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Trendy Wine Bars circa 2014 Infographic

This comes grace à la our friends over at VinePair.

Check out their awesome blog and Wine101 posts if you feel like picking up a trick or two about wine…

This one is awesome!

 

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Résistance Naturelle

Ten years after releasing the acclaimed film, Mondovino, Jonathan Nossiter is back in theaters with his newest film, Résistance Naturelle.

It examines vineyards in Italy that are cultivating their grapes organically and others that are using chemicals and pesticides. He then compares the soil quality and harvest yields of the different cultivation methods. It’s not strictly a documentary as he blends some narrative filmmaking in with the documentary.

Released in theaters since June 2014.

 

 YOUTUBE TRAILER

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Charles Heidsieck Champagne Cellars Reims

by Paige Donner

“Chanel has her No. 5. I have my Charles Heidsieck Champagne cellar No. 9.”

Cecile Bonnefond, President of Charles and Piper Heidsieck

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014 all rights reserved

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Reims photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0415 Champagne Cellars Charles Heidsieck photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0397 Champagne Charles Heidsieck Reims photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0412

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014 all rights reserved

The Charles Heidsieck cellars in Reims, Champagne are legendary. They are some of the best examples of the crayères, the chalk-stone cellars, that are so emblematic of Champagne. These were first excavated by the Romans some 2000 years ago. The stones were then used to the build the city of Reims, a city that was once the capital of France.

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If you take a look at the picture here of cellar (crayéres) No. 9, you will see that it resembles the shape of a bottle. The team, led now by Cecile Bonnefond, took that as inspiration to model a new bottle for Champagne Charles Heidsieck. So the bottle shape is inspired by Crayères No. 9 from deep inside the depths of their champagne cellars in Reims.

The cellars have even more historical significance as they were used as shelters during the wars of the last century. There is no elevator to get you back up once you’re several hundred feet below ground. So if you do ever get the chance to visit these cellars in Champagne, wear comfortable shoes.

 

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le Winelab by Bettane + Desseauve

by Paige Donner

Theirry Desseauve in front of the Carreau du Temple Paris photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0486

What?! you say?! A new wine event for Paris?! Yes. And it’s by Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, the same wine experts/journalists who bring us Le Grand Tasting every year.

This inaugural event took place on Monday at the fabulous new Carreau du Temple. New venue, new wine event. Now how perfect is that?

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014

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You can catch my interview with Thierry Desseauve on my World of Wine program on World Radio Paris next week. Until then, a few photos from the event. By the way, le Winelab is designed to showcase and highlight smaller French (primarily) wine producers. The ones that people in the know, know about, before they get super expensive.

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Szamorodni Tokaji- Samuel Tinon

by Paige Donner

Recently I had the chance to taste a Szamorodni 1971, a Tokaji « Grand Liquoreux »  made by Samuel Tinon.

This was only the second time I’ve tasted a Tokaj so I daresay that from herein out my palate is completely spoilt. I understand, too, now, why it is said that this was the preferred wine of King Louis XIV.

Samuel Tinon Szamorodni – Tokaji

I do enjoy France’s Sauternes, but aside from their both being sweet wines, the two varieties  have little else in common.

It was explained to me that the Tokaji Sweet Szamorodni is a lighter version of the great Tokaji Aszù, the more famous Tokaj wine. In Polish « szamorodni » means « like it comes. » Connoisseurs find it a surprising wine and the French wine critics Bettane & Desseauve put it in its own class and category as a « Meditation Wine. »

The color is gold, a beautiful gold. The nose gives over to aromas of lemon, quince, almonds, orange zest then citrus and a bit of toast. A smooth body, delicate and spicy. It is an elegant and refreshing wine.

Serve at 10°C and in big glasses to allow for the wines’ aromatic complexity to be enjoyed.

For Aperitif : Dried fruits, nuts, almonds, cocktail toasts with blue cheeses

Starters : Fresh melon, foie gras

Desserts : Macarons, lemon tart, marzipan, fruit tarts, desserts with nuts and almonds

By themselves, in front of a fireplace or a multi-hued evening sunset overlooking a tranquil setting, one that invites a meditative moment.

