S21: Étampes to Paris Champs-Élysées: Duval-Leroy Champagne Brut

A very nice, fresh n.v. champagne to toast Sastre and the end of the tour. Here’s tasting notes courtesy of one zin1953 at chowhound:

medium straw in color, with a livel mouuse and fine bead; a forward, rich nose of ripe red apples, light chalk and wet stone, with a moderately full “hit” of brioche and yeast; medium-full in body, round and rich on the palate and very flavorful, with good richness, nice complexity, and a long, lush, flavorful finish. Very fine indeed, and a marked improvement from the bottles I had in the 1980s.

You are probably wondering what zin1953 means by “livel mouuse,” and so were we. Google seemed to think we were searching for “live mouse,” but while the wine was frisky it lacked that damp fur note one often picks up from small rodents. So probably zin meant to say level or little mousse which refers to the effervescence of the wine and/or the foam that forms on pouring. With a wine such as this you may find yourself focusing on the bubbles just until the brioche hits. Seriously, though, this did have a very pleasant yeastiness and enough mineral to ground it.

It’s been a fun tour, albeit with only a couple of really exciting stages, and we set personal bests for both coverage of the route and the pretentiousness of our palattes. We did fall behind on our viewing and tasting, but eventually caught up thanks to Tivo. We’ll be back next year in some form, with some combination of drinking, eating and cycling. (Our secret ambition is to drag our friends into this–we’ll cook faux French and they’ll bring wine–hopefully expensive wine–from the appropriate region).

Au Revoire. We’ll leave you with an image from the end of the 2006 tour (which should have won that Versus contest!) and a panorama of this year’s wines.


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