At around 7:00pm on December 31 it became clear that none of my wino friends would be joining me to ring in the new year so I decided to tone it down a bit. We drank NV Mumm's Napa Blanc de Noirs (which, at $11.70/bottle from Safeway is still a screaming deal) with dinner and as midnight approached got into some of this.
I must say I was a bit apprehensive at first. I love lots of grower-producer Champagnes but this was really pushed at K&L and I was told it was a direct import. If you have worked in the wine industry you know that, and this is especially true of Champagne where the markup often is less than 50% on normal bottles, stores make much more money on direct imports than they do off of wines bought via distributers.
As soon as I popped the cork I was saddened that I had not bought a case outright.
This is a brilliant $30 NV Champagne. Hazelnuts galore, with sea salt, butterscotch, and dry Sherry on the nose. The palate has the same flavors with just a hint of orange zest and asain pear for some fruit, but this is a mineral/bread/yeast dominated Champagne to be sure. Great mousse. Lots of medium-fine bubbles that seem perfectly spaced. Very long finish. At least 40 seconds. The pinnicle of heresey -- having had the new label Krug Grand Cuvee 3 times, without doing an A/B comparison, I cannot say, in good consious, that this isn't actually the better wine. It is certainly better than Bollinger SC, Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label, etc. 93