I spent the weekend in Cannes for the film festival with some friends from Hong Kong, including Peter Lam, director of Media Asia, which is one of the largest film companies in the Far East. He’s a big time wine collector as well. He was in Cannes selling a new film he has coming out later this year called ‘Warlords,” which could redefine Chinese movies. It’s an epic film about three brothers battling together in what was known as the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) during the Qing Dynasty. There are lots of battle scenes, but also a gripping story of betrayal, adultery and brotherhood that we can all understand. Anyway, it is action packed and full of saga – along the lines of “Braveheart.”
I also went to a number of parties, and it seems to me that Dom Perignon is the prestige Champagne of choice during the film festival, although Roederer Cristal was also prevalent, especially at a boat party with Snoop Dog. Apparently rappers still like the fizz. Regardless of the brand, Champagne seemed to be flowing like Evian water in Cannes during the festival. The Carlton Hotel claims to go through 15,000 bottles over the event, according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter.
For Dom Perignon, the 1998 and 1999 are the most prevalent vintages. I prefer the 1998. It is rounder and fuller with a soft, creamier texture. I gave it 93 points, non-blind. Perhaps the 1999 is too young? But I found it just a tad aggressive with apples, melons and light lemon aromas and flavors. Medium to full body. It needs some time. 91 points, non-blind.
Of the last three vintages, I am still a major fan of 1996. This DP may be the best since 1982 and shows wonderful complexity and finesse with great flavor and style. It deserves the equivalent of Palm d’Or for Champagne – 98 points, non-blind.
I may have had the best Bellini of all time as well! Most of the time it’s strained peach juice with prosecco, but with the Cannes Bellini, the fresh and easy-going Italian sparkling wine was replaced with 1998 DP. Maybe it was a waste of great Champagne but it tasted amazing.
I have also drunk a number of 1990 prestige cuvées over the last week including DP, Salon, Cristal, Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, and Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvée Palmes d’Or. In my non-blind scoring, I still think the DP is the best of the group, with a wonderful combination of finesse and power. It's compacted with lots of creamy, lemons character and an ultra-fine bead. 96 points. The Salon was my second favorite, although it can be a bit heavy for a blanc de blancs. It delivers amazing richness and flavor. It’s more like a grand cru Burgundy than a Champagne. 95 points. Cuvee Sir Winston is also very rich, but it remains fresh and lively on the palate. 93 points. Cristal remains little aggressive, but there are people who swear by it. 91 points. And Cuvée Palmes d’Or is very good but not in the same league as the others. 88 points.
Willim Tisherman — Katonah, NY — May 21, 2007 9:02am ET
Anacleto Ludovic — paris france — May 21, 2007 10:41am ET
Mark Sinnott — Mahopac, NY — May 21, 2007 12:23pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — May 21, 2007 2:46pm ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — May 22, 2007 12:20pm ET
James Suckling — — May 22, 2007 1:41pm ET
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