Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Bordel de Noël workshop (1/6)

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In the run-up to the holidays, the good and generous folks at oenopole held another of their theme wine-and-food tastings for sommeliers, journalists and bloggers. The seasonally appropriate theme for this event was wines for a traditional Christmas dinner – and not just any Christmas dinner but one prepared by Foodlab chef Michelle Marek. In sending out the invitations, partner Theo Diamantis promised that Michelle’s bird would make believers out of even the biggest turkey skeptics (a group that includes me) and he was right. I’ll post a description of Michelle’s dead-simple recipe/technique in a day or three.

But back to oenopole world headquarters, where we got the ball rolling with a newly arrived sparkler.

Champagne, Brut, Blanc de blancs, Horizon, Pascal Doquet ($48.50, 11528046)
After taking over the helm of the 8.7-hectare family estate, Doquet began selling wines under his own name in 2004. The grapes for this 100% Chardonnay come from organically farmed vines planted in the 1970s. After manual harvesting, the grapes are pneumatically pressed and transferred to either stainless steel or enamel-lined steel tanks. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation are with indigenous yeasts and bacteria respectively. Matured four to five months on the lees before natural clarification and blending (the blend usually consists of two vintages and ours may well have been two-thirds 2011 and and one-third 2010). Lightly filtered before bottling, which usually takes place in late April or early May. Aged around three years in the bottle. Dosage (7 g according to some sources) is with sugar and concentrated grape must but no liqueur. Bottles are shipped six to 12 months after disgorging. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Complex, delicate nose of lemon peel, lees, yeast, chalk, quartz, candied orange and a yogurt-like lactic note. Softly but deliciously present in the mouth. Fine, caressing bubbles lift the ripe fruit and lighten the round texture. Any residual sugar is held in check by shining acidity, meaning this is at the dryish end of the scale. Lingering minerals mark the long, sourish finish. Not remarkably deep – more an aperitif than a food wine, I’d say – but what it does it does very well. Undoubtedly one of the best under-$50 Champagnes to be found at the SAQ. (Buy again? Sure.)

Written by carswell

January 5, 2015 at 11:18

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