Asian Sommeliers Champagne Selection for Christmas and New Year 2018

Every year at this moment, not only we champagne lovers, but sommeliers would recall what they have drunken this year. We interviewed sommeliers in Asia, to see and understand what champagnes they have tasted in 2017.

During the recent finished Asia Best Sommelier Competition in French Wines 2017, Daisuke was the winner and the Lafite Rothschild Best Blind Tasting Sommelier. After the competition, we noticed it was just before the “Big day” that he replied to our interview questions. Usually, at this moment, people would become nervous, but he was still very calm. Maybe, long time accumulation is the base of his confidence. Here, we congrats to Daisuke again!

 

 

Daisuke Kawai, Advanced Sommelier of Japanese Sommelier Association, Singapore La Terre Restaurant Director, and Chief Sommelier

Q1: In 2017, among the new champagnes that you’ve tried, which is the most impressive one?

The champagne that impressed me most is Inflorescence La Parcelle Lieu-dit “Côte de Béchalin” Blanc de Noirs Brut NV (base 2005). This one is from Cédric Bouchard. The texture of the wine is amazing, silky with the perfect balance of acidity.

Q2: In 2018, which champagne you expect to try the most?

I would like to try Christophe Mignon Rosé de Saignée Brut NV. Making rosé Champagne is usually “assemblage”, which is blending white and red wine. But Saignée is maceration of black grape for a while to get color. It’s rare style, and this one happens to be a saignée.

Q3: Which champagne you would like to choose for your Christmas and New Year?

I would open a bottle of Champagne Jacquesson Millesimé 1970. I want to feel rich, and such a great nose of wine like vanilla, honey, almond, the complexity amazed me. And I would feel the long history of how the wine aged.

Thiénot Brut Rosé NV

Q4: If we have Christmas dinner in your restaurant, which champagne on the wine list that you would recommend?

Such a holiday, I would recommend Thiénot Brut Rosé NV. A rosé champagne is so moody for celebrating Christmas, no matter together with lovers, family, etc. The wine has well-balanced juiciness and dryness, which can make people happy.

 

 

Alvin Gho, Advanced Sommelier, Winner of 2013 & 2016 Singapore Best Sommelier Competition,  Singapore Wine RVLT founder, American Club consultant

Q1: In 2018, which champagne you expect to try the most?

Generally, I am attracted by the Blanc de Noirs style champagnes and more so the Pinot Meunier ones. In 2018, I hope to have an opportunity to discover more Pinot Meunier specialists champagnes like Prévost and Déhu.

Q2: Which champagne would you like to choose for your Christmas and New Year?

In recent years I have been discovering more and more growers’ champagnes and discovering new style champagnes like rosés in extended maceration style. But sometimes I keep dreaming of the prestige cuvées that I used to have access to when I was working in the Raffles Hotel Singapore, 90 Krug Clos du Mesnil and 90 Krug Clos du Ambonnay, 96 Salon, 96 Le Clos Saint-Hiliare.

 

 

Reeze Choi, Certified Sommelier, Winner of 2016 & 2017 Best Sommelier in Greater China, Hong Kong Van Gogh Senses Restaurant Manager and Sommelier

Q1: In 2017, among the new champagnes that you’ve tried, which is the most impressive one?

I was at a wine tasting event when I discovered Ulysse Collin Les Roises Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut (base 2013). There was a huge range of wines and champagnes to taste, and this stunning champagne stood out and impressed me with its complexity, purity, citrus aroma, a touch of butter popcorn, and the toasty and yeasty bouquet. It also has a well-balanced structure and long finishing.

Ulysse Collin Les Roises Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut

Q2: Which champagne you would like to choose for your Christmas and New Year?

Almost all of my friends know I am a big fan of Champagne Charles Heidsieck, so it can’t be absent in such important occasions. The only wine that would make me change my mind is a bottle of 1985.

 

 

Mason, Certified Sommelier, Singapore Atlas Bar Chief Sommelier

Q1: In 2017, among the new champagnes that you’ve tried, which is the most impressive one?

Tarlant La Vigne d’Or 2003! A Blanc de Noir (Meunier) which I tasted, ironically, on Champagne Day! I wasn’t expecting much freshness from the Champagne due to numerous reasons, mainly due to vintage 2003, which was extremely hot and the fact that Pinot Meunier itself is not famed for having a particularly high acidity or longevity. This Champagne, however, proved otherwise, it defies all logic and everything I’ve studied. The acidity in the Champagne was exceptionally fresh with good minerality and balance! Absolutely sensational.

