, the head sommelier of Château des Crayères in Reims, and the head of the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, Jean-François Rouquette, to imagine a wine-food pairing that would delight the senses of every guest. “Cuvee des Moines, Blancs de Noirs” was launched at the start of the 2016 wine season. Using the finest Pinot Noir crus, the cellar master Cédric Thiébaut developed his cuvee in keeping with the House’s purest tradition: no malolactic fermentation to ensure consistency of purity and freshness, the addition of drawing liquid at the time of bottling to start sparkling wine production, and cellaring for over 3 years. The result is delicious, with tiny bubbles and creamy foam. A perfect champagne to accompany the entire meal. www.besseratdebellefon.com

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007 CHARLES-HEIDSIECK [ A Jeroboam for “Champagne Charlie” ] This excellent Reims champagne house is releasing a Jeroboam as “cosmopolitan” as it is exclusive. A rare champagne created as an homage to Charles Heidsieck, the dandy globe-trotter. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

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pon assuming the reins of Maison “Charles-Heidsieck” in 2011, the Descours family revived the singular spirit of the man who Americans dubbed “Champagne Charlie” in the second half of the 19th century. As an homage to the House’s founder (1851), Maison Charles-Heidsieck has produced an exclusive bottle, the reserve brut “Cosmopolitan Jeroboam”. Very fortunate indeed are the worldwide enthusiasts who acquire one of the 150 bottles of this ultra-limited edition series! The series is split into 125 wooden boxed sets and 25 “book artworks”. The latter retrace the very full life of Charles Heidsieck, champagne visionary, who was also reputed to be an excellent hunter and, above all, a “New World” man who was elegant, distinguished and adulated throughout his life as a fantastically successful entrepreneur. The exceptional bottle contains the equivalent of four standard bottles of brut reserve champagne. Like all this House’s champagnes, it has quietly aged in chalk quarries listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, at a depth of 20 meters and at a constant 10°C temperature. www.charlesheidsieck.com

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DEUTZ 008 [ Love Knows No Borders ] Under the leadership of Fabrice Rosset, Deutz has quadrupled its production in 20 years. The objective is to continue to conquer world markets, with “Amour de Deutz” at the vanguard. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

Rarely have I tasted anything in a magnum format that is this good.” At L’Assiette Champenoise, run by three-star chef Arnaud Lallement, the head sommelier Frédéric Bouché recalls a 2006 “L’Amour de Deutz”. The 2007 vintage is in the same vein, with “its pure, crystalline robe. In terms of mouthfeel, the first impression on the palate is clean, silky and delicate.” The fine cuvees make for sublime Chardonnays. The consistent quality earns this wine a “zero defect” rating. It is with this little gem and its line of ten additional champagnes that Deutz has quadrupled its production over twenty years, to bring it to over 2.2 million bottles. The stated objective of its president, Fabrice Rosset, is to continue to conquer world markets. Deutz champagne lovers have long hoped to enjoy these exceptional products as a half-bottle format. The “Coffret Trio Prestige” -2008 William Deutz champagne, 2008 Amour de Deutz Blanc, 2008 Amour de Deutz Rosé. -now makes this possible. www.champagne-deutz.com

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009 GÉRARD PERSE [ Grapes from Pavie, Olives from La Clusière. ] With the grape harvests barely complete in Bordeaux, Gérard Perse sets off to “La Clusière” wine estate to harvest… extra virgin olive oil, “AOP Vallée des Baux de Provence”. By Alain Aviotte

You’ve made a surprising choice! When you manage a vineyard like the one at Château Pavie, you always bump into the same people! The olive groves add variety to my life. When my spouse Chantal and I travel around the Mediterranean region, we always buy and test olive oils. Just as for wine, I love the fact that olive oils involve combinations of the notions of terroir, aroma, character and finesse. “La Clusière” is a very beautiful property at the heart of the Baux Valley. It’s true that this property feels like paradise. Indeed, one of our projects is to develop the traditional farm into a welcome center. Moreover, the olive grove contains a range of olive varieties, making it possible to produce customized olive oils, somewhat akin to grape varieties for wines. I love nature and Provence. From a technical standpoint, our cutting-edge mill delivers the best possible performance levels, and I am just as stringent with the olive oils as I am with my wines. How may we purchase your olive oil? It is sold in Château Pavie’s boutique and in various select retail outlets. That having been said, on-request delivery orders are certainly within the realm of possibility. www.vignoblesperse.com

