Listen: you’ve got about 50 bucks in an american grocery and want Champagne. Your options are pretty much Fuelliatte Blue (no i can’t fucking spell it), Perrier Laurent (also a favorite), Veuve fucking Yellow (please dear Dog make it stop), or this. Oh sure there are others, but I keep coming back to this over and over. Creamy and delicious, with heady buttered-popcorn and brioche notes in the nose, sharp and pointed on the palate… wilted lily and toasted almond starting to overtake the zesty citron. Zingy and vibrant, nectarine and petrichor popping the zits on your tongue with magnificent acidity. Baby Cristal is easily one of my favorite bargain French sparklers.
NV LOUIS ROEDERER ‘Brut Premier’ Champagne 12.0
The 97 Spring Mountain was understandably glorious. Dark ruddy with sediment under control, it blasted bottle-funk for about 5 minutes straight-on before all the lovely floral and tertiary notes started playing. I think it is a bit past-prime, but probably in a position where it could go another 15 without changing much. Considerable zing in the nose: alcohol and mint and euc in a cigar box of tired berry mash. A bit of burnt rubber late-breathing sealed my happiness at finally opening my last one. Half the bottle decanted to see if any sort of *air explosion* miracles would occur… Short answer: No; but it ALSO did not fall apart in the decanter nor improve beyond the fresh bottle-pours. I’m a firm believer of bottles like this staying tight in the bottle over the evening against the popular theory of grand decanting and some sort of heavenly Genie emerging many hours later–or even the next day. Chunky and vivid in the mouth, fruit again showing noticeable fade as all the leather and lace take upper hand on the watery acid and charcoal tannin. Wouldn’t trade a wine like this for anything. Absolutely fabulous.
1997 SPRING MOUNTAIN VINEYARD Miravalle-La Perla-Chevalier Cab/ME/CF 77/20/3 Napa Valley 13.5