Author Topic: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne  (Read 304 times)

Offline santoshlv426

Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« on: April 20, 2019, 04:48:00 PM »
So for the next midlife crisis topic I'd like your feedback on is that of Champagne. One of the experiences I'm aiming for before I die is to have a glass of Dom Perignon and Bollinger.

If I don't graduate to those, perhaps I'll have to settle for Moet, Mumm or Verve Clicquot.

I would like to know from those of you in the know, is actual experience of any of the above equal the fantasy ?
My frame of reference is JC Le Roux and Pongranz MCC.

Offline Trompie67

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2019, 06:21:41 PM »
Have had a glass or few of all the above. One of the perks (or drawbacks) of spending time with the horsey set: often it's a case of "image is EVERYTHING daahling"!  :whistler:

They are all an acquired taste.

I have not acquired the taste. Doubt I ever will, purely because I could never afford to drink any of them on a regular enough basis to acquire the taste!  :point:

I'm sure if you are a genuine lover of Champagne you will enjoy some or all of them.
*Insert profound or witty phrase here*

Offline Larry

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2019, 08:02:53 PM »
There is a lot of MCC for you to explore, and (with respect) Pongracz and the House of JC Le Roux isnít exactly the top of the pile. 

Check out Colmant, Le Lude, Ambeloui, Jacques Bruer, Silver Thorn, Steenberg, Klein Constanta, Constantia Uitsig and many more if youíre interested.

As with all wine, the more variety you sample the more you learn, the more different types you can drink and compare together the better.

Once you feel you have a grip on the flavor and taste profiles of the champagne methode varietals and styles, then begin to explore the Champagne wines themselves.

Some may disappoint and some are epic, and some MCC is remarkably good.

In my opinion and experience, this route to champagne will take you closer to your local wines, as well as ensure you donít just blow money on expensive bubble and improve your knowledge and experience.

Now Iíve made this sound all very dry, (see what I did there? 😁).  But hey, itís a blast and if you have a lot of money to blow, order a case of Bolli


Offline Drifter

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Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2019, 08:13:57 PM »
I recently did a bubbly taste at the house of JC le Roux.
I discovered that the expensive stuff is horrible and the uber cheap stuff is delicious.

Yes, I'm common like that .....
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 08:31:11 PM by Drifter »

Offline Larry

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2019, 08:33:22 PM »
I recently did a bubbly taste at the house of JC le Roux.
I discovered that the expensive stuff is horrible and the uber cheap stuff is delicious.

Yes, I'm common like that .....

Oh ma gad - we cant take you to nice places!

 :winkwink:


Offline Larry

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2019, 08:38:04 PM »
I actually missed two of the greats in my monologue: Graham Beck ( they actually own Steenberg) and of course where it all really came together the first time, Simonsig.  Villiera is actually a great entry point to.

Offline JonnyP

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Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2019, 02:53:46 PM »
Lambrusco out of a tumbler is more my thing.  Iíve had a lot of the name brand champagnes and never really understood the point myself.
The Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways.  The point, however, is to change it.

Offline chrisc

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Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2019, 07:07:15 PM »
A few years back I was able to taste some Louis Roederer champagne when my English cousin celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary

At first I thought it rather sharp, but soon realised that the very fine bubbles were very different from the South African methode cap classique we have been used to

However, my favourite is Pongrasz, and Klein Constantia
Music is the shorthand of emotion

Offline JayMac

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2019, 10:20:57 PM »
I have migrated toward the 100% Pinot Noir in local brands. I much prefer that to the typically Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc blends. Not many of them around anymore, but JC le Roux made several good vintages that each spent at least 6 months on the lees.

As for the entry level French bubblies (which are blends of grapes from different years) , they are OK  and consistent but pricey: many of our locals offer better value for money by far.

BUT if you get a vintage champagne (ie showing the year of the grapes) AND the vintage was a better than average or great year, then it is an experience on quite a different level. eg Dom Perignon 1978 or a Taittinger Blanc de Blanc 1982 that I had.

