Screenwriter Kiwi Smith & Grower Champagne
NV Pierre Paillard ($43)
This is one of our most delicate and refined rose Champagnes and a combination of 70% Chardonnay, 23% Pinot Noir (vinified white), and 7% Bouzy Rouge Pinot Noir. It is dosed at seven grams per liter and is quite dry. It is made 100% from estate-grown fruit from the grand cru of Bouzy on the south-facing slopes of the Mountain of Reims and farmed without pesticides. I find this wine subtle and almost haunting, and it goes very, very well with shellfish. If you are a fan of rose Champagne with lobster, you have found your perfect bottle!
A sugary and salty puff pastry nose kicks off this full-bodied Champagne. The 95% of Pinot Noir (with the remainder Chardonnay) gives it an elegant and discreet bouquet of wild red berries and finish full of autumn baking spices with a solid zing of clove. Remi uses only stainless steel as his fermentation and aging vessels in order to encourage a pure expression of the Pinot Noir fruit and his clean and beautiful yeasts. Grown on what is the same limestone and clay soils as France's Chablis region, it is endowed with richness in the palate and upon first sniff and taste could easily be mistaken for a Chardonnay-based Champagne. It has tremendous length with texture and body that opens the doors on nearly all types of cuisine.
NV Remy Leroi Brut ($44)
NV Agrapart & Fils Blanc de Blancs Les 7 Crus ($40)
The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs 7 Crus is beautiful, wiry and bursting with pure energy. Lemon, mint, white flowers and crushed rocks jump from the glass in a vibrant, crystalline Champagne endowed with striking purity. The style is all about focus and tension. In other words, this is pure Agrapart. In this release, the 7 Crus is a blend of equal parts 2009 and 2008, two completely different vintages that could not be more opposite and complementary. The 7 Crus is a blend of 70% Grand Cru fruit (from Avize, Oger, Oiry, Cramant and Avenay), and 30% Premier Cru fruit (from Val d’Or, Bergeres les Vertus and Mardeuil). It is a great introduction to the wines of this small, family-run domaine.