Christie Kiley on December 31, 2014 0 Comments Now that the holiday season is starting to wind down, the time has come to say goodbye to this year and welcome in the new year. And everyone knows that champagne is a must on New Year’s Eve. Here are ten of the best champagne’s that you should have near-by as the ball starts to drop. 1. Champagne Barons de Rothschild Rose These are in no particular order and I really did not put a Rose Champagne first on the list because I am partial to it, but it is after all delightful. Most bubbles are. Have it for the day-after-Christmas brunch or while you are still in your pajamas passing out gifts on Christmas morning. For a pink, this has a surprisingly high percentage of Chardonnay at eighty-five percent with fifteen percent Pinot Noir. The soft and delicate aromas make for a perfect mid-afternoon treat with a perfume of ripe strawberries, custard, citrus drops and soft rose and soft mouthfeel with bubbles that caress your palate. Sure to cure any holiday scrooge. 2. Dom Perignon 2004 New Year’s Champagne is synonymous with Dom. That is just to be expected and I might not be considered a serious sommelier if I failed to put it on this list. The 2004 vintage of Dom Perignon is worth the treat and is a Champagne apart from the rest with notes of marzipan and dry cocoa powder and racy minerality. The toasty finish on the palate is pleasantly unexpected. It is a really well-rounded Champagne with even darker notes on the finish with a kick of spice. There’s no better way to ring in the New Year, than with a glass of Dom. 3. Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires Brut 1995 Bring on the Champagne! I hope you guys are planning to get a case. This one is a beautiful vintage from the famous house of Heidsieck with fifteen years (!) of aging in Gallo-Roman chalk cellars! The perfume is endlessly deep, interesting yet delicate with slightly toasted hazelnuts and Medjool dates, fig and white raisin. The flavors are satisfying and add a nice contrast and compliment to its perfume with honeycomb, hard butterscotch candies and vanilla sugar. This Champagne is getting me all emotional! 4. Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle From the 17th century, back in the days of Louis the fourteenth, he became lovingly known as the ‘sun king’ for his love of the Arts, giving France their richest artistic heritage. Louis, the good-ole-chap in his home at the Palace of Versailles, was the first king to drink Champagne. What a shame! If the others only knew what they missed out on! This era today is called the Grand Siecle, or the ‘Great Century’. This Champagne is specially bottled in the replica of the very bottle during the period, fit for a king. It is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sourced from Grand Cru vineyards… The aromas of grilled brioche and warm honey with light and mouthwatering citrus and minerality might make you feel like royalty yourself. It is a perfect wine to make a toast, but hearty enough to have with game birds and poultry. 5. Champagne Jacquart Blanc de Blancs 2006 I cannot get enough of all the great vintage Champagne available! The Jacquart Blanc de Blancs is a beautiful wine if you are having the ladies over for lunch or dinner. Have this in the glass and ready when they walk in the door and everyone will be instantly in a festive mood. The aromas are delicate and feminine of a flower or two you might have pressed in a book from your first love of white cassis and green apricot. It has a lovely finish of lemon curd and fresh baguette. Oh, and get some fresh goat cheese! 6. Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque 2006 You know as soon as everyone sees the bottle you’ve won over their hearts. The famous flower bottle, makes for a great gift too, in case you have one last person or family to shop for. Anniversary gift? The 2006 vintage is bright and zingy with aromas of Chantilly crème, almonds, cinnamon and sugar-buttery toast and toasty pear tart. The flavors take on the Chantilly crème, lemon zest and warm spices on the finish with silky bubbles to tickle your tongue and fancy. 7. Deutz Brut Rose If you have not heard of the Deutz family name in Champagne, allow me. This by far, not just the Rose, are the best Champagne wines for your buck. Get a case or two. You do not need a special occasion to pop a Deutz. You woke up alive, didn’t you? That’s reason enough. This Rose is fun with easy notes of Bing cherry, Honeycrisp apple, cranberry and pomegranate seed. The flavors are deliciously simple and juicy of raspberry, red currant and tart cherries. It’s perfect for both the guys and gals! 8. Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose 2004 So just one more final Rose, a vintage Rose. And of course the list would not be complete without inviting a very special Madame; Madame Vueve that is. It is an awesome (I wonder if she ever used that word) hue of deep pink with a stream of bubbles that just won’t quit. When you meet Madame Vueve, please to ask where she shops for her perfume! The lilac, pink rose petal and toasty amber notes and espresso bean notes are seductive and surprising. The notes of spring red berries and lingering perfume on the finish really complement one another. 9. Schramsberg J. Schram 2006 I had to pay homage to this sparkling wine house of the Napa Valley as it really is my favorite of the area. This vintage 2006 is tart and exotic with a basket of tropical fruits from almost too right pineapple, green mango, kiwi and fresh whipped cream. The palate sustains the exotic notes on palate with star fruit, green melon and lime zest. The final acidity hangs out for a while and makes your mouth water with nice bright, delicate bubbles. 10. Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Another one from outside of the Champagne region, though it is still made via the traditional Champagne method. It is of one-hundred percent Pinot Blanc and is a classic sparkling wine of France and has even one four gold medals in a French national tasting among all sparkling wines in all of France! And the price? This is one other great sparkler to have a case on hand. It is light and friendly with green Anjou pear, Golden Delicious apple and rounded citrus notes.