Sommelier’s Recommendation


2000     Billecart-Salmon Champagne, Brut Reserve, Champagne
PHP 9,500
A defining characteristic of Billecart-Salmon is their practice of double cold settling which they began in 1952. This involves a primary cold settling of the pressed juice for a period of 12 hours whereby the heaviest of the must solids fall to the bottom. The juice is then racked into clean tanks where it is chilled down to 2C for another 48 hours. This second and much colder settling eliminates any wild yeasts and additional heavy elements without the use of enzymes, filtering or a centrifuge. After the second racking, fermentation is initiated by adding dried yeasts and maintained at a long slow pace for up to 5 weeks in order to preserve as many delicate fruit aromas as possible.   2000 vintage Champagne features ripeness and roundness melting into smooth, fruit-forward wine.  This is a well-balanced Champagne with vibrant structures and finesse, medium- to full-bodied, approachable and attractive.

1969     Boizel Brut Grand Vintage, Boizel, N.M. Epernay, Champagne
PHP 23,000
Evelyne Roque-Boizel is the fifth generation of her family to run this Champagne house in the heart of Epernay. Her husband Christophe Roque makes the wine. The blend, from as many as 50 different vineyards including many premiers and grand’s crus, is dominated by 55% pinot noir with 30% chardonnay and a little pinot meunier. Delicacy and lightness of touch can be used to describe the house style. Time is everything in Champagne and the finished product clearly benefits from the patient 36 months’ cellaring prior to shipment. Complexity, finesse and deftness of touch make this the perfect Champagne for all occasions.

1993     Cristal Brut, Louis Roederer Champagne, Champagne
PHP 75,000
Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne is the epitome of class and elegance from the house of Roederer. A super limited and hard to find top echelon Champagne, Cristal is a 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay blend that was harvested in near perfect conditions. The resulting wine is a blend of vineyards from the finest vineyards of Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs.

2002     Dom Pérignon, Champagne
PHP 19,000
The first hints of fresh almond and harvest aromas immediately open up into preserved lemon and dried fruits, the whole rounded off by darker smoky and toasted qualities.   The presence of the wine on the palate is immediately captivating. Paradoxically concentrated yet creamy, it is energetic and warm in the mouth, focusing on the fruit, then gradually taking on more profound bass notes. The whole holds its note perfectly, intensively, with just a subtle, elegant hint of underlying bitterness.

1990     Dom Pérignon, Champagne
PHP 28,000
The profoundly rich 1990 Dom Perignon is a creamy-textured, full styled offering that loses none of its elegance in spite of its flavor authority. The 1990 vintage was an especially productive year for Dom Perignon and with vintages this old hard to come by it makes its value unrivalled.

1988     Dom Pérignon, Champagne
PHP 32,000
Out of the blocks the 1988 Dom Perignon was tight and a tad on the green side and I never expected it to blossom as beautifully as it has at age twenty. It is still not a very top vintage of DP, but it is now drinking very well indeed and has plenty of life still ahead of it. The bouquet offers up a lovely mélange of warm bread, tart apples, grapefruit, complex mineralogy, a touch of straw, lemon zest and a delicate touch of DP’s youthful herbal complexity. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, crisp and still quite crisp and racy, with a fine core of fruit, fine mousse, and good length and grip on the complex and classy finish. A very good and unfolding vintage of Dom Perignon that may still be on its way up and will be even better with further bottle age.  

1985     Dom Pérignon, Champagne
PHP 39,000
The 1985 vintage produced wines of a great distinction which are characterized by their balance and intensity of aroma. The ripening of the grapes and the harvest took place in ideal conditions, so determining the exceptional quality of the year. However harsh frosts hit later that year rendering many acres of the crop worthless, the bad weather delayed the flowering of the leftover crop and destroyed yet more of the original. Once harvested the Pinot Noirs were exceptionally notable for their softness of fruit and the Chardonnays for their delicate aroma and taste. The small quantity of the Dom Perignon 1985 vintage remains as one of the finest ever produced and is now hailed as one of the most prestigious vintages of all time, a vintage of classic Champagne with superb balance, great structure and lots of flavors.

1975     Dom Pérignon, Champagne
PHP 55,000
Conditions during the early part of the year were unpredictable. Winter was damp and March saw snowfalls in the area. Temperatures picked up towards the end of April, and summer continued mainly warm and dry. Towards the end of September, however, the skies became overcast and rain fell quite heavily. The harvest was delayed until the start of October.   This was outstanding vintage resulting in Champagne that is bold but perfectly balanced.

