The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Roger Coulon and Roger Coulon

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar

Crystal 2014Regardless of the season, day of the week, or time of day, sparkling wines are always appropriate, and when you pour Champagne, simple moments become a celebration! My fridge always has at least a few cold bottles on standby for those times. In my opinion, bubbles are the best way to awaken the palate, bringing a glassful of joy to whomever partakes.  Today I highlight one of my favorite producers, Rober Coulon, who creates stunning wines that offer the best quality-to-price ratio I have yet to come across.

Situated in the prestigious area of La Montagne de Reims in Champagne lies the Coulon estate where eighth-generation farmers and winemakers Eric and Isabelle Coulon passionately craft Champagne. The vines grown here are almost equal parts Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, most of which derive from premier cru vineyards. Averaging 38 years of age, vines like this are a rarity in Champagne where older vines and their limited production are often considered a curse rather than a blessing. Using only wild yeasts, Roger Coulon produces a miniscule amount of Champagne each year. These special bubbles are some of the greatest values to be found while bringing a luxurious (and delicious) element to any occasion. These wines are perfect for gifts or just those afternoons or evenings when Champagne is required.

Roger Coulon Brut Réserve de l’Hommée 1er Cru NV $52.99

Bright, mineral-laden bubbles attack the palate and explode into a full bodied, rich and creamy mousse. Because of the percentage of reserve wine that is added to this cuvee, there are notes of toasted nuts and brioche wrapped in a blanket of citrus, stone fruit and pear; this wine is a great match with just a wide variety of antipasti, fish, poultry and even veal.

Roger Coulon Brut Millesime Blanc de Noirs 2007 $67.99

Made entirely of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, this floral and enchanting bubbly deceives its fans into thinking it is younger than it is. Bright zesty stone fruit mingles with white and purple floral notes while surprising the palate with a rich and powerful backbone that carries the wine into what feels like a never-ending finish. This Blanc de Noirs is superb with seafood and salty foods.

Inside IWM, December 7-10, 2015: Feel the Love

A look back at the week that was

Antonio Ferrari Solaria Jonica 1959It’s a week filled with love. We ended with John Camacho Vidal on learning to love old wines, and we began with a guide on giving wines from the heart. In between, we really, really enjoyed a delicious under $20 Chianti Classico, and Emery Long poured out his delight in dessert wines–and showed how to give them as gifts.

Our experts were similarly motivated by their feelings. Garrett Kowalsky can’t contain his passion for Champagne, picking  a pair from Roger Coulon and Krug. Nebbiolo is Michael Adler’s grape of choice, but the two tasty Nebbiolo wines he chose could not be more different. Crystal Edgar shares this love for Nebbiolo, but she went for a pair of cru Barolo from Rocche dei Manzoni.

As you hit the holiday season in full stride, we hope your heart–and your glass–brims with good things.

Expert Picks: Roger Coulon and Krug

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky

Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiI could drink Champagne every day of the year. The effervescence, the vibrancy, the flavor—Champagne makes me feel good about life, love and happiness. While many wine-lovers feel that Champagne should be reserved for celebrations or special events, others are like me: ready to pop the Champagne cork anytime. Those who feel that Champagne is for celebrations are in luck; we’ve reached the holidays, that time of year when you must join the rest of us, the bubble lovers, to bask in the year’s accomplishments and ring in the New Year the right way. I’ve chosen two of my favorite Champagnes that are sure to make anyone smile and to make any celebration just a bit more festive.

Roger Coulon NV Brut Reserve de l’Hommee 1er Cru $52.99

Every so often, a wine comes along that shouldn’t be missed. Roger Coulon is a tiny grower producer in Champagne that you have probably never heard of, but I have my job to make sure you do! Bold aromatics of sourdough bread, brioche, stone fruit and a slight nutty character let you know that you are about to drink something very special. On the palate, the micro-sized bubbles explode into a full-bodied, creamy, sexy and utterly mind-bending mousse. It grips the palate and never lets go! Drink now until 2020.

Krug Champagne Brut Rosé NV $349.00

The wines of Krug are towering accomplishments and in particular, Krug’s Rosé is simply divine. Founded in 1843, Krug is one of the most famous and well respected houses in all of Champagne. The Rosé took some time to make its debut, however, first being released in 1983. A blend of all three grape varieties of Champagne, the Krug Rosé shows exceptional balance. Strawberries and brioche mingle, highlighted by a citrus zest that makes your mouth water. This is truly one of the best Champagnes you will ever taste. Drink now to 2025.