Prestige Cuvée Champagnes
It is a small, elegant affair to honor a new job, a meaningful promotion, an intimate wedding, a special Father’s Day. A celebration that involves family and closest friends calls for the best. And the best means Champagne’s Prestige Cuvées. They are exceptionally fine Champagnes and tend to be expensive. But then, it is not an event where we pour Champagne for hundreds; it is a gathering for the few, the most meaningful people in our lives. I’ve recently tasted some Prestige Cuvée Champagnes I would gladly choose to serve at my own special celebration. Dom Ruinart represents one of the oldest firms in Champagne, begun in 1729, and it produces an outstanding blanc de blancs. Tasting the 2004 ($130) vintage, I found it aromatic with hints of citric fruits; a clean, smooth body; and lovely aftertaste. Overall, a most elegant Champagne. Like all blanc de blancs Champagnes, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne is made entirely of Chardonnay. Its Blanc de Blancs 2006 ($125) offers exceptionally fine bubbles and a lemony freshness. Lean and clean, it is satisfying and delicious. Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque 2002 ($325), a blanc de blancs, offers a bouquet that reminds one of pear and tropical fruits. Add a floral delicacy in the aroma, a vivaciousness in the body and a finish that is all grace for a most stylish Champagne. In 1876, Czar Alexander II of Russia asked the Champagne house of Louis Roederer to create a special wine for him. It created Cristal, and 140 years later it still produces this special Champagne. Cristal’s latest release, the vintage 2007 ($185), offers a rich bouquet of citric flavors, white fruits and crushed nuts and shows an overall harmonious balance. Moët & Chandon’s Dom Perignon 2006 ($155) pleases as a bright, vibrant sparkler with a floral intensity and beautiful balance of flavors . . . a silky and appealing Champagne. The non-vintage Krug Grande Cuvée ($130) presents a bright, creamy, complex Champagne brimming with aromas of berries and almonds and with a zesty acidity. An intriguing Champagne. As they all are.