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010 CHATEAU LA COUSPAUDE [ A Fantastic Heritage… ] With AOC de Bordeaux supérieur and de Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux wines already released, the “Héritage de la Couspaude” line will expand in 2017 to include Lalande de Pomerol, Montagne Saint-Emilion and Saint-Emilion appellations. By Alain Aviotte

011 CHATEAU PICHON « COMTESSE » [ The Hunt for Excellence ]

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he Aubert family can point to two hundred years of activity within Bordeaux’s terroir The new generation -Yohan, Vanessa and Éloïse -are at the helm. Beyond Château La Couspaude Grand Cru Classé, one of SaintEmilion’s centerpieces, the château had yet to design a modern wine that is carried by the fruit. In 2014, the two first appellations seeking to incorporate this “heritage” were Bordeaux Supérieur and Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. Production involved selecting grapes that were genuine expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grape varieties, with gentle extractions to allow the fruit to fully express itself, all with encouraging results! Since the right bank of the Dordogne River is still the Aubert family’s favorite playground, the “Heritage” line will be further enriched by three new appellations in 2017. www.aubert-vignobles.com

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uring the inauguration of the new

With vinification done on a plot-by-plot basis as close as possible to the various terroirs and cistern, already three years ago, it was clear to see that the equipment a completely redesigned grape harvesting process, this Second Cru Classé (1855) backs of the new wine storehouses had been up its claims to greatness. By Alain Aviotte

efficiently designed. With an investment of nearly 10 million euros, the technical gamble also highlighted the importance of the wine estate’s overall reorganization. It was followed by considerable orchestration. Three years later, there are two tasting rooms with panoramic views, and the most recent harvest heralds a great future. We would wager that the 2016 vintage will signal an impressive year that should delight the “Comtesse”, since we know that this wine estate has long been inspired by feminine hands. www.pichon-lalande.com

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POL ROGER 012 [ The Importance of Consistency ] They never disappoint. It is a consistent House.” Frédéric Bouché, head sommelier for three-star chef Arnaud Lallement is full of praise, adding “Pol-Roger champagnes are distinguished.” This consistency is the reason for their success since the 19th century. Five generations after Pol Roger’s first sale, the working tools have been updated, but the quality remains consistent. In-house vinification of the harvest, hand riddling of its 1.6 million bottles and 42 to 54 months of aging for its Reserve bruts 108 feet underground.

While the working tools of this family House have been updated, Pol-Roger champagnes retain their character and elegance. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

These selling points have made “Pol-Roger” a member of “Primum familiar vine”, the club of great family wine-growing houses, and the official supplier to Buckingham Palace in England. www.polroger.com

DOM PERIGNON 013 [ P2: The Memory of a Vintage ] Using the code names for the Plénitude series of wines -P1, P2 and P3 - Dom Pérignon has orchestrated the marketing of old vintages at discrete optimal consumption phases. By Hervé de l’Antenne

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he first Plénitude (released in 2005) of 1998 vintage Dom Pérignon was a model of balance. For this second Plénitude release, vastly improved by the sixteen years of cellaring, Dom Pérignon “Plénitude P2-1998” showcases the vintage’s potential.

