Just two weeks until Christmas! In the fourth part of our Christmas Gift Guide series, we are offering even more gift recommendations for those who love both whisky and wine. Here are Collectorbits’ top 3 Christmas gift packages for those who want to give a delightful bottle of champagne combined with an unforgettable experience.
Dom Pérignon and the Champagne Avenue
Épernay, which is also called the ‘Capital of champagne’ can be found in the Grand Est Région of France. The charming town is home of many leading champagne producers such as Moët et Chandon, Mercier and De Castellane.
The champagne: Dom Pierre Pérignon, O.S.B. was a French Benedictine monk who made important contributions to the production and quality of Champagne wine in an era when the region’s wines were predominantly still red. Today Dom Pérignon is a celebrated Champagne brand owned by Moët & Chandon and serves as their prestige label as one of the most celebrated brands of vintage champagnes in the world.
The brand’s wine making technique produces exceptional quality and flavor in vintage champagne with rare bottles, dating back to 1921. There are no particular “bad” years from Dom Pérignon as the brand doesn’t release bottles on off-years, but some of the best modern vintages are 2002, 2004 and 2008. The 2008 vintage’s characteristic acidity is remarkably well integrated. The champagne braces concision with an aromatic persistence. The Champagne creator, Dom Perignon, is also a renowned sculpturist in Epernay!
The experience: Walk the famous street, L’Avenue de Champagne, with its romantic LED lights that light up during the night. Visit the historic and beautiful property of Moet e Chandon in Epernay and explore their old cellars. A tour includes tasting a glass of Dom Perignon as well!
Where to stay? Check out this romantic B&B, called Champagne Sacret. It offers a good start to explore the charming area of Epernay.
Taittinger and the 18 meter deep historic cellar
Reims, the “unofficial” capital of the Champagne wine-growing region, is a city in northeastern France’s Grand Est region where many of the champagne houses headquartered offer tastings and cellar tours.
The champagne: Taittinger’s vineyard encompasses 300 hectares for a production amounting to 6 million bottles a year. The strength and sophistication of the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs comes from the exceptional conditions found in the Côte des Blancs region. Its slopes are located south of Epernay and dominate the chalky Champagne plain. 95% of its vineyards are planted with Chardonnay vines, whose white grapes create champagne with a light, delicate aroma full of character and vitality.
Taittinger’s 2008 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne was highly praised with many critics even rating it the finest vintage since the brilliant 2002. After 12 years of maturing in the Taittinger cellars, opening this vintage is said to be an occasion in itself. With a deep and complex bouquet of acidity and dry fruit, the champagne is balanced and harmonious. Stated by Robert Parker, “The 2008 is clearly built for the long haul, and three decades’ longevity won’t be a challenge.”
The experience: During the year, Taittinger welcomes visitors from all over the world, to showcase the remarkable art of champagne production. This experience allows each visitor to travel through time: From the remains of the 13th century Saint-Nicaise Abbey to the magnificent Gallo-Roman chalk quarries located 18 meters underground, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage “Vineyards, Houses and Cellars of Champagne”. For more information on the tours, visit their website.
The contemporary five star hotel Assiette Champenoise features a three Michelin Star restaurant. Check out their special offers for an unforgettable experience!
Make sure to visit Reim’s Cathedral, located almost next door, with its outstanding colorful stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall. The Museum of Surrender is also definitely worth a visit!
Louis Roederer and the “Le parc” Michelin Star restaurant
Louis Roederer is a producer of champagne based in Reims, France. Founded in 1776, it was inherited and renamed by Louis Roederer in 1833. It remains today as one of the only still independent and family-run maisons de champagne.
The champagne: Louis Roederer’s Cristal is one of the house’s most famous wines, created in 1876 to satisfy the demanding tastes of Tsar Alexander II. The emperor asked Louis Roederer to reserve the House’s best cuvée for him every year. He was particularly fond of the House’s wine. To distinguish this cuvée, this exceptional champagne came in a flat-bottomed, transparent lead-crystal bottle. The new brand was named after this precious material, which is particularly transparent and luminous. Produced uniquely during the best years, when the Chardonnay and Pinot noir grapes have attained perfect maturity, Cristal is aged for 6 years in Louis Roederer’s cellars and left for a further 8 months after dégorgement.
Cristal 2012, the latest released vintage, is no exception. Cristal is a remarkably balanced and refined champagne whose length is unique. It has a silky texture and fruity aromas, complemented by a powerful mineral quality with white fruit and citrus notes. Cristal is a wine that keeps well: It can be conserved for over twenty years without losing its freshness and character.
The experience: Experience the champagne region with a stay at the Domaine Les Crayeres with various premium offers. The rooms are each decorated in exquisite detail, characteristic for pure classical French style. Double Michelin starred, Philippe Mille, elaborates the gourmet menu of “Le Parc.” Accompanying him are the Director of the Restoration, a pastry Chef and two Head Sommelier that provide their wine expertise. An enchanting way to experience the culinary and wine world of France!
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