Friday, February 13, 2009

Claude Thibaut Our Sparkling Wine / Champagne Expert Comes To Pour His Own THIBAUT-JANISSON Sparkling Virginia 3-Clone Chardonnay At Cleveland Park On

     I guess I ran out of space in the headline and did not realize it. It should finish : " On Abraham Lincoln's birthday, Thursday, February 12th, 2009 from 5-8 PM. Sorry ...

     It is always great to have Claude here with us at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits. I think we met him way back in mid 2005 with his wife Pamela Margaux. They are both now like family and welcome here anytime. Claude's our " go-to guy " and expert on all things bubbly and champagne as he has devoted his whole adult life to it I believe.

     Claude got here around 5 PM and it was quiet at first and so we got a chance to chat as I set everything up for the tasting. That was good : it gave me a chance to find out more about this second year of THIBAUT-JANISSON Virginia Monticello NV brut . Turns out his partner Manuel ( Manu ) Janisson  takes it back to champagne, France and includes it all the time in blind-tastings to see how it does. According to Claude last night it always surprises, pleases and does/scores really well.

     I also learned more about the source for the Chardonnay grapes that he uses to make his Virginia bubbly. It comes from one vineyard close to Charlottesville. I forget the name unfortunately but the vines are some of the oldest in Virginia dating back to either 182 or 1983. They planted three Chardonnay clones, one from New York, a #4 and another one. 

     This second year is amazingly smooth, refined, delicate, silky : medium to light bodied and really nice to enjoy with or without food. Claude has said that it is very similar to last year's : I agree. Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post newspaper also agrees and wrote it up in his December  article of favorite bubblies to celebrate the New Year ( which m by the way mostly only included " Grand Cru " champagnes from France!

     I really enjoyed the subtlety of Claude's THIBAUT-JANISSON N.V. brut sparkling Virginia wine. I can see how easy it would be to enjoy and still feel really fine afterwards. It's simply not heavy or cloying at all : to the contrary, it's exactly the opposite. Claude mentioned this several times : that one will feel fine afterwards/ the next day, unlike when you drink some sparkling / champagne wines.

     Claude has had quite the career that spans 25-30 years or so. He started in the champagne area of France where his father ( now sister ) makes the GUY THIBAUT champagnes that he compares to his friend and partner's JANISSON champagne. I've asked him to bring us a bottle sometime so that we may taste it here. We are waiting Claude. Ne nous oublier pas Claude!

     Claude made the champagne at DAVAUX ( goes back to 1846 , elabore par Union Auboise a Villenueve Bar-sur-Seine ) in champagne, France. he recognized the bottles that we had here back in 2005 ( that we purchased from Kysela Pere/Fille Et Fils ). His eyes lit up when he saw them.

     Then he went on to Australia to make one of the more popular bubblies there. I forget the name now, can't ever seem to remember it Claude : what is it again, please.

     From Australia Claude went to California and made the first IRON HORSE bubblies ( including the " Wedding Cuvee " ) and then made the first " J " for JORDAN vineyards.

     While in California Claude met his wife Pamela Margaux that is from Silver Spring, Maryland I believe he said yesterday. They returned here to the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and set-up their two businesses : MARGAUX & COMPANY ( importing mostly French wines including the JANISSON champagnes that we have always sold here since we first met Claude and Pamela in 2005 ) : and Claude making excellent bubbly in Virginia, first at KLUGE and now THIBAUT-JANISSON  on his own with partner Manuel Janisson.

     We have a full range of the JANISSON champagnes here from the FRANCOIS DE ROZAY ( $32.99 ) to the Brut JANISSON  " Tradition " ( $39.99 ) , the dry Brut rose NV ( $39.99 ). We also sell the half bottles and magnums of the JANISSON champagne. They have all found a receptive audience here in Cleveland Park ( Wines & Spirits  3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008  Tel: 202-363-4265 ).

     Here are some pictures that I took of last night's tasting of his second year of making the THIBAUT-JANISSON sparkling Monticello brut Virginia wine. I was only here till 6:30 PM because it was my early night to work. I rushed home to enjoy a meal with my wife and son. 

    These pictures came out pretty well. I'm pleased with them. I'm sure that if i had stayed I would have taken many more as more people got off work and came to celebrate their time-off from work as well as Abraham Lincoln's birthday!

     For more technical information go to :, Tel : 434 466 2592   Fax  434 973 7166  ,  1413 Dairy Road , Charlottesville, VA. 22903 ).      Cheers,   TONY

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a self proclaimed "amateur" of the wines of Champagne I was pleasantly surprise on my first bottle of Thiabaut-Janisson Brut blanc de blanc at the Clifton Inn in Charlottsville. As well prepared of an American Bubbly as I have had.

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