The combination of its production and blending create an intense aromatic persistence. Dom Pérignon’s complex, iodized, mineral and spiced singular character is revealed more than ever. Its tasting is an exceptional sensory experience. The tone-on-tone bottle is housed within a minimalist brushed aluminum box set. www.domperignon.com

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GOSSET 014 [ 2004 Célébris: Haute Couture Stylings ] Cellar master Jean-Pierre Mareigner was a virtuoso with vintages, especially extra brut. “Haute couture” stylings magnify his 2004 vintage. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

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o paraphrase Alfred de Musset, the thing is to drink the wine, regardless of the bottle. Gosset sees things otherwise! This House, whose origins date back to Aÿ in 1584, produces beautiful bottles containing some of the best champagnes. It has called on the world of haute couture to elevate its excellence with its “Vintage Célébris 2004 Extra Brut”, released in 2016, the same year as the passing of its creator, Jean-Pierre Mareigner. Sixteen generations have built Gosset’s reputation. The 17th generation is named Cointreau since its 1993 purchase by the family of Jean-Pierre, the current president, whose group also includes Frapin cognac and regional aperitifs. The Cointreau family has proven its expertise. Among other ventures, under Gosset, the House was relocated to Epernay in 2009. Twenty years ago, under the leadership of Jean-Pierre Mareigner, “Cuvee Célébris” was created. Three decades in Gosset’s wine cellars had made him a virtuoso of vintages, especially extra brut, the form of champagne with very little dosage. His 2004 vintage is balanced and complex, and as lovely as the box set that protects it! www.champagne-gosset.com

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015 LARSEN [ A Cognac’s Spirit of Adventure ] We set off to discover the new limited edition cognac, “Larsen 90th Anniversary Tribute to Jens Reidar Larsen”, which magnifies the style created by Jens Reidar Larsen. By Hervé de l’Antenne

The story of Larsen cognac is above all a tale of adventure: that of a young Norwegian, Jens Reidar Larsen, who while visiting Bordeaux, fell in love with the region and became captivated by Cognac’s brandies. Following extensive research into various distillation techniques, Jens Reidar Larsen was drawn to produce his own brandies and to put his signature on his own blends. And so it was that the House of Larsen cognac was created in 1926. “Larsen 90th Anniversary Tribute to Jens Reidar” is a blend imagined by Robert Andrieux, the House’s Cellar Master since 1991, that is inspired by the first brandies distilled by the young Jens Reidar Larsen. Behind a midnight blue, delicately satiny bottle -a modern interpretation of one of the House’s former bottle designs -hides a beautiful amber cognac. The freshness and fruitiness of the brandy are marvelously offset by powerful accents of vanilla, candied fruits and citrus. The long, supple finish ends on a lightly oaky note and aromas of toast. A cognac bursting with fruitiness, purity and elegance, to be enjoyed neat. Cognac lovers will also discover the new design of the iconic “Drakkar” carafe, created in 1952. www.cognac-larsen.fr

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RUINART 016 [ History Reinterpreted Through Art ] Champagne is inseparable from the passage of time. Each year, Maison Ruinart calls upon artists to reinterpret History. One such artist is Erwin Olaf. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

I am accustomed to photographing human nature. It was a major challenge to change subjects. I wanted to make still-life’s, but with a human approach.” Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf is one of the contemporary artists Ruinart called upon to “reinterpret” the House’s history. An approach begun in 1896 by André Ruinart, one of the first to entrust the production of a poster to Alfons Mucha. “I was fascinated when I discovered Ruinart’s chalk quarries. I focused on the walls and on the traces left by nature and humans,” explains the artist from Amsterdam. The resulting black and white photos are “a bit raw”. From there, Ruinart imagined a chalkcolored wooden “caisse cave”, “made in France”, containing 4 bottles: 2 Blancs de Blancs and 2 Rosés. These elegant fine wines “stimulate the taste buds and whet the appetite,” declares the head sommelier Frédéric Bouché from Reims, of L’Assiette Champenoise. This wine box incorporates designs observed by Erwin Olaf upon the walls of the chalk quarries. However, to enjoy it, you will need some good fortune: worldwide production is limited to 200 bottles at a unit price of €450! www.ruinart.com

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The 72nd vintage since 1842. Primarily Pinot Noir. 7 years of cellaring. With a low dosage, the palate is bright, with a spring bouquet, floral sensations and citrus. Price: $55 www.moet.fr

GRAND VINTAGE 2008

VINTAGE 2006

DOM PÉRIGNON

It took twenty years of patience to gather the 183 wines required to produce this 163rd edition of the Grande cuvee since 1843. Exceptional. Price: $166 www.krug.com