Cautionary notes:
1. Most folk struggle with the mouth pucker of 'dry' bubblies if you are more used to off-dry or sweeter wines. Get used to Brut before trying the Extra Brut / Oyster dry.
2. Don't spend big money until you have at least tried quite a few locals, and have bought a range of local ones.
3. I buy a case of each one. Then try a bottle after two weeks, then try another bottle after 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years  and 5 years. See if you can detect a difference (notes are useful!). Then see if the differences are to your liking.
4. I also found we like the magnums better than the usual 750ml size.
5. We 'practice' once a week....as a guideline!
5. Your experience and mileage may differ!

Enjoy the process.......
JayJay

Offline JamesB

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2019, 12:33:10 PM »
I agree with Trompie that it is an acquired taste.  The 1st time I tasted Dom, which was close to 20 years ago, I really did not like it and would have preferred drinking a glass of Sprite  :BWAHAHAH:  Over the years, it has gotten a wee bit better, but I would still prefer a really nice bottle of red wine at a quarter of the price over it.

But someone told me as well that like wine, one should pay attention to the year as well in buying champagne (if you're going for the expensive ones), as most of the time only the brand and variant is considered when buying champagne.

Of the secondary champagnes you mentioned, I prefer Moet over Verve but haven't tried the Mumm.  Of the local MCCs that I've tasted, my favorite is Thelema's.  But wife and I usually stick with Moet and Tattinger for New Year's eve, which we buy at Woolworths during their 12 days of Christmas promos, with 1 of those days usually for wines and champagnes at 20% off if you buy 2 bottles (which gives for a huge discount if your buying champagne).

Offline santoshlv426

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2019, 03:23:19 PM »
I did in fact have one of the cheaper French Champagnes some years back. It was nothing extraordinary.
I certainly appreciate the comments and feedback.

From what I'm lead to believe the local MCC's e.g. Pongracz and Graham Beck is very highly rated.

But from the comments I gather that the actual experience (DP or Bollinger) is less than the fantasy, so if I really am lus for a champagne, I'll keep it to the sub R500 (Moet/Verve/Mumm).

BTW, just thinking back to my past, I actually have had the best drink I think I will ever experience - something truly unique with a palette and bouquet that's yet to be matched and that is Martini Gold (Dolce and Gabanna).

It was launched for a limited period in 2010.
During it's reign, I treated myself to two bottles, both of which now sit proudly displayed (empty of course)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 03:26:19 PM by santoshlv426 »

Offline KenMasters

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2019, 12:57:16 PM »
Dom Perignon is in a different price category, Bollinger is more inline with Moet, Mumm and Verve Clicquot.

My wife and I love our bubbles, we've drunk at least one bottle a week since we've been married. These days we've graduated to predominantly drinking Champagne but we do enjoy the Cap Classiques when we're down in CT (not a fan of Pongracz, but Graham Beck I rate).

Don't expect anything mind blowing from Dom, don't expect any bottle of bubbles to be worth those sorts of prices really. Your Perrier Jouets, your Roederer Cristals, your Dom Perignons are more of a decadent, why not, kind of purchase - on which we're known to splurge on occasion:



There's a lot of good champagnes you've never heard of that are great, and a lot of the known brands have a reputation for a reason (Bollinger is my wife's casual drinking favourite and I rate Tattinger). Bottom line is once you get to good, there's not really an even better - just different. Don't spend a fortune on a bottle expecting a taste sensation unlike anything you've ever experienced before, do it because you feel like celebrating and the decadence of a nice bottle goes hand in hand with the sentiment.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 01:12:07 PM by KenMasters »

Offline santoshlv426

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2019, 08:46:30 AM »
Good post Ken, appreciate the comments.
It's always good to go with the advice from someone in the know.
Good on you 4 enjoying a bottle a week

Offline LouisF

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2019, 02:51:43 PM »
I recently did a bubbly taste at the house of JC le Roux.
I discovered that the expensive stuff is horrible and the uber cheap stuff is delicious.

Yes, I'm common like that
.....
Amen to that.
"No matter how educated, talented, rich or cool you believe you are,
how you treat people ultimately tells all."
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I have learned more from people who have differed from me than from those who have agreed with me.

Offline Dubya Jay Dee

Re: Mid Life Crisis Topic 2 : Champagne
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2019, 03:23:27 AM »

Translation: "Dry" = sour as sh*t