2000     Drappier Champagne, Cuvee du Millenaire, Champagne
PHP 9,500
Drappier is the first Champagne house to ferment its wines in an egg-shaped oak container.  Called the Ovum, the fermenter, inspired by Nomblot’s concrete egg, is made by Taransaud and costs around €30,000. According to Michel Drappier, winemaker at the family-owned house, “The “egg” proportions represent the Golden Number and are considered to be the ultimate vessel to keep and mature wine.”  2000 produced Champagne featuring ripeness and roundness melting into smooth, fruit-forward wine.  This Cuvee du Millenaire is balanced, with vibrant structures and finesse, medium- to full-bodied, approachable and attractive.

1973     George Goulet, Cuvee du Centenaire, Brut, Champagne
PHP 27,000
GEORGE Goulet" was the only firm of Goulets that had appointment to B.M. the King, the Prince of Wales, the King of Spain, and the Dutch Court.   Champagne, George Goulet Brut has great depth of flavor and is a famous marque of Champagne supplied to both George IV and George V and the favorite’s wine of Edward VII. It was served at the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II.

1990     Guy Charlemagne, Grand Cru, Le Mesnil, Champagne
(M) PHP 19,000
Established in 1982 in the Cotes des Blancs village of Mesnil sur Oger, this family-run estate covers 37 acres. The focus is chardonnay (87 percent of the vineyards), while the Brut Extra includes 40 percent pinot noir in the blend.  1990 is a great success in Champagne (and many other regions in France) resulting in classic Champagne with superb ripeness, fine balance, big, powerful and full-flavored.

1990     Jean Noel Haton Champagne, Blanc de Blancs, Brut, Champagne
PHP 8,000
The fourth generation of a small, Champagne-making family based in the Marne Valley, Sébastien Haton is one of the region’s great talents. He makes stunning, hand-crafted wines with flavor, quality and value superior to many famous Grandes Marques.   Critics described the 100%-Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs as "A wonderful waft of elderflower cordial combines with lemon scented candles. Beautifully precise flavors are led by a mineral streak and wonderful autolytic characters. The structure of this wine is proud and aristocratic. Wonderful long refined finish."

1992     Jacquart Cuvee Mosaique, Blancs de Blanc, Champagne
PHP 12,000
Just recently, thieves broke into the cellars of the prized Champagne house Jacques Selosse and ran off with almost 4,000 bottles of Champagne.  The greatness of Jacques Selosse wines come from a simple idea: to make profound Champagne, you must start with great fruit.   In the 1970s, when Anselme Selosse came of age, such an idea was revolutionary. This was, after all, a time when the fruit that went into most Champagnes was of historically low quality, the result of high yields and excessive use of chemicals.  1992 is a good vintage in Champagne producing ripe-styled Champagne that is soft and mature in style, very friendly and approachable, a crowd pleaser.

1990     Lenoble, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Champagne
PHP 8,500
Anne Malassagne is with her brother Antoine, the owner of Champagne A R Lenoble which is based in Damery, just West of Epernay.  They own 11ha of its 18ha of vines in Chouilly in the Côtes des Blancs. Chouilly was made a grand cru in 1985 only for its Chardonnay grapes but its Pinot Noir, which is a tiny 1% of the commune’s plantings, remains rated at premier cru level.   This Blanc de Blancs is made from 100% chardonnay, 35% with malo blocked, resulting in a Champagne with flavor opening very well on the palate; exuding such freshness and mineral detail.

1992     Mesnil Sable, Grand Cru, Le Mesnil, Champagne
PHP 12,000
The Launois family makes about 15,000 cases of the Mesnil Sable and four other Champagnes exclusively from Chardonnay grapes grown in their grand cru vineyard plots near the village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Cote des Blancs, in the southern part of Champagne.  This artisanal Champagne is one of those niche products catering to savvy wine lovers who take Champagne seriously.  1990 is widely considered one of the best recent years for Champagne, one that resulted in ripe-styled Champagne that is soft and mature in style, very friendly and approachable, a crowd pleaser, and this is a great alternative to the more commercial big house bubblies.

