Splendor in the Glass

Arturo Ciompi's blog on wine

Two Special Treats

Tag icon Published under Weekly Tastings

Clock icon September 22, 2013

Comments icon No comments

140142Does anyone order Champagne anymore without asking for a Brut? Well, yes, they do, and the more one knows, the more one’s enjoyment of Champagne becomes. So-called “Extra-Dry” Champagne is a bit of a misnomer because it really means “a little sweet.” (It has more residual sugar than a Brut.) But a truly balanced Champagne is, when properly made, a wine where its sweetness will just be a taste element, and the wine will still provide refreshment. Pol Roger makes an excellent Demi-Sec, which they call “Rich.” I was reminded just how good this can be at the lovely brunch that Vin Rouge serves on Sundays. The Champagne pleased us all and, perhaps most importantly, its style was perfect to accompany cheesy omelettes, salmon-infused scrambled eggs and French onion Soup. A new discovery for this just delectable stuff.

  • Champagne, Pol Roger Rich, Demi-Sec $70 srp

Beautiful golden hue. A generous doughy, honeyed nose with soft lemon impressions. The palate is effortless with stone fruit flavors and underlying acidity that keeps it not only lively, but mouth-cleansing – even after salty pommes frites! Delightful in every respect and with a long, clear finish. (An equal blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinor Meunier) Drink now-2015.

91/100 points


Quimera is a higher-end red wine blend from the prestigious Achaval-Ferrer Estate in Lujan de Cujo, Argentina. Grown at 3,600 feet, this blend of five Bordeaux grape varieties presents a beautifully rendered wine that seduces your palate rather than leading an all out assault. As its name implies, this is a multifaceted creation with imagination writ large on its banner.

  • 2010 Quimera, Achaval-Ferrer, Mendoza $56 srp

Alluring nose radiates warmth, splendid ripeness and an overarching “sheen” of dark cherry, raspberry, earth and cedar elements. Flavors are still firm and gripping with its persistent fruit gliding towards a long finish. Medium-bodied with a refreshing lift harmonizing its darker edges. This is a tenor, hitting high notes brilliantly but perhaps wanting in the deeper tones. (A blend of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.) Open two hours before drinking tonight. Will improve through 2018.

91/100 Points

Bottom border