NV Michel Arnould et Fils, Champagne a Verzenay Grand Cru Brut Reserve
The bold, haughty Arnould et Fils is a study in biscuits and gravy. It's a toasty, rich Champagne with pronounced spice, but nothing that anyone would consider exotic. These are down home country flavors, a little black pepper here, maybe even some cayenne, like an apple pie baked in a cast-iron pan your grandma (or I) used the rest of the year for jalapeno cornbread. It's full of the dried apricot and hazelnut flavors that Verzenay is known for, proudly displaying its grand cru status. There's something lean and limey about it. That finish makes this wine easy to understand and enjoy--it cleans up after itself and needs no food--but also leaves it surprisingly simple.