1990     GH Mumm &Co Cordon Rouge, Millesime, Brut, Champagne
PHP 19,000
A century and half of passion and dynamism! Founded in 1827, the house of G.H. Mumm is the 3rd* brand on the prestige champagnes market in France and worldwide. A success that it owes to its unique terroir, bringing together the greatest Champenois vineyards, and its bold, fresh style of celebration and shared joy. The symbol of this success: Cordon Rouge champagne, paying homage to the cordon of the "Légion d’Honneur", which has made a name for itself worldwide as one of the undisputed benchmarks of luxury "à la Françoise".  The 1990 is one of the best recent vintages in champagne, one that resulted in classic Champagne with superb ripeness, fine balance, big, powerful and full-flavored.

1990     Nicolas Feuillatte, 1er Cru, Brut Millesimen Champagne
PHP 7,900
A successful coffee importer, Nicolas Feuillatte bought 30 acres of vineyards in Champagne in 1972 and launched his brand in 1976; ten years later, he sold it to the Centre Viticole de la Champagne, which comprises some 5000 growers across the region. Head winemaker Jean-Pierre Vincent took advantage of a great vintage in 1990 to make a classic Champagne with superb ripeness, fine balance, big, powerful and full-flavored.

1987     Pommery Cuvee Louise, Champagne
PHP 29,000
In 1858, Jeanne-Alexandrine Louise Pommery took over this firm after the sudden death of her husband, who had started Maison Pommery several years earlier. Within a decade, she had begun the construction of Domaine Pommery- a massive Elizabethan-style chateau with 11 miles of chalk cellars capable of holding some 20 millions bottles of Pommery. Today, the company is owned by Vranken Monopole and controls 741 acres of vines. Pommery draws mostly from Avize and Cramant chardonnay to make their signature soft and rich cuvees.

1985     Salon, Grand Cru, Le Mesnil, Champagne
PHP 35,000
"Founded by Eugene-Aime Salon in 1905, this legendary house makes only one wine, a blanc de blancs grown exclusively in Les-misnil-sur-Oger. It’s a refined and complex Champagne that’s renowned for its longevity, needing decades to reach its peak.  One can always find nuts, citrus, floral tones, minerals, sometimes smoky, sometimes doughy, according to its age, time, length on the palate and fine, persistent mousse. It is
Easily compared in its fullness and richness to the great wines of Burgundy.  This is what makes Salon unique: simply put, it is a grand vin…with bubbles."

1988     Salon, Grand Cru, Le Mesnil, Champagne
PHP 35,000
"Salon has been found in the World’s most renowned establishments; Maxim’s made it its House
Champagne in the 1920’s. Since the 1928 vintage, when Salon was unanimously accepted by connoisseurs, the requirements have remained constant: only in exceptional years are the great vintages made, a feature unique to Salon, with limited production and traditional vinification.  In the 20th century only
37 vintages were declared, with an average production of 60,000 bottles per declared vintage.  Outstanding vintage producing fabulous Champagne with impeccable balance."

1978     Taittinger "Artist Collection" Brut, Voserely, Champagne
PHP 43,000
Pierre-Charles Taittinger purchased the champagne house of Jacques Fourneaux in 1931 and gave it his family name; the firm dates back to 1374. The Taittingers have since renovated the ancient cellars and assembled an estate of 626 acres of vines.  Pierre Emmanuel Tattinger runs the firm today, producing full-bodied, chardonnay driven Champagnes.  In 1983, Champagne Taittinger introduced the first of its revolutionary Collection Series, uniting art and Champagne in the design of a special bottle with a laser-sealed sheath that visually expresses the artist’s concept of the magic of Champagne.  The Taittinger Collection Series bottles are released only in great vintages, from a selection of the year’s finest cuvées. The wines are made from Chardonnay mainly from the Grand’s Crus of the Côte des Blancs, and Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims and Vallée de la Marne vineyards.

1990     Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame, Champagne
PHP 2,300
Founded in 1772 by Philippine Clicquot-Muiron, the firm passed into the hands of his daughter-in-law, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, upon the death of his son in 1805. The young widow served as cellar master until 1841, when she turned wine-making over to her assistant, Edouard Werle. During her tenure, she assembled a formidable estate (now totaling 700 acres of vines) and also established cellar techniques, such as riddling, that became essential components of the Champagne process. Today, the firm is owned by LVMH and managed by cellar master Jacques Peters. He ferments his pinot noir-based Champagnes in stainless steel and enriches them through malolactic.       1990 was a great vintage resulting in classic Champagne with superb ripeness, fine balance, big, powerful and full-flavored.

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