Monday, April 9, 2012

Ben's Bubbly: Champagne Doyard, Collection de l'An I

Well, we finally made it. We successfully raised our first child to one year of age. And in doing so, we consumed one bottle (sometimes more) of sparkling wine for the past 52 weeks. The past year has been just the first chapter on a fantastic journey that I hope lasts for the rest of my life. Everyone always says to cherish these early times in a child's life because they grow up so fast. I just never knew how fast this year would go and how much Ben would grow. From the helpless, wrinkly little baby we took home 4 hours after his birth to the walking and talking energetic (and sometimes quite impatient) little boy who always brings a smile to my face (well, maybe not when he smacks me in the face while I am asleep), I have enjoyed every moment so far. When my wife and I decided to open a bottle of bubbly for every week of his first year, I mostly thought it would be good to have consistent material for the blog. But opening a bottle to celebrate Ben every week has meant so much more. Every week for the past year we were able to relax, reflect and recover all in the name of Ben. Who knew something that requires so much work could be so fun and rewarding (well, all of you parents knew that already)!

Two weeks ago, Ben enjoyed his first Spring Break with Mom and his grandparents all came over for his birthday party. At the end of the day, he was covered in dirt, frosting and dog hair. What a good day for a little boy. Unfortunately, Ben started to feel a little under the weather at day care on his birthday. He recovered quickly, but he had to stay home with on Thursday and Friday. We had a good time just hanging out and enjoying the beautiful spring weather. We are so excited to have a yard that Ben can call his own and play in for the years to come.

2000 Champagne Doyard, Collection de l'An I, Blanc de Blancs

For this last sparkling wine in the series (though I'm sure their will be more than a few subsequent bubbly posts), I wanted to find a special bottle of wine. I went to Applejack Liquors where they had an amazing sale going on for all wine, but the only "top-notch" Champagne was a few tête de cuvées from the larger negociants. I wanted something a little more unique and special, so I headed over to Mondo Vino in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver. They have quite the selection of off the beaten path sparkling wines. After a bit of deliberation, I picked a bottle of 2000 Champagne Doyard, Collection de l'An I. As the name translates to "Collection of the Year," this was a very appropriate selection.

As we dined on what seems to be Ben's favorite meal, salmon and asparagus, we popped open the bottle and reflected on how things have changed (for the better) over the last year. The wine was a beautiful golden color with pinpoint-sized bubbles. The nose was intoxicating. Aromas of Granny Smith apples, toast an citrus teased my nose. Up front, the wine tasted like the freshest apple sauce I've ever had; delicious tart apples with subtle cinnamon and cloves. This yielded to a nutty nougat midpalate. At the end, the citrus flavors picked up and left a refreshingly long finish. This was a fabulous wine and a perfect way to end a great year and to start the next! 12% abv Purchased $115. Excellent

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