KRUG

MOËT & CHANDON

GRANDE CUVÉE

017 SELECTION OF CHAMPAGNES [ Bottles for the holidays ]

VEUVE CLICQUOT VINTAGE 2008

LAURENTPERRIER

COLLET

BRUT ART DÉCO

A TRUE GEM

A solar vintage: Global warming has positively contributed to this 5th successive vintage from a “prodigious” decade. Intense aromatic maturity. Price: $157 www.domperignon.com

CASTELNAU

HORS CATÉGORIE Developed for De Castelnau’s centenary, this exceptional cuvee is limited to 3,500 units bottled in 2011 and aged 5 years. Comprised of base wines and vintage reserve wines, this blending presents oaky flavors imparted by one year of aging in oak casks. Dosage: 6 g/l. Price: $94

www.champagne-de-castelnau.eu

LENOBLE

2016 LES AVENTURES Wood makes a comeback for the 68th vintage since 1810. The first vintage signed Dominique Demarville. A rich and profound wine. Price: $56 www.veuveclicquot.com

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The point of reference for Rosé, packaged in a bird cage. Sublime Pinot Noirs. Great vinosity! Price: $89 www.laurent-perrier.com

20 crus, 3 grape varieties: blended champagne, dosed to 9 g/l. Perfectly paired with light meats. Price: $32 champagne-collet.com

This confidential cuvee is named after a half-hectare lot with exceptional Chardonnays. The blending recipe of the two vintages (2002 and 2006) is held secret. The dosage is low (3 g/l). The development method remains traditional. Price: $84

www.champagne-arlenoble.com


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Meeting Roosevelt was like uncorking your first bottle of champagne

CUVÉE JOSÉPHINE 2008

VINTAGE 2006

CUVÉE 38

HENRIOT Imagined by Joseph Henriot in 1990, this is the third edition of this “perpetual reserve” cuvee. 100% Chardonnays. Dosage: 5 g/l. Sold only in magnum format. Price: $605 www.champagne-henriot.com

JOSEPH PERRIER

BARONS DE ROTHSCHILD

Winston Churchill (during a stay in the United States)

The first edition of a “vintage”, this 2006 Blanc de Blancs is the fruit of a temperamental weather year, yet deemed of “great vintage” quality. Aged 7 years on lees. Price: $605 www.champagne-bdr.com

SALON

2004 VINTAGE A single terroir. A single grape variety. A single year. Salon champagne has been an exception in Champagne since its creation in 1920. This vintage is a “masterpiece of complexity, freshness and purity.” For those able to resist the urge to enjoy it immediately, it can be cellared. Price: $376

Based on 19th century tradition, this cuvee honors Joseph Perrier’s daughter. An exceptional champagne from the decade’s most balanced vintage. Price: $115 www.josephperrier.com

POMMERY

PHILIPPONNAT 2009 BLANC DE NOIRS

2007 ALAIN THIÉNOT

A 21st century champagne. Pommery is shaking things up: to be enjoyed on ice in special glasses. Price: $53 www.vrankenpom mery.com

The second cuvee for this 100% Pinot Noir wine. A champagne with fruity aromas and cellaring potential. Price: $46 www.philipponnat.com

65% Chardonnays and 35% fruity Pinot Noirs for this vintage harvested during an exceptionally mild year. Price: $83 www.thienot.com

ROYAL BLUE SKY

THIÉNOT

www.salondelamotte.com

PIPER HEIDSIECK BRUT CLASSIQUE

Produced from 100 crus, primarily Pinot Noir, with the addition of some Pinot Meunier. This brut champagne with no vintage is a great classic, down to its light golden robe. Structured, ample and fruity, it has won several medals worldwide. A point of reference. Price: $30

www.piper-heidsieck.com

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018 DE SAINT-GALL [ 2008 Vintage “So Dark” … ] The Cooperative of Avize has built its reputation on the production of Blanc de Blancs champagnes. The 2008 vintage breaks with tradition with the addition of Pinot Noir. By Jean-François SCHERPEREEL

