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Putting together a gift case of champagne

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Wine 8

Putting together a gift case of champagne

carbonara | Jan 28, 2008 11:57 AM

After reading through a number of CH threads on champagnes, I've started planning the contents of a mixed case of champagne as a Valentine's Day present for my fiance. I tried to veer towards lesser-known and grower champagnes, though that wasn't an absolute rule. Any thoughts, critiques, and suggestions of substitutions would be highly welcome. Here are the guidelines:

- I'm hoping to spend around or less than $300 total
- As for tastes, he's very (very) (extremely) fond of Krug, particularly the heavenly '90, strongly dislikes Veuve Clicquot yellow label, likes NV Billecart and Dom a lot, and is never averse to drinking NV Feuillate and Bollinger
- Given the passion for Krug, I'm wondering if I should head toward more "muscular" champagnes, though not entirely sure which champagnes qualify. It's funny, though, because, when drinking the '90, the word muscular never comes to mind--maybe because it gets overcrowded by other words, or non-words, like "oh, my God" and "mmmm"
- I can buy the champagne in either NYC or in SF (we go back and forth a lot), though it would be great to find everything at one wine store (so far, K&L looks like a leader), and would rather not buy online, given the cold these days

Thanks in advance.

Leading contenders, for a total of ~$285 before tax:

Pierre Peters 1999 Cuvée Spéciale ($70)
Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve ($40)
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve ($30)
Michel Arnould & Fils Reserve Brut Grand Cru ($35)
Franck Bonville Cuvee Les Belles Voyes Champagne ($65)
Gosset Grand Reserve ($45)

Other possibilities:

Vilmart & Compagnie Grand Cellier ($50)
Pierre Peters Cuvée de Réserve Brut N.V. ($35)
1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Millénaires ($85)
Jacquesson Brut ($40)
Duval-Leroy ($30)
1996 Duval-Leory ($45)

Edited to add: Or, heck, maybe I should scrap everything and get the boy a bottle of the '96 Salon. But we've never had any Salon, ever. So would he even like it? Decisions, decisions!

Another or: maybe I should look for more '96 options among the grower champagnes.

Other CH links that have been helpful:

Gift of champagne: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/457486
True champagne: incomparable: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/430435
Affordable and versatile sparkling wines: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/474564
Mixed case of champagne: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/434080

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