“[On] Election Day… [there were] far more important things to think about than [wine blogs] – like what to eat… while watching the returns, what to drink while celebrating or drowning your sorrows…. As far as the drinking goes, my suggestion is Champagne. If your candidate wins, you’re celebrating, right? If not, well, things could be worse. At least you’re drinking Champagne.”
Those are Eric Asimov’s words, not mine, from yesterday's entry at The Pour. What can I say? He beat me to the punch in suggesting none other than Champagne as the ideal wine to sip while following the general election returns.
While I wasn’t drinking anything quite as rarified as the wines of Anselme Selosse, which he went on to discuss, I did decide to spend some time with a reassuring old friend. Diebolt-Vallois Blanc de Blancs Brut NV is a long time favorite of mine when it comes to grower Champagne. It may just be the sparkling wine I’ve consumed more of, over the years, than any other. I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate to match my mood of hopeful optimism going into last night’s returns. Even if the results hadn’t been to my liking, Diebolt’s wine would have provided solace.
Though the heart of Jacques Diebolt’s estate is located near his winery in Cramant, this, the estate's base Blanc de Blancs, is a selection of Chardonnay from the family’s holdings in Cuis, Chouilly and Épernay along with fruit from their young vines in Cramant. Though there’s no disgorgement data on the label, I know from this bottle’s provenance as well as from its tasting profile that it was from a pretty recent corking.
Last night, it was somehow lush and creamy, fine and racy, all at once. Its aromatic profile could have been a dead ringer for the scents wafting from a fine French patisserie – buttery croissants, marzipan, lemon chiffon and the subtlest suggestion of light cocoa. Forward in style, it’s also layered – part obvious, part subtle. It works great as an aperitif but is more than versatile at the table, whether with oysters, sushi, Dover sole sautéed in butter, roasted breast of pheasant…. On election night, it worked handily with carry-out Chinese.
Today – yes, I managed to save a glass or two – its aromas had darkened, showing more vinosity. And on the palate, it had become leaner and more focused, displaying the lemony minerality and mouthwatering acidity that’s the hallmark of young Cramant Chardonnay.
Toasting in a new wave and a momentous point in history with an old friend… it was a good night. And a good morning after.