Monday, May 9, 2011

Ben's Bubbly: Dragon Seal Blanc de Blancs and Drappier Carte d'Or

Little Ben is getting starting to pack on the pounds! When he isn't eating, he is doing a good job holding his head up and looking around taking in all the new sights and sounds. Pumping his legs and waving his arms as I attempt to sing to him elicits smiles, coos and joyful vocalizations (at least for a couple of minutes)! We are occasionally getting more rest when he gives us three or four hour blocks of uninterrupted sleep. He still enjoys sleeping in our arms or on our chests best and when we need him to wake up, we just put him in his crib!

This Sunday was also special as it was my wife's first Mother's Day as a mom. So for this week, we doubled up on the bubbles. We went with a unique sparkler from China (I know, wine from China is weird enough, let alone a Blanc de Blancs) for our regular celebratory wine and brought a half-bottle of Champagne to the park for our Mother's Day picnic. I made a radish and spinach quiche, mango scones and a mint fruit salad to pair with the wine. While my wine consumption and blog postings have decreased in the past month, we are enjoying trying so many different bubblies and are looking forward to the next 47 weeks!

Dragon Seal Brut Blanc de Blancs, Hebei, China

While most people probably have not ever tasted a wine from China, I've been able to try two in the past year. Although I am not willing to wholeheartedly endorse these wines, I've definitely had worse from other more renowned wine regions. The label says it was made in the Champagne method, but this 100% Chardonnay was aged in the bottle for only nine months before disgorging. It is very light yellow in color with consistent medium-size bubbles. While there is a slight toastiness and some citrus blossom aromas are noticeable, there is a chemically, almost vinyl, odor that makes it not all that pleasant. The toast is present on the palate along with some nice tart granny smith apple flavors. However, smoke and a bitter nuttiness linger as an aftertaste. This is not a great wine, but is average and an interesting novelty for you adventurous winos. 12.5% abv Purchased $12. Average (tasted 5/5/11)

Drappier Brut, Carte d'Or, Champagne

This wine was in a 375 mL bottle and a perfect accompaniment to our Mother's Day picnic in the park! As a side note, half-bottles fit perfectly in the cup holder on our stroller... The yellow label might confuse you into thinking that this is a Veuve-Clicquot offering. The color is the first thing I noticed about this wine that suggested that this light brass colored Champagne is much better! The 80% pinot noir in this blend yielded lovely notes of red apples, Asian pears and hints of red fruits like strawberries and pomegranate along with the typical freshly baked bread aromas. Fresh and crisp in the mouth with plenty of fruit flavors, I wish that we had more than a half bottle to drink and that I had bought more when I picked this lone bottle up! 12% abv Purchased $17. Good/Very Good (tasted 5/8/11)

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