CHAMPAGNE THURSDAY – PIERRE MORLET Brut Millesime 1er cru, Champagne, 2002 – and a Champagne Quote

Yes, THURSDAY. Dinner tonight was at Triniti which is clearly the hot new restaurant in town. I have mostly good to say about the restaurant: vivid flavors, lots of creativity, beautiful presentation, excellent service, pretty good wine list, and a stunningly good but-not-excactly-on-the-menu ice cream trio (brown butter, honey comb, and caramel ice creams) somewhat offset by a loud, too warm room, small portions, and a tasty but somewhat over cooked piece of fish.

Now, about the Champagne part: my hosts – Marc Laderriere of Vina Robles and Mary Dodson of Serendipity – ordered a bottle of Pierre Morlet 2002 … and it rocked my world. Pierre Morlet is an estate producer (recoltant manipulant) in Avenay-Val-d’Or which is a premier cru village in the Montagne de Reims. The Morlet family’s vineyards consist of thirty-plus parcels totaling forty acres in Avenay-Val-d’Or, Ay, Bisseuil, and Mutigny. Some of these vineyard blocks are situated next to parcels that produce the super premium cuvées for such famous Champagne houses as Bollinger, Krug, Moet & Chandon, Mumm, Pommery, and Veuve Clicquot. For example, in Ay, the prestigious vineyard La Côte aux Enfants of Bollinger, is adjacent to the Morlet family’s Gilbertin vineyard.

PIERRE MORLET Brut Millesime 1er cru, Champagne, 2002
Tech Note: 12% Alcohol. A blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay with primary fermentations in either small tank capacity or in French oak “demi-muids” (600 liter) barrels with weekly batonnage of the lees. Sensory Note: Straw in color, bright, clear, and fully sparkling; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and very light phenolics. Rich with ripe citrus and earthy red berry fruit. Toasty-yeasty with minerally earth. A very long finish that starts with a hint of chocolate essence. Yes -I wrote chocolate. It is at the edge of exotic. Bear Note: My note from October of 2009 indicates that this was very nice (91+ points) but tonight (2/16/12) at Triniti, it was exceptional: rich, satisfying, fascinating. It improved in the glass as it flattened and warmed. Utterly Delicious. The last sip was magnificent. BS: 95. ($75.00???)

We also had an excellent bottle of Vina Robles new release of their VINA ROBLES Syree, Paso Robles 2008, a blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah that I will talk more about later.

I leave you with a Champagne Quote:
Two warm bodies and one cold bottle of Champagne will produce something more wonderful than would happen without the Champagne. – Helen Gurley Brown

WINE of the WEEK – PROULX – 12/30/11

Proulx (pronounced “Pru“) is a small (1500 case) family-owned (winemaker Kevin and wife Genoa Riley) winery in Paso Robles producing exciting wines from grapes sourced from Genoa Riley’s family’s Wet Side Paso Robles vineyard and others. Combining Caberernet Sauvignon and Merlot with a high persentage of Petite Verdot and Petite Syrah makes for a typical Paso red in the tradition of Linne Calado, l’Aventure, and Viña Robles among others.

PROULX “Merveille” Red Blend, Paso Robles, 2008 
Tech Note: 14.8% Alcohol. A blend of 44% Cab Sauv, 30% Petite Verdot, 14% Merlot, and 12% Petite Sirah aged 21 months in 12% new French oak barrels, 6% new Hungarian oak barrels, 4% new American oak barrels, 78% Neutral oak barrels.     Sensory Note:  Deep purple red iin color with well-formed legs; dry, full-bodied with balanced acidity and chewy phenolics. Big, rich, supple, lovely in the mouth. Lots of mostly black fruit with fine spice, supple oak, note of tobacco, hint of dry chocolate.      Bear Note: Tastes like Paso Robles in the very best possible way. YUM. Satisfying but brilliant in the mouth. BS: 92+. ($21.00 per 750ml)