As I sit at my desk and recover from a dude's night out to the Leatherneck steakhouse and karaoke, a night which began with Old Overholt rye whisky, ended with corona, and had some awful private label cabernet, decent new york strip steak, creamed spinach, iceberg salad with bleu cheese crumble and irish coffee in between, I am thinking that a blog update is in order. Don't worry, I'm fine. Not 100%, but well enough to write about champagne.
Recently David D commented inquiring on a bottle of closeout champagne we had lying around from a recent cellar acquisition. It was champagne for $5.99 so I bought it. Ellner is a larger vineyard owner and negociant-manipulant (NM), owning 54 hectares of vineyards from the Aube in the south to the Montagne de Reims in the north, which supply 70% of the juice for their champagnes. This bottling, the Carte d'or, consists of 75% chard and 25% pinot noir. The PN dominated the aromas and flavors of the champagne, with lots of red fruit and buttermilk biscuity notes. After some time opening up, marzipan notes emerged on the nose as well. I'd be curious as to what vintages were included on this bottle and when it was disgorged, but since it was not Tarlant I could not find this information on the back label. I would guess '01 and '02 formed the basis of the blend, given the texture, decent acidity and depth of flavor. As for the disgorgement, maybe sometime in '05? All that is secondary to most folks out there, what really matters is that the champagne, while somewhat simple and direct, is certainly better than most grand marques' basic NV efforts. Not quite as interesting as many grower champagnes, but still a decent deal if it were to cost around $35 (no idea on pricing, I've yet to see this brand in the market).
Here's some Sunday Thelonious from 'Straight no Chaser.' Just like my Old Overholt, straight no chaser. This one's much more complex though, and probably more enjoyable for many of you out there.