September 20, 2015; the last Sunday of summer. Time flies, that’s for sure. But unlike the stock market, traffic on the bridge, or the fortune of your favorite team, the fact that time moves on is predictable with 100% accuracy. Keeping that in mind, without getting too far ahead of myself, this means October, November, and December are coming next. What might be a good idea to stock up on for these 3 upcoming months? Something that was recently poured for me comes to mind: The NV Pascal Doquet Horizon Champagne might come in handy as we ride out Q4 of 2015.
Seeing how we’re like a family here at TWH, it has become a tradition to celebrate birthdays around here with bubbles. Our most recent family birthday happened to be mine and toward the end of the day, after looking for something in the back, I was greeted by Anya and David holding Champagne flutes. No bottle, just glasses. Chris joined the party and we clinked them (it was Tom’s day off, otherwise he’d have been there too, sorry Tom). I took a very small ceremonial sip and took a step back to admire the nose. It had layers of complexity that were enjoyable yet perplexing; seeing that it was my birthday, I had to guess the wine. This isn’t as difficult as one would think as a dollop of educated guesswork helps a great deal. The fruit component was fairly well pronounced. There were lemons, snappy green apples, a little of the classic Champagne brioche-like sensation, as well as dusty mineral. The palate was bright, fresh, and seamlessly balanced. Adding all of this up I began to think about special Champagne; expensive Champagne. But we don’t open fancy Champagne for birthdays. Imagine the worst hitter swinging a baseball bat trying to hit a housefly. That’s how effective my guesswork was in this case. Anya went to get the bottle for refills, but David stopped her. At one point I verbally ruled OUT the producer. David said to Anya, “He hasn’t guessed yet. He’s getting colder and colder, and the one conclusion he’s come to is that it’s not what it is!” Sometimes my coworkers have fun at my expense.
The kidding subsided and Anya brought the bottle back to top everyone off. I was a bit surprised as I hadn’t tasted Doquet’s latest release of his Horizon. I don’t usually think of that kind of fruit expression or the yeasty, brioche-like characteristics when I taste one of Pascal’s wines. This was truly a revelation, and it was unanimous, the four of us quaffed our fizz with praise and smiles, nary a critical thought or word. It was a great way to end the work day. There would be more wine to taste that evening including a Sauternes, or in this case Barsac (I think you may know which chateau) which could be my favorite birthday tradition of them all.
Alas, time flies and birthdays end; even for those of us ludicrous enough to drag the celebration out for 21 days! I am grateful for all that was shared with me during the annual ‘fest. As stated above, here come October, November, and December … in that order. Off the top of my head I can think of 7 occasions to open a bottle of Champagne between now and 2016. I guess I’ll just buy a case and make up reasons for the other 5 bottles! – Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments: peter@wineSF.com