Producing a Classic Method on Mount Etna is an intimate and natural desire, given the qualities of the volcanic soil and of the indigenous vine varieties, already in 1870 the Baron Felice Spitaleri di Muglia produced the first bottle of Champagne Etna, thus giving birth to the experimentation of sparkling winemaking on the volcano. This recurring idea swirls in the head of all the Etnean producers, who are aware of the minerality, the sapidity and the bright sourness of Carricante and of Nerello Mascalese vinified in white. They understand its potential, which can be “triggered” by a second fermentation in bottle!
Animated by this intimate desire, as well as by the insatiable curiosity that enlivens every sommelier, I did some researches. I didn’t find any experiment of sparkling winemaking on the grecanico dorato or the albanello, but I was caught up in an interesting digression on the price of some of the most expensive champagne in the world.
So I decided to go on Wine Searcher and Google to look up the price of the most precious champagne, I am reporting their name below:
1) Krug Clos d’Ambonnay, Champagne, France à Champagne Blanc de Noirs € 2,012
2) Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon White Gold Champagne, France à Champagne Brut € 1,723
3) Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Oenotheque Rose, Champagne, France à Champagne Rose € 1,293
4) Jacques Selosse Lieux-dits Collection Extra Brut, Champagne, France à Champagne Extra Brut € 1,174
5) Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon by Karl Lagerfeld, Champagne, France à Champagne Brut € 1,093
Here they are: 5 of the finest and most expensive champagne in the world
Below is a description of every bottle, along with the features that struck me the most.
1)Krug Clos d’Ambonnay is a Champagne true to its name! It is produced with grapes of Pinot Noir resulting from only one extraordinary harvesting year and grown in a small patch of soil (slightly more than half a hectare) at Ambonnay, a city famous for this special variety of Pinot Noir. These grapes represent a precious treasure for the maison Krug, which was able to create an excellent wine. A golden Champagne, characterized by light purple hues, honest fragrances and an intense hazelnut taste which perfectly blends with the inebriating flavor of exotic fruits. Its refined sourness makes it fresh, persistent and expressive.
2) Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon needs no introduction. Its white gold edition is refined, opulent and unique, not only for the high quality of the produced Champagne, but also for the white gold plated bottle on which we can find engraved the legendary label of Dom Perignon. A precious treasure that all the most intrepid collectors crave for.
3) Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Oenotheque Rose it’s a sort of “experiment” that the famous maison, that is, the chef de cave Richard Geoffroy, wanted to try at the beginning of this new millennium. Enothèque is a revelation! This special kind of program exalts its wonderful ripening ability, bringing the Champagne to its maximum plenitude, since it stays longer on the yeasts, and making it almost reach perfection. It envelops and amazes you.
4) Jacques Selosse Lieux-dits Collection Extra Brut, from Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Meunier grapes, is really good when served with fat fish dishes like salmon and tuna, because its intense but refined sourness creates a graceful balance between food and wine. Delicious with chicken and calf in recipes not too elaborated but rich in taste.
5) Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon by Karl Lagerfeld. From its name we can easily realize that this special edition was made by the famous German designer Lagerfeld, almost twenty years ago. Today Mr. Lagerfeld, as well as the Moet & Chandon, has greatly increased his reputation, so much that he has become the creative director of the fashion houses Chanel and Fendi.
The price of these bottles makes them surely prohibitive for us common mortals and many could believe that their cost is almost offensive, but nonetheless it is true that the experience, the knowledge and the quality that French winemakers have reached is surely one of the most virtuous expressions of viticulture and enology on our planet. We surely must approach this form of art with our utmost respect.
I’ll finish my digression going back to my beloved Etna. Who knows what would have happened if the experiments of the Baron Spitaleri, a wishful thinker, had not been just isolated attempts, broken off by the phylloxera and by historical events? Who knows if the Baron’s Classic Method would have been amongst the most expensive “Champagne” in the world?
Maybe the renewed Etnean enological sensibility will give us an answer, one day…
Below I report the ancient bottle of Baron Spitaleri’s Classic Method.
Research source: www.wine-searcher.com
Pictures source: www.google.it/imghp