This is actually our 69th post. But to arbitrarily celebrate the joyous occasion of our 68th post, we broke out a bottle of Champagne yesterday. A single-vineyard blanc de blanc. Leclerc Briant's La Croisette, NV.
The nose is amazingly like cantaloupe, with some brioche and sea spray layered in. It is bright and energetic on the attack, with steely apple fruit and lemony acid. The wine seems to swell mid-palate where a creamy texture and briny flavor build in behind the fruit before the acid chases back with a piercing minerality on a finish that evokes almonds as it fades. It was delicious wine with unique complexity and site-specific character.
Single-vineyard wines from Champagne are a budding trend, and so still fairly rare. Most are absurdly expensive. The Clos d'Ambonnay from Krug retails for $3500! And the oldest of the single-vineyard offerings, Philipponnat's Clos des Goisses starts at $165.
But the one we drank in the Lab is $33 at K&L Wines. It's a gateway Champagne.
If you're interested in single-vineyard, terroir-driven Champagnes, Peter Liem, a senior correspondent for Wine & Spirits magazine, wrote a highly informative overview for the San Francisco Chronicle back in June.