Champagne Brunch – Sold Out
2010 Dec 5

river cafe winter

11.00 am Sunday, December 5, 2010 

members (AND 1st Guest): $125.00 non-members: $145.00 non-drinker: $85.00 

Email your reservation to or phone: 403-243-9982 

THEN send cheques payable to the Grand Cru Society to: 

Llyn Strelau 

1643 Altadore Avenue SW 

Calgary, AB, T2T 2P8  

 Please join us at the River Café to kick off the holiday season as we taste and compare five champagnes (one non-vintage and FOUR vintage wines) from the house of Aubry. The fireplace will be crackling; Chef Andrew Winfield’s fantastic food and the Cafe’s genial staff will be complemented by these fine wines – the perfect way to spend a winter Sunday afternoon! 

Following is a list of the wines we will enjoy along with tasting notes. An update to this notice with the full menu will arrive shortly.


When it comes to tradition, the Aubry brothers Pierre and Phillipe give it their full respect. They are descended from a line of wine growers that began in 1790. Not only do they grow the common Champagne varietals Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, they have revived the almost extinct varietals Fromentau (Pinot Gris), Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier and Arbanne. That all 4 of the Pinots are allowed in Champagne is thanks to a regulation that permitted “Pinot” but failed to specify which Pinot. The Aubry’s believe that if their ancestors planted all of the varietals in the first place, there had to have been a reason. Wanting to celebrate the bicentenary of the vineyard house in 1991, they felt this could only be properly done by creating wines using the noble varietals of the 18th century. These grapes were endangered but they made it their goal to find and revive them. These champagnes are unique and complex, graceful yet intense. Their 17 hectares of premier cru vineyards create only 11,700 cases annually. They used to sell a third of their grapes to big houses including Veuve Cliquot but happily 2001 was the last year. As the Aubry’s use concentrated grape must instead of sugar for their dosage, the palate “reads” the sweetness differently. There’s more of a fructose texture, a clotted-cream kind of grip. The wines are alternatively lovable and impressive and occasionally both! 

Passed appetizers:  

Smoked Halibut and wild rice cake with green tomato relish

Noble Farm duck pate with crabapple jelly 

Walnut sablé with Brie de Meaux and membrillo


Aubry Brut Classique  This multi-vintage cuvée is a traditional assemblage of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from three different harvests. The wine expresses the natural freshness of the grape. Blend: 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir amd 20% Chardonnay.from vineyards including Pargny and Jouy-les