Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Wine: Pommery Summertime Brut Blanc de Blancs NV

Summer may not officially begin for another few weeks, but for most of us, it may as well as soon as we head out of the office this afternoon and kick-off the Memorial Day weekend. And for those of us here on the East Coast, it seems as if the weather is going to cooperate, with plenty of sunshine, warm temperatures, and an all-around perfect atmosphere for lazing around and starting the season off right.

Personally, I make it a point every year to begin this weekend with the pop of a Champagne cork. And this year, with the Pommery Summertime Brut Blanc de Blancs NV, it’s pretty much a no-brainer what I’ll be drinking. (At least as far as my first bottle goes; after that, there are plenty of options...)

This Champagne, a blanc de blancs (produced entirely from Chardonnay grapes, 45% of which are from grand cru villages and 35% from premier cru), is pitch-perfect for the occasion. It starts off with a nose that finds a beautiful balance between the chalk notes you’d expect top-quality Chardonnay to transmit, and a hint of something sweet, an aroma along the lines of honey and springtime flowers: I could smell this all day and be perfectly happy.

On the palate, the crispness of the style dominates, and the precision and refreshment of this Champagne seems beautifully suited to the warm weather we’re all celebrating this weekend. Flavors of lime, green apple, and--unexpectedly--something hinting at the freshness of an early-summer berry sing through. There’s also the intimation of gingerbread, but just barely--a whiff for added depth.

Complexity and exuberance rarely commingle as well as they do here--how perfect for the kick-off to the holiday weekend, and the summertime we’re all looking forward to, starting this afternoon.


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