About last night…#WomanCrushWednesday was in full force with my beffies. We had our first girl’s night since, well, before the pandemic started. And let me tell you, the Zoom happy hours and daily messaging does not compare to cackling and catching up in real life. For this special, and now rare, occasion, we busted out that good good.
We started the evening by popping Champagne Palmer Brut Reserve. Palmer & Co was established over seventy years ago, in 1947, by seven grower-families with prized Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards in the Montagne de Reims region of Champagne. The seven families shared a desire for perfection and a vision to create a Champagne house known for its passion for harmony, balance, and the pursuit of excellence. Today, those qualities still define the Champagne Palmer style. This reserve is based on a selection of wines from the best vineyards in the Champagne region. It was so tasty (sorry, no notes)! The perfect starter for the beginning of our loonnnggg night.
As we finished the bottle and started digging into the charcuterie and homemade onion dip, we got a little flashy—like we were about to drop bills at E11even—and opened Champagne Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades rosé. It’s a family affair with 12th and 13th generation wine growers, Jean-Jacques Cattier and his son Alexandre, crafting the cuvées of Armand de Brignac. Their dream was to create a champagne of the most exceptional quality, that would represent the best of the best from the region, where their family have grown vines for more than 250 years. The wine is made with Pinot Noir from old vines, planted in the Montagne de Reims, that produce fruit with powerful flavor intensity. The color was beautiful and vibrant. I enjoyed it, but it definitely is NOT worth the $400+ price tag. Lots of hype around this metallic bottle, Jay-Z.
Many stories and laughs later, we dove into the Frankie’s Pizza and the bottle I brought, Château Palmer Alter Ego Margaux 2003. It was one of my first WineBid buys and I knew the Bordeaux-loving hostess would approve. Chateau Palmer and its Alter Ego are the two wines produced by the estate. Alter Ego made its debut with the 1998 vintage. Its birth coincided with the purchase of eight hectares of vines, which became the heart and soul of Alter Ego. Because Alter Ego comes from different plots than Palmer and is produced with a different blend than the Grand Vin, Chateau Palmer does not view this as a second wine. They produce and market the wine as its own, unique wine. This vintage made records in interesting ways. There was a heat wave with record-breaking temperatures—the highest in the region for 150 years—and there was a quick harvest, the earliest since 1989. Yet, it all worked out!
The wine was made with Merlot (47%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (53%). I was so nervous to open it, since some websites said it was exiting its drinking window. I opened it up and poured a bit before decanting. I was surprised to see such little sediment. The nose was slightly oxidized upon opening, but the wine was simply lovely. It was medium garnet with the rim starting to brown. I got notes of delicious dried dark fruit, black plum and cherries, capsicum, spice, earth, and vanilla. The wine was dry with medium acidity, soft tannins, and a medium to long finish. I’m so thrilled it was just a nice, elegant wine and not corked. The perfect way to end a special night with best friends.
The friendship between us four women is very much like the wine. It’s based on a long history like these Châteaus, we care for our friendship like a farmer cares for the grapes, and we cultivate the best out of each other to create something beautiful like these wines. Just like the variety of wines we drank, we each have our own qualities and traits that mix together to create balance and perfect harmony.