Wines of the Week: Four Champagne picks for New Year's Eve
(Photos by Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
H. Goutorbe Brut Premier Cru 'Cuvée Prestige,' Champagne Laherte Frères Rosé de Saignée 'Les Beaudiers,' Champagne Paul Bara Brut Grand Cru 'Grand Rosé,' Champagne Philipponnat Non Dosé 'Royale Réserve'
Dry and delicately yeasty, Goutorbe "Cuvée Prestige" comes alive in the mouth and finishes long and lovely. This respected producer's Champagne has masses of tiny bubbles and beautiful balance. Importer Thierry Thiese knows how to pick 'em. Under $50.
Available at Liquid Wine & Spirits in Chatsworth, (818) 709-5019; http://www.liquidpartyworks.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.com; Wine Expo in Santa Monica, (310) 828-4428.
Champagne Laherte Frères Rosé de Saignée 'Les Beaudiers'
This is a unique Champagne made entirely with Pinot Meunier by a small grower in the village of Chavot. The first impression of this pale pink Champagne is raspberries and wild herbs. Second impression: dry and crisp with a lingering finish. Exquisite, and a wonderful bargain at around $38.
Available at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitimewine.net; Mission Wines in South Pasadena, (626) 403-9463, http://www.missionwines.com; Palate Food + Wine in Glendale, (818) 662-9463, http://www.palatefoodwine.com; the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, http://www.winehouse.com
Champagne Paul Bara Brut Grand Cru 'Grand Rosé'
You could say Paul Bara has experience: six generations of it since 1833. A rosy salmon in color, this Grand Cru rosé is dry and subtle with miniscule bubbles and a hint of pink grapefruit. The finish tastes of wild strawberries. It would be great with charcuterie and salumi and probably goose. From $42 to $50.
Available at Envoyer Fine Wines in Laguna Hills, (949) 701-9175, http://www.envoyerfinewines.com; Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitimewine.net; Silverlake Wine in Los Angeles, (323) 662-9024; http://www.silverlakewine.com; Vendome Liquors in Toluca Lake, (818) 766-9593, http://www.vendometolucalake.com; The Wine Club in Santa Ana, (714) 835-6485, http://www.thewineclub.com; The Wine Country in Signal Hill, (562) 597-8303, http://www.thewinecountry.com; Wine Expo in Santa Monica, (310) 828-4428.
Champagne Philipponnat Non Dosé 'Royale Réserve'
The bubbles just keep coming in Philipponnat's "Royale Réserve." Note the words "non dosé," or no dosage. This refers to the syrup of Champagne, sugar and sometimes spirits that usually is added after the first fermentation. That's why this version is so dry and crisp. Yet it's also supple and lush, a truly elegant sip. Great with food, this Champagne bears noticing. About $60.
Du Vin Wine & Spirits in West Hollywood, (310) 855-1161, http://www.du-vin.com; and Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.com.