Wines to Know

PIERRE PÉTERS | “CUVÉE DE RÉSERVE”, BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT GRAND CRU NV

(Champagne, France) $62

Pierre Péters-“Cuvée de Réserve” Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru NV

From Grand Cru vineyards in the famous tiny village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger comes Pierre Péters’ Blanc de Blancs–one the greatest Blanc de Blancs in Champagne. The wine falls on the palate in cascades of fresh snow. Very refined and very rich, it’s a Champagne that mounts and mounts to a vivid high pitch of flavor, then descends slowly, leaving you in what can only be described as a trance of hedonism. (Should you need an excuse: the holidays are around the corner).

97 points.

Available at wine.com

Wine Question
Sportswear brand Nike has recently released new wine themed soccer shoes in honor of iconic Italian soccer player Andre Pirlo. The soccer shoes are colored in a deep shade of a certain grape to reflect Pirlo’s love of winemaking. What grape is it?
A. Sangiovese
B. Merlot
C. Nebbiolo
D. Pinot Noir

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FLYING HIGH

Consider the fruit fly. A model organism for the study of genetics, physiology and evolution, fruit flies also tell us a lot about our relationship to alcohol. It’s not just that fruit flies—like hundreds of other animals from elephants to ourselves—appreciate the gentle buzz of intoxication. “Smart” fruit flies also gauge their consumption. Moderate-drinking flies, for example, live longer and have more offspring than abstainers or besotted indulgers. Alas, male fruit flies who have been spurned by a potential mate, tend to drown their sorrows by drinking more alcohol than they should. At least until a new lady shows up.

“When a cabernet sauvignon is unbalanced, it’s cassis poured into vodka.”

-Pam Starr, co-owner/winemaker, Crocker & Starr Napa Valley

Over Achievers
I just tasted through the Terry Theise portfolio (presented by WineWise) of grower Champagnes. Here are the five top, not-to-be-missed, exquisite Blanc de Blancs in addition to the Pierre Peters above.

Marc Hebrart – Blanc de Blancs Brut NV $55
Exquisite minerality and richness. Vying for the “only one wine on a desert island” title.
Vernier-Fannière – “Cuvée Saint Denis” Blanc de Blancs Brut NV Grand Cru $80
Quintessential Blanc de Blancs. Very intense chalkiness. Exquisite with a wave of subtle spice.
Moussé Fils – “Anecdote” Blanc de Blancs Brut NV $65
Vivid and spicy, with something intriguing suggesting white flowers in spring.
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils – Blanc de Blancs Brut 1er Cru $50
Airy and frothy with a delicious, mineraly cream flavor.
Jean Milan – “Grand Cru d’Oger” Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV $55
Very high “soprano” notes of vivid, sleek, hauntingly dry (extra Brut) flavor.

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CUVÉE

The wine from a selected barrel or vat (the term is derived from the French cuve, meaning “vat”). In Champagne, however, the word cuvée is used to describe a blend of wines. A Champagne cuvée is often made up of different varieties of grapes, or grapes from different vineyards plots, or both. The term prestige cuvée is used in Champagne to refer to a house’s most expensive and prestigious wine. Dom Pérignon, for example, is the prestige cuvée of Moët & Chandon.


B.Pirlo owns a winery in northern Italy and grows merlot among several other grape varieties. Merlot is Pirlo’s favorite wine. To emphasize the wine theme, the shoes also feature a cork sockliner and the box that the shoes come in resembles a wine box.

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