Marie-Noëlle Ledru Cuvée de Goulté Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs

Q2: In 2018, which champagne you expect to try the most?

Marie-Noëlle Ledru Cuvée de Goulté Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs 1999 is a Champagne I have been trying for almost 2 years to get my hands on it. The fact that Chez Marie has decided to retire this year has given me more reason to grab it next year before it disappears from the market!

Q3: Which champagne would you like to choose for Christmas and New Year?

I would choose Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Millénaires 1995! As much as I know this Champagne has such an amazing potential, I have decided that I would like to have a bottle every year during Christmas from this 2017 onwards (due to numerous personal reasons), to taste the development of this phenomenal Champagne.

Doyard La Libertine

Q4: If we have Christmas dinner in your restaurant, which champagne on the wine list that you would like to recommend?

I would recommend a Champagne to end your night instead of starting it(as I expect you to), and that would be, undoubtedly, Charles Doyard La Libertine! A sweet Champagne that works perfect with our Christmas dessert offerings. It brings back a lot of emotions and reminds us about the past of Champagne’s drinking culture or history. Charles left us this year and I feel that we should have a toast to end the night, end the year of 2017 in remembrance of him and the legacy he has left behind.

 

 

Widjaja Wicien, Winner of 2016 Indonesia Best Sommelier Competition, Jakarta Bistecca Restaurant Sommelier

Q1: In 2018, which champagne you expect to try the most?

I really want to try the Selosse Champagne, heard about their strong reputation for excellence I am so thrilled to try this wine next year.

Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé

Q2: If we have Christmas dinner in your restaurant, which champagne on the wine list that you would like to recommend?

I will recommend a bottle of Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé, always love this champagne for its complexity. The combination of freshness and high intensity is a perfect match for every dish and of course, the toast.

 

 

Akio Matsumoto, Tokyo L’effervescence Chief Sommelier

Q1: In 2017, among the new champagnes that you’ve tried, which is the most impressive one?

This year, the one champagne that impressed me the most was Emmanuel Brochet. This style is focused on quality. The technique of the producer contains a bit of oxidation which creates a good flavor that pairs well with Japanese cuisine. This year in Tokyo you would see more and more grower producers like this, which makes me very happy. Not only is this delicious but also very well priced for the quality it carries.

Jérôme Prévost La Closerie Fac-Simile Rosé Extra Brut

Q2: If we have Christmas dinner in your restaurant, which champagne on the wine list that you would like to recommend?

For a Christmas dinner at L’effervescence, I would recommend Jérôme Prévost Fac-Simile Rosé Extra Brut. The bright reddish hue reminds me of Christmas and the flavor is perfect with the roasted duck breast we’re serving.

 

 

Han Yew Kong, Advanced Sommelier, Winner of 2013 Malaysia and South East Asia Best Sommelier Competition, Macau Galaxy Entertainment Chief Sommelier

Q1: In 2017, among the new champagnes that you’ve tried, which is the most impressive one?

Recently, I have listed Chartogne Taillet Heurtebise Blanc de Blancs 2011 in my wine list and I have tried them twice. The aromas showed a mixed of baked and ripe yellow fruits and touch of hazelnut. The mouthfeel is balanced with fruits and its crisp acidity showing balance and harmonious. This is one of my favorite champagnes this year.

Chartogne Taillet Heurtebise Brut Blanc de Blancs

Q2: Which champagne you would like to choose for Christmas and New Year?

Christmas is time to share good bottles with friends since I’m not with my family here in Macau. A good bottle of easy drinking champagne like Agrapart & Fils 7 Crus will fit the festive season with its beautiful aromas, and apple cake finishing in the palate. I will be working on New Year’s eve so I will welcome 2018 with Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. Something refreshing with little oxidative notes to end and start the year!

 

 

Yang LU MS, Corporate Wine Director for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, overseeing the group’s wine program and sommelier team.

Q1: In 2017, what is the most impressive champagne you have tasted?

Champagne Krug Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut 1998和Champagne Ruinart R de Ruinart.

Q2: Which champagne you would like to choose for Christmas and New Year?

I recommend a rosé for these festivals to celebrate because at this moment, the atmosphere is much more important than the taste.

 

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