Technical notes : There is no sulphur added ; residual sugar is at 115 g/l. Grape varieties are 90% Furmint and 10% Harslevelü. Hungarian State control gave this a 10/10.

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SPIT – Science Politique International Tasting (Competition)

by Paige Donner

In a truly wonderful demonstration of Bollinger’s credo, Life Can Be Perfect (with Bollinger), the day of the SPIT competition unfolded delightfully in Aÿ, France…

 
 

 

 
 
Gilles Descotes, Chef de Caves Bollinger + student

 

 
Jurists – SPIT (me on far right)
Maison Bollinger, Ay
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014 

SPIT competing schools this year were:

Oxford University – First Place

Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne – 2nd Place

Saint Andrews University – 3rd Place

Contenders:

France -

EDHEC Lille, EM Lyon, ESSEC, HEC, IFP, Polytechnique, Université Paris Dauphine

International – Cambridge University, Copenhagen Business School, Harvard Business School, Sankt Gallen Universitat

Competition was held at Bollinger Maision and Cellars in Ay, France. With the generous sponsorship of Bollinger, Fouquet’s Barrière, IdealWine, Le Cordon Bleu, Lehmann Glass, Chateau Latour and many more…

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Bollinger R.D. 2002 – New Release

by Paige Donner (with some translation from French original)

The great vision of Madame Bollinger – A Wine of Expertise

For Eternity

Bollinger RD 2002 image002

After much contemplation, and repeatedly going back to the drawing board, Madame Lily Bollinger at long last decided on the term Récémment Degorgé for her prestige champagne.

The date was 1963 and it was during this era that the notion of Prestige Cuvées was starting to pick up tempo in Champagne.

Consulting with her American disstribution agent, she decided to release several of her prestige 1947 Réserve bottles onto the market as prestige releases. What followed was nothing short of a small revolution « champenoise ».

Bollinger R.D. 2002 – Time  Rarity  Boldness

The nose is quince, ripe fruits, a bit of honey. The palate gives way to a carnal encounter, powerful but balanced with great persistence. The finish hints at lemon notes revealing a lovely citrus. Consume at a temp. of 12°C

R.D. 2002 Doc.indd

The highly original idea that Madame Bollinger had at the time was to choose a great – and older – vintage, one that had only recently been disgorged and then give it only the lightest hint of a dosage, not more than an Extra Brut. At the time, this was a daring approach to releasing a new product on the market as consumers then were not accustomed to older vintage champagnes. But she followed her intuition and worked with her team to communicate to her loyal clientele the significance of a late-disgorged champagne.

In a Bollinger R.D. champagne what you will find is the freshness of  Grand Cru champagne along with the developed aromas of a vintage champagne, one that you can keep for a long time. It has everything to do with the « Recently Disgorged » aspect, as that is what has allowed the champagne to mature on the lees for more than a decade, in the case of Bollinger R.D.s, and its recent disgorgement also recalibrates its freshness.

 Bollinger R.D. is the perfect testament to our everlasting loyalty to Madame Bollinger and her vision for the House of Bollinger Champagne .   – Jérôme Philipon, Président de Champagne Bollinger

 

It was in 1967 that Madame Bollinger and the House finalized the name of R.D. after toying with several others ( Late Disgorged, Late Disgorged Reserve) and retained the title Récémment Degorgé for their prestige label.

Several vintages were released simultaneously on the market that initial year of commercialization : the 1952 to the English market, the 1953 in Switzerland and France, and for the U.S. market and Italy the 1955. It was with the 1959 vintage that the house first did a full-on international release of the prestige cuvée.

This newest R.D. release, the 2002, will stand out among greats. The 2002 vintage in Champagne is one of the best in recent history. For this blend, the house of Bollinger blended 23 crus using 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. 79% are Grand Crus and 21% are Premier Crus.  The maturation of this wine is more than 3 times longer than is mandated by the Champagne AOC regulations. The dosage is very light, no more than 3 or 4 gr. per liter thus keeping it very much an Extra Brut.

In addition to the exceptional quality of this champagne, all bottles are handled exclusively by hand.  This 2002 release, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Bollinger R.D. prestige cuvée, is available in a case of 6 bottles, a luxury gift box, a magnum and even a limited edition Jerobaum (price upon request).

Champagne-Bollinger.com

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