Champagne Friday: VCP Brut Rosé, NV

Here it is Friday evening and I have fallen down on the job. Time to pick up the slack and get a Champagne Friday posted. Luckily, I have just tasted – or rather drunk – a bit of Clicquot Rosé which was the cream of a nice tasting of Rosé bubbly I did today for an upcoming article on pink fizz (coming next week in time for Valentine’s day). Special thanks to Robert Gilroy (perhaps Houston’s most eligible bachelor) and the ladies in the office who helped me dispose of the evidence.

VCPPinkVEUVE CLICQUOT PONSARDIN Brut Rosé, Champagne, NV ($55.39)
A 12% alcohol blend of mostly Pinot Noir with some Pinot Meunier and a bit more Chardonnay with 12% red Pinot Noir added before the second fermentation. The wine is salmon-orange in color and fully sparkling dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and scant phenolics. Tasted with several other Rosé bubblies, this is a richer and “foodier” Champagne Rosé with lots of rich red fruit (along with enough citrus) and a supple toasty richness (from lots of reserve wines). Still plenty fresh with a lovely feel in the mouth. Deeply satisfying. This is not aperitif Champagne; rather it is to go with salmon or steak tartar or carpaccio or even simple pasta dishes (but hold the red sauce).  YUM! BS: 93+.

After all, what is your host’s purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they’d have simply sent Champagne and women over to your place by taxi. – PJ O’Rourke


“VCP-VR-2004?” A new character in the Star Wars series? No, actually, that would be wine geek shorthand for “Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Vintage Rose Champagne 2004.” Which, as was demonstrated at dinner last night when it (at least initially) SMOKED a number of much more expensive bubblies right out of the bottle, is a remarkably good Rosé Champagne. “At least initially?” Because we (Robert Gilroy, Miss Carol and I) were tasting it along-side some very august vinous company – which was taking its collective sweet time to open up and show us what it had, while this wine – which exploded from the glass – captured and held our attention. Although served last, it was the first bottle emptied and I had to give up my last half-glass to Miss Carol. Ah, the things we do for love.

VEUVE CLICQUOT PONSARDIN Vintage Rose, Champagne, 2004VCPVR2004
12.5% Alcohol. A blend of  62% Pinot Noir, 8% Pinot Meunier, and 30% Chardonnay (The same base blend as the 2004 Vintage) with 15% red Pinot Noir from Bouzy (Bouzy Rouge) made using straight-forward methode champenoise.   Sensory: pale salmon in color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-bodied with freshly-balanced acidity and scant phenolics.  On the initial taste, this is the best wine of the night. The others may wake up and pass it in a bit but this is showing the best fresh from the bottle. Mixed red cherry-berry and ripe citrus fruits beautifully integrated with earth and mineral, toast and richness. A delight in the mouth. Satisfying, long, delicious, and complete. GREAT food Champagne.BS: 97. ($82 and worth every penny)

“Ain’t no pain like Champagne!”