Friday, December 30, 2016

Charles de Cazanove NV Vieille France, Brut Champagne

Our holiday party got off to a tremendous start with this Champagne in a very un-Champagne-like bottle!

Good Things Come In Cool Packages

When I spied this bottle in Costco, I was taken aback. I was looking in the sparkling wine section and thought this bottle must be misplaced. Perhaps it is a dessert wine or an aperitif from Hungary. But no, the label clearly stated, “Champagne.”

I fondled the bottle for a while, but ended up not buying it. The Green Dragon has been after me to “drink down” my wine cellar. That can’t be done if the bottles bought exceed those drunk down. So I passed it by.

Thank the lucky stars, though. We hosted a holiday party the next night and Glorious T and the Cabernetor came bearing gifts. In their package was this bottle of Charles de Cazanove Vieille France Champagne – chilled and ready to open, I might add.

So we did.

Ain’t Nothin’ Like The Real Thing, Baby

What a way to start our party! (How it ended is another story…) We poured the Vieille France into our new Champagne flutes and a flurry of bubbles erupted capped by luscious mousse.

You can tell a lot about sparkling wine by the bubbles. In general, the smaller and more continuous the bubbles, the higher the quality of the wine. Check and check – the Vieille France (Old France) was putting on a bubble show. There was no lacking in the taste department either – flavors of toast and honey were evident with a tickle of apple too.

Maison Charles de Cazanove is a leading Champagne house in the Cotes des Blancs region of Champagne. It was founded in In 1811 by Charles Gabriel De Cazanove, a young man aged 24 from a family of master glassmakers. Perhaps that explains the wonderfully unusual bottle shape. Maison Charles de Cazanove produces more than three million bottles of Champagne a year. Their top of the line Champagne, called Stradivarius, uses grapes from Grand Cru vineyards and is produced in the same bottle as the Vieille France.

This is the time of year for Champagne and sparkling wine. Vieille France is available for less than $30 at Costco and is a true gem. We suggest you uncork some of the “real thing” this holiday season and Charles de Cazanove is a great place to start.

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