OK, I understand this French fizz doesn't come cheap, but it's worth it, especially when it is bought by someone else.
But, first the week that was ... coronavirus, Covid, pandemic, Delta variant, lockdown, quarantine, vaccine etc etc. But it started well, with a milestone birthday for yours truly, which was celebrated at the wonderful old Crown Hotel in Camden, southwest of Sydney (and my local). Great to eat, drink and be merry with friends and family before the latest lockdown ate Sydney, then Australia.
Despite the pandemic's nasty return, there's always time for great bubbly, and that time, as always, was Friday night. This week's tipple of choice was Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne, a Mother's Day gift for my wife that had been held over.
Like the name of the bubbly, the Taittinger website is quite reserved about this fine wine: "Taittinger Brut Réserve is made from 40 % Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, using perfectly matured grapes harvested from over 35 different vineyards. This subtle blend results in a light, elegant and balanced champagne."
But, I will leave it to the experts at worldsbestwine.eu to give you a more detailed description: "Brut Reserve is a golden yellow colour; bubbles are fine while foam are discreet yet seducing. The nose expresses the aromas of fruit and brioche as well as the fragrances of peach, white flowers and vanilla pod. This wine presents the flavours of fresh fruit and honey which makes it more appealing to both old and new wine drinkers."
Got that? They know better than me, of course. I don't get the brioche bit at all, but then I don't eat brioche. For me the nose was a bit fruity, but in a citrus sort of way. The taste is deliciously dry, once again a little lemon hint comes through (not that many of the experts appear to note this). And, the bubbles .... well they were bubbly enough.
But, seriously, French champagne is world famous for a reason, and Taittinger lives up to that reputation. This elegant and subtle variant is up there with the region's best.
Finally, two practical characteristics should be noted regarding Taittinger's Brut Reserve: 1. Despite its fine effervescence, it was really easy to pour; and 2. No hint of a headache as the post-bubbly glow wore off. Such characteristics are often underestimated by connoisseurs, but I reckon they are worth noting. Maybe a "hangover factor" should be noted on producers' websites?
REPORT CARD: Subject - French. A quiet diligent student that has attained excellent results. Has mastered the elegance of the world's most romantic language.