New champagne-friends

It is no secret that we like sparkling wines and champagnes. We have been quite lazy to open our tastes and experiences to different brands and types of champagnes – and therefore quite often just made repeat purchases to those wines that we have known to taste good to us and to provide good price / experience ratio.

About a month ago we participated in The Left Shoe Company champagne tasting for their selected customers.

We had the opportunity to sample and rate 25 different champagnes – and it was actually nice to see how large differences there were and how you reacted positively to certain specific tastes. For us it was a good reminder to try again some good wines that we had previously not necessarily valued that highly.

One of them was this:

Our previous tastings were not so good experiences, but at the LSC-event and few days after that we enjoyed this wine greatly. For the price this is a amazing wine.

Similarly we tasted with open mind Champagne Pannier Blanc de noires from 2005.

Once again really nice aperitif drink or something to share with friends – like we did. Will not go to our top 10, but definitely will buy again.

During really hard work period we relaxed with Charles Heidsieck Brut Champagne, which was a new acquaintance for us — even though we have had Piper Heidsieck numerous times. We wouldn’t have tried Charles Heidsieck otherwise, but some people we met at the LSC tasting suggested that as a really good value for money and as a really elegant basic champagne.

Will definitely buy again – especially if we get it with tax free discounts.

During the ”I love me”-trade fair in Helsinki we visited the fashion section of the exhibition and naturally found our way to the champagne bar. That opened us an opportunity to try Laurent Perrier champagnes.

The normal brut was quite non descriptive, but the ultra brut was an amazing wine — and I totally fell in love with it. Extremely good and nice bone dry wine. Brilliant stuff!

During the wine exhibition this week in Helsinki we additionally got to try Laurent Perrier vintage 2004 – which was also rather nice, balanced and elegant wine. Unfortunately we had the opportunity to also taste so much better wines during the evening – that it did not leave so everlasting experience.

At the exhibition center we were like kids in a candy store. First stop was a champagne bar – naturally.

Bollinger 2002 vintage. Nice.

Duval-Leroy Brut, really nice too.

Duval-Leroy 1999 vintage, blanc de chardonnay. Nice, nice!

And then one non champagne.

Bernard-Massard millesime 2008. Not bad. We have been fan of Bernard-Massard sparkling wines for ages, as they have done really good champagne like sparkling wines with traditional method and sold them in really nice price points. For some time Bernard-Massard was also the sparkling wine served on Finnair flights.

Kyytipoika.com had new champagne house added to their selection and had person from the house presenting their wines at the exhibition.

Gratiot-Pilliere’s 2008 selection was really nice and quite dry – as was their extra dry.

I really liked the extra-brut version – and could easily order a case of it. It is priced in really nice way, being a lot cheaper than Laurent Perrier’s ultra brut — but still providing a really nice dry champagne experience. No questions asked that the Laurent Perrier’s ultra brut is better wine if compared in blind test head to head, but if we take the price into the equation it is no longer so clear cut case.

And then the best new champagne we have tasted.

Billecart-Salmon Brut vintage 2000.

Amazing wine. Really strong and full taste.

Amazing.

Will buy – and enjoy responsibly.

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