I am not a dog! I may be, at times, regarded as a proper bitch, and in some instances far worse than that, but, I am simply a homo sapiens and as such I am very much a hunter that is predominantly ruled by the visual rather than the olfactory, just like dogs are.
In the wine world, noses and taste buds are far more important than eyes. I tend to look at everything. I sniff, like a real dog, I taste like a real wine professional, I consume the visual of Champagne like a proper Champagne consumer, but unlike most, I prefer, and encourage in others, to form, my, their, own opinion.
It is not in my interest to write now an entire essay dedicated to the industry of wine and how it makes money on Champagne but merely give an idea of what it is to be about and how it applies to my next entry.
I don't like being seen as a Champagne critic. I do, however, understand, why people see me as one. I am not paid for it, and as I have already said, my comments on Champagne are purely to encourage people to pick up a glass and smell it, taste it, enjoy it and I actively encourage any Champagne drinker to learn, and learn to appreciate Champagne.
But some don't have that interest. It is inherently difficult to objectivise something intrinsically subjective.
I will elaborate on all the points in the book but for now;
Recently, I had the new edition of Stephenson's 'Champagne and Sparkling Wine Encyclopaedia' in my hands and looked at the updates. I own a copy of the first edition, and I do credit Stephenson for a variety of reason to have embarked on cataloguing Champagnes and Sparkling wines, but I have always had a strong reservation towards, assessment of Houses of either Champagne and/or Sparkling wine makers.
I was quite surprised to read that Krug only received 98 (points?) out of, presumably, 100. Whilst I am not the greatest of fan of Krug, I would argue that Krug, irrespective of my pertinent reservations towards house, is one of the greatest Champagne makers in Champagne and in fact one of the greatest wine makers in the world.
Still the idea of 'boxing' Champagne houses of 'considerable distinction' into value digit is rather unfair to the maker and misleading to the consumer.
In truth, no sparkling wine can measure up to most great Champagnes, but that does not reduce the wine making abilities of the cave master. Just in case Mr. Stephenson needed a reminder, much depends on grape varieties, climate, sun exposure, style of production, market segment, method of production and other factors. Undoubtedly, his work educates, but only a hands on experience can truly assess wines, and while his experience is richer but that is not to say that he knows, or can speak for any consumer or for every consumer, that one house is particularly better than another.
But I had to agree with him, that to spend £2500 on a bottle of Krug Clos d'Ambonnay, is unjustifiable.
more soon! :)