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Champagne will always rhyme with France.

To our dear US and UK friends, traveling to Paris for the holiday season, you must know that like for Christmas dinner, you need to pick the right bottle of Champagne in Paris for a great New Year’s Eve.

We picked the first two, based on our taste (Drappier, Bollinger), the others (Moët, Krug, Delamotte) are the favorite picks of François, a local wine specialist -and a friend of ours-, working at a wine cellar in the 14th arrondissement of Paris (18 avenue Jean Moulin), where we warmly recommend you to go to buy those bottles (and say Hi! to François for us).

Here are our top 5 picks

Drappier (Drappier Grande Sendrée 2008)

The 2008 vintage is considered a great year in Champagne. Harvesting began on 15 September in ideal conditions. The grapes, healthy and well formed, displayed lovely acidity and had high sugar content.

drappier-by-the-tourist

This champagne presents itself in a ravishing pale yellow robe with topaz nuances. Hawthorn blends with acacia honey, beeswax and marzipan. When it is aerated, the wine resumes its murmurings, quince jelly meets raspberry jam and alternates with bergamot and warm brioche. On the palate it is invigorating, imposing and it teases the taste buds. The bead caresses and balances wild strawberry jam with ripe blood orange. This harmony is extended in a delicate minerality and a lovely bitterness in which hints of mandarin orange come through.

Bollinger (Special Cuvée La Grand Année 2005 or La Grand Année Rosé 2005)

La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé, Bollinger’s prestige cuvées, are cogent demonstrations of a vintage year’s extraordinary qualities. Vinified exclusively in casks, they illustrate Bollinger’s interpretation of a grape harvest.

bollinger-grande-annee-2005

Afer primary fermentation in small stainless steel tanks or wooden casks, the wine is bottled in the spring and taken to rest in the silence of the chalk cellars, where Special Cuvée champagne will remain for at least three years and vintage cuvées for much longer.
To the eye: its delicate colour and golden reflections are a sign of the wine’s maturity and Bollinger’s wine-making methods. To the nose: great complexity; honey, gingerbread and cinnamon aromas; subtle notes of dried fruits (hazelnut) and dried flowers (lime blossom). Read more here.
Also, did you know it is James Bond’s favorite champagne? Cheesy thing to know but good pick up line as well on New Year’s Eve!

Maison Delamotte (Blanc de Blanc Vintage 2007)

Maison Delamotte has been a benchmark in Champagne since 1760. Delamotte Blanc de Blanc is a superlative expression of Grand Cru Chardonnay.

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Delamotte’s treasured Grands Crus delivered impeccable fruit ; healthy bunches with a fine balance of acidity and potential alcohol. This is the stuff that Delamotte is made of, and the heart and soul of this 2007 vintage. Nature, hard graft and the expertise borne of time, that together give the grace and pleasure of a truly excellent wine.

Moët & Chandon (Grand Vintage 2008)

The Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 is an assemblage of 40% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir and 23% Pinot Meunier. It is described as “vivacious and lively, with an underlying acidity that shows as a linear, focused palate”.

moet-chandon-grand-vintage-2008

Krug (Grande Cuvée Brut)

Krug Grande Cuvée is at the heart of the House of Krug: it is its raison d’être. Since 1843, Krug Grande Cuvée has embodied the utmost in excellence that Joseph Krug, the founder of the House of Krug, sought to give his clients, a Champagne of extreme generosity and absolute elegance. Over twenty years are needed to craft each bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée.

champagne-krug-grande-cuvee

Tasting notes: Deep golden colour and fine, vivacious bubbles, predicting fullness and elegance; Aromas of flowers in bloom, ripe & dried fruit, marzipan, gingerbread and citrus fruits; Flavours of hazelnut, nougat, barley sugar, jellied and citrus fruits, almonds, brioche and honey.

Of course, you can always go for the Dom Pérignon, Louis Roderer, Deutz or Pol Roger as well.

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Where: 18 Avenue Jean Moulin, Paris, France
Metro: Alésia