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or 50 years, the “Union Champagne” of the Cooperative of Avize has produced cuvees primarily based on its Chardonnay Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines grown on its 1,250 hectares of vineyard. With 2 million bottles, De Saint Gall is an imposing presence on the Champagne landscape. However, the House’s wine experts were frustrated by their inability to fully use the 30% of Pinot Noir grown on its terroir. They made the leap with the 2008 vintage, which they bottled as a confidential cuvee named “So Dark Grand Cru”, limiting production to 1,000 bottles. The equation for this new alchemy is simple: 75% Pinot Noir to 25% Chardonnay. 2008 was marked by very cold winter weather, a rainy spring and a mixed summer. Yields were rather average, but the cellaring potential was deemed to be high. The alcohol content and considerable acidity were valued by wine experts. Sold at $53 a bottle, this champagne is a perfect pairing for white meats, salmon or pan-fried foie gras. www.de-saint-gall.com

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RICHARD DELISLE 019 [ The Revamped “Side-Car” at Harry’s Bar ] Richard Delisle is a very old cognac brand that is now part of Société * Hawkins Distribution, located in France near Cognac. It has revamped the “Side-Car” cocktail in Paris, at the mythical Harry’s Bar. By Angelo Daje

Its exact origins are hotly debated, but did you know that this popular cocktail is thought to have been invented in 1931 by Harry MacElhone in honor of a soldier who made his way to Harry’s Bar in a side-car?

© Harry’s bar

Though it fell by the wayside for a time, the “Side-Car” has experienced a major resurgence in recent years. While men have readily set their sights on the “Dry Martini” or the “OldFashioned”, the “Side-Car” has, in fact, again become the aperitif enjoyed by women of taste everywhere. “Without revealing our secrets, I will say that the “Side-Car” is comprised of 1/3 lemon juice, 1/3 Cointreau and 1/3 cognac. For several years, we have selected Richard Delisle VS cognac,” stresses Alain Pinto da Silva, manager of Harry’s Bar in Paris. “It is often ordered by our Asian customers,” he adds. This cognac presents aromas of candied fruits and dried raisins. Supple on the palate, with oaky notes providing structure and balance, traces of smokiness and caramel. Its mouthfeel is rich and long. * Hawkins Distribution is a company founded in 1999 by Alexis Cabanne, a sixth-generation wine grower and distiller whose professional roots in the Cognac region date back to 1686. It specializes in the production, imports/exports and the distribution of spirits. For over 15 years, it has marketed a large line of fine alcohols and is sold by duty-free shops, professionals, restaurateurs, wine merchants, cash & carry wholesalers and mass-market retailers both in France and on the export market. Richard Delisle cognac has an excellent presence in several countries in the East. www.hawkinsdistribution.com

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020 HOLIDAY DINNERS [ Julien Calmels’ Top 5 ] 34 years old, trained by several starred chefs, including Michel Guérard and Cédric Béchade, Julien Calmels delivers a selection of foreign wines of which he is especially fond. By Serge Courteline

JULIEN CALMELS

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Owner of JC Wines

his young sommelier, who has just opened a wine cellar in France near Cognac, stocks 200 French product references on his shelves, including superb cognacs and approximately one hundred foreign wines. Angelo Gaja, Barolo, Dagromis, 2011, Italy. “A lovely ruby color. The nose offers complex and sensual fruity aromas. The mouthfeel is full, with a long and complex finish.” Price: $92 Torbreck, Barossa Valley, Woodcutter’s, 2012, Australia. “A rich, voluptuous, fleshy and deep wine of great purity.” Price: $34 Gulfi, Sicilia, Neromaccarj, 2009, Italy. “Prepare for take-off! Gulfi launches you to the stratosphere with this generous, dense and powerful cuvee!” Price: $65 Francis Ford Coppola Winery, California, Diamond Collection, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, United States. “A solidly structured wine with supple tannins and aromas of blackcurrant, raspberry, plum and dark chocolate.” Price: $29 Vega Sicilia, Toro, Pintia, 2011, Spain. “A great wine! A magnificent cuvee endowed with a lovely structure and lots of depth and character.” Price: $61 www.jc-wines.com

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