Champagne Forget-Brimont – Always Just Right!!

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Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fine Champagne is indeed a wonderful thing and it doesn’t get much better than the superb range of very well-priced, award-winning bubbly produced by Champagne Forget-Brimont. We are bringing back the tried and true favourites – 1er Cru Brut; 1er Cru Extra Brut and 1er Cru Rosé Brut along with the 2004 1er Cru Vintage (Millésime) Champagne. And, for those very special, romantic occasions we are including both the limited production 1er Cru Grand Rosé and the exotic Grand Cru Rosé.

Champagne Forget-Brimont

\When we first got into the wild and wacky wine business almost ten years ago, the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission would not grant us our agency license unless we already represented at least one winery in Ontario (Joseph Heller of Catch 22 fame would have loved this dilemma). Champagne Forget-Brimont was one of the brave wineries that first signed on! Since then they have become a real favourite with the members of Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club and have helped us all celebrate countless occasions, special and otherwise.

Michel Forget is the sixth generation Forget to follow the family’s wine-making tradition. Louis Forget created his vineyard at the beginning of the nineteenth century and Eugène established the family label in 1920 (with a production of only a hundred bottles).

Eva Schubert, Michel Forget et Moi!
The eighteen hectares of Forget-Brimont vineyards are located in the terroirs of the Montagne de Reims (Mailly-Champagne and  Verzenay - Grand Crus Pinot Noir), Ludes and Rilly-la-Montagne (Premier Cru Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay). Michel Forget also buys Grand Cru Chardonnay for blending. Each year over 180,000 bottles leave the Forget cellars to help celebrate victories and assuage defeats for champagne fanciers around the world.

Our experiences with Champagne Forget-Brimont would not be so delightful were it not for Eva Schubert who oversees the marketing activities of the estate.

No question about it, the Forget-Brimont champagnes are all terrific. As well they should be. First, all the grapes come from premier and grand cru vineyards. They use only cuvées, the first and best juice that flows from the press. The taille, the coarser juice that comes later is sold to others.  Michel Forget personally oversees absolutely every aspect of the creation of these meticulously crafted champagnes.

The Champagnes on Offer

We are thrilled to bring back the very popular Champagne Forget-Brimont 1er Cru Rosé Brut that has sold over twenty-thousand bottles at the SAQ in Québec (currently $53.50 the bottle compared to only $47 at your venerable wine club).

We also have five other delicious Champagnes available along with the ever-popular ‘Champagne Sampler’. We are also offering the 1er Cru Brut and 1er Cru Rosé Brut in half bottle and magnum formats. All of them contain 12.0 percent alcohol by volume and come in convenient six-bottle cases (except the magnums which come 3 to a carton and the half-bottles which come 12 to the carton). The Premier Cru Champagnes contain more than twenty-five percent Grand Cru juice. While drinking very well now, they will develop additional depth and character with an additional year or two in the cellar. We will be taking your orders to the LCBO on Friday, August 29th.

 
Champagne Forget-Brimont 1er Cru Brut – 12.0% Alc./Vol.       Regular Bottles - $45/$270 case of 6
                
                        Magnums - $100/$300 case of 3
                                        Half Bottles - $28/$336 case of 12   

Believe me, this is a great wine for a great price. The grape composition is 60% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay (all Premier and Grand Cru). A pale golden colour with a delicate nose of green apples, white flowers and hazelnuts, it has a very fresh, deep structure and is well-balanced with good length. What a great way to start any party and also a wonderful accompaniment for white meats.

Here’s what Alison Napjus says about it in the December 31, 2012 edition of the ‘Wine Spectator’ – “Firm and focused by racy acidity, this is lightly chalky in texture, offering tightly knit flavors of ripe Gala apple, anise, black currant candy, fresh ginger and biscuit. Fine balance. Drink now through 2018. 16,500 cases made. $63 (wow, note the price!!) – 91/100”. Robert Parker rated it a 90!

And, it costs much less than you would pay for regular mass-marketed Champagne. Here are some examples of the prices of ordinary Champagne currently available at the LCBO (not a 1er Cru in the bunch, let alone one with Grand Cru juice as well):

Piper Heidsieck Brut $54.95
Lanson Black Label Brut $54.95
Möet & Chandon Brut Imperial $62.85
Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut $61.25
Veuve Clicquot Brut $67.95

Ain’t it wonderful when you don’t have to support all those expensive advertising campaigns? And, if you’d like to try right now, you can find it at Le Sélect Bistro in Toronto. Click to order. Regular Bottles - MagnumsHalf Bottles


Champagne Forget-Brimont 1er Cru Extra Brut - 12.0% Alc./Vol. - $48/$288 case of 6
This is really excellent apéritif Champagne in a delicate and refreshing style. Comprised of 60% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay, (all Premier and Grand Cru grapes) this crystal-clear Champagne possesses delightfully persistent tiny bubbles.  Aromas of white flowers, citrus, pears and honeysuckle carry through in the mouth. It is beautifully fresh and lively with a long finish and would be a special treat with lobster, oysters or caviar. This lovely fizz has earned a Five Star rating from Decanter magazine. Click here to order.


Champagne Forget-Brimont 1er Cru Rosé Brut - 12.0% Alc./Vol. -            Regular Bottles - $50/$300case of 6
                       
                                    Magnums - $110/$330 case of 3
            
                                               Half Bottles - $31/$372 case of 12

This is the Champagne for those most festive occasions. It is also an ideal apéritif. Its rose colour comes from adding red wine from Brouzy to the Forget-Brimont reserve cuvée. The grape composition is 60% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay (Premier and Grand Cru grapes only!). In the glass, the beautiful light salmon colour provides an ideal backdrop for its steady stream of tiny bubbles.

Alison Napjus has this to say about it in the November 15, 2012 edition of the ‘Wine Spectator’ – “This offers lovely balance, a finely detailed texture and delicate acidity that focuses the subtle flavors of ripe plum, wild strawberries, and melon fruit. A hint of almond-tinged financier and mineral notes add complexity. Drink now through 2015. 5,000 cases made. $67 (note, our price is $20 less!!) - 91/100

At least $25 less than anything comparable at the LCBO, it is a big hit with our Members. Click to order.  Regular Bottles - Magnums - Half Bottles


Champagne Forget-Brimont 1er Cru Grand Rosé - 12.0% Alc./Vol. - $54/$324 case of 6
This is a recent Forget-Brimont creation specially crafted for those very special events and occasions. The elixir picks up its festive ruby hue from the 2008 red Pinot Noir wine that makes up 15% of the blend. It also contains 45% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier and 15% Chardonnay assembled from the 2007, 2008 and 2009 vintages. This lovely wine offers up fresh, enticing aromas of stewed red fruit, wild strawberries and a trace of anise. The fine, tiny bubbles pleasantly tickle the tongue as the lively liquid fills the mouth leaving a full, round and ample impression and a sumptuous finish. It is perfect as an aperitif, will go splendidly with game and decadently with deserts such as macarons. Several cases of this beautiful wine will  help us celebrate eldest daughter Kate’s nuptials on August 23rd. Why don’t you order some for your special moments?


Champagne Forget-Brimont 2004 Millésime 1er Cru Brut - 12.0% Alc./Vol. - $60/$360 case of 6
The 2004 Champagne Forget-Brimont Millésime 1er Cru Brut is a true delight. The grape composition (all from the very good 2004 harvest) is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay (1er and Grand Cru grapes only!). In the glass, the beautiful luminous golden colour provides an ideal backdrop for its steady stream of tiny bubbles. It has a complex nose of stewed fruits, toasted bread, hazelnuts, almonds and vanilla. A wonderfully mature, round wine with a silky finish it would be perfect with chicken, foie gras or sweetbreads with morels. By the way, the ‘Wine Spectator’ rates the 2004 vintage in Champagne 92/100.  Order some of this spectacular wine now.


Champagne Forget-Brimont Grand Cru Rosé -12.0% Alc./Vol. -  $63/$378 case of 6
It doesn't get any more festive or refined! This Grand Cru Rosé is made from 76% Grand Cru Pinot Noir and 24% Grand Cru Chardonnay. As one would expect from such classy Champagne, the bubbles are tiny and explosive. It is a beautiful salmon pink colour with a nose of strawberries, apples and raspberries. In the mouth these flavours persist and are joined by notes of black and red currants and citrus fruits. The finish is fresh and elegant. There is a perfect harmony between the richness of the Pinot Noir and the finesse of the Chardonnay. The Grand Cru Rosé Champagne goes well with many, many things, but is best by itself at the start of a serious party. Order your festive potion now.


Champagne Forget-Brimont  Sampler - 12.0% Alc./Vol. - $54/ $324 case of 6
champagne-forget-brimont.frYou get one bottle each of the Champagnes on offer - 1er Cru Brut, 1er Cru Extra Brut, 1er Cru Rosé Brut, 1er Cru Grand Rosé, 2004 1er Cru 2004 Millésime and Grand Cru Rosé. This is a great way to try each of these wonderful bubblies and decide which ones you like best for your next order. It would also make a great gift for the Champagne fancier. Click here to order.


Champagne Facts

  • The AOC Champagne is comprised of 321 communes covering 31,000 hectares; each is classified on a scale from 80 to 100.
  • Only 17 communes are rated 100; these are the Grand Cru.
  • A further 46 communes are rated between 90 and 99; these are the Premier Cru (fewer than 20% are grand Cru or 1er Cru).
  • Champagne can be made from only three grape varieties – Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.
  • More Pinot Noir is grown in the Champagne region than in Burgundy.

Important Note
The LCBO is the only entity authorized to sell beverage alcohol in Ontario. Arthur Sellers & Company and Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club do not sell or markup beverage alcohol, but rather, arrange for customers to purchase it from the LCBO. Our prices indicated above and on our website include the LCBO sale price plus a fee to cover the cost of sourcing, handling and marketing the wine. The LCBO’s sale prices are available on request.

LCBO Random Delivery Audits!

The LCBO is performing random audits on transactions conducted by their Private Order customers and import agents. Hélène received a phone message yesterday from an Ismael Tan, Operations Analyst, Specialty Services, LCBO, asking her to call him to confirm a delivery from the agent, Arthur Sellers & Co. When she returned his call, he told her he was going to email her a message asking her if she received the wine and the correct number of bottles as well as provide copies of her invoice from Arthur Sellers & Co. Attached to the email was a copy of the LCBO invoice for the transaction, the same one that the LCBO said they are sending out with each delivery (see our previous message regarding  this subject).

Should you receive a call, please feel free to contact me if you would like any assistance with your reply.


LCBO Delivery Notices!

The LCBO has started to mail out delivery notices to all our Members who order wine. This notice is being sent when the wine has arrived from overseas and has been cleared for delivery by the LCBO. The form letter is two sided, one with the numeric details of the transaction and the other with pick-up instructions. Please note - the pick-up instructions do not apply to our Members.

Why?

First, they instruct our Member to pick up the wine at the LCBO’s warehouse loading docks at 33 Freeland Street in Toronto. Our Members don’t have to do this – we either cause the wine to be sent to an LCBO retail store that is conveniently located near our Member or we personally deliver the wine.

Second, they infer that our Members owe them for the wine and warn that they will be penalized if the wine is not picked up within a prescribed period of time. Our Members have already paid for their wine and don’t owe any additional money. We look after payment for them.

Please disregard these form letters when you receive them.

We have requested that the LCBO either correct the message or not send it at all. We also asked that they send the message electronically (they have the e-mail addresses of everyone who orders) to save money and be environmentally responsible. They have thanked us for our suggestions and we hope they will act on them.

Why is the LCBO sending out these notices?

When we inquired, we were told that this has always been their procedure; they just haven’t been following it.

We can surmise that it is in response to last year’s ruling by the Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario (IPC) ruling that the LCBO stop taking personal information from wine club customers. In a subsequent Ontario Superior Court of Justice appeal hearing, the case was remitted back to the IPC for reconsideration, i.e., the LCBO and the other involved parties were told to work out their issues between themselves. A key point in the ruling was, “it is not clear whether the IPC actually made a clear or consistent finding on the issue of whether the LCBO's customer is the club or the club member.” Since then, the LCBO has been determined to make certain that we are all fully aware that it is they who control the customer relationship when it comes to the purchase of beverage alcohol in the Province of Ontario.

To reinforce this point, they have instructed us to prominently post the following wherever we display our prices:

The LCBO is the only entity authorized to sell beverage alcohol in Ontario. Arthur Sellers & Company and Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club do not sell or markup beverage alcohol, but rather, arrange for customers to purchase it from the LCBO. Our prices indicated above and on our website include the LCBO sale price plus a fee to cover the cost of sourcing, handling and marketing the wine. The LCBO’s sale prices are available on request.

If you have any comments for the LCBO, please address them to Margaret Plant, Supervisor, Private Ordering (margaret.plant@lcbo.com) and copy Archie Karanxha, Acting Manager, Specialty Services (arqile.karanxha@lcbo.com) and Geoff Allaire, General Manager Operations, Toronto Retail Service Centre, Vintages Warehouse (geoff.allaire@lcbo.com).

All this reminds me of a very old joke. It seems that a little devil was involved in a most unfortunate tangle with one of Toronto’s Red Rockets that resulted in his tail being severed. He was rushed to the Toronto General Hospital but was refused admission. The ER receptionist explained, “I am afraid you will have to take him to the LCBO ... they are the only ones in Ontario allowed to retail spirits.”


Kate joins the team!
We are delighted to announce that our eldest daughter Kate (shown here with a bottle of Penfolds Grange from her birth year!) has officially joined the Arthur Sellers & Company team. She is an avid wine enthusiast with a very fine palate and is renowned for her frequent thirsty assaults on Arthur’s Cellar. Kate will be assisting us with the day-to-day operation of our wine club and will introduce our fine wines to her market demographic (recognizing that this old tippler needs a little help marketing to the younger aficionados of the fruit of the vine). Please join us in welcoming Kate to our wonderful world of wine.

Hélène's 2014 Tour to Provence is Sold Out; But ...
She is taking reservations for September 2015. Long our favourite part of France, Provence is filled with so many wonderful things – marvellous markets, gorgeous perched villages, exquisite Mediterranean cuisine as well as the Mediterranean itself, a bevy of awe-inspiring Roman ruins, medieval towns, olive oil mills, Southern Rhône vineyards, sophisticated cities with great shopping, and constantly changing, spectacular scenery. And, you get to spend it all comfortably ensconced in your very own castle for a week, the enchanting Château du Goult. Maybe even get a group of friends to join you. That way, Hélène can massage her itinerary to meet your special interests.

Please contact Hélène for all the delectable details.


Where’s My Wine??
Generally, it will take three to four months from the time you order your wine till it is delivered. To find out where your next treasure is on its long journey from Europe, just click on Delivery Status in the side bar to the left. We update it regularly.

About our website

Our web site will grow and change as we respond to the needs and preferences of our members. We appreciate the time you take to tell us about how we can improve our web site, and invite you to pass your comments and suggestions along to us. Click here to send us an e-mail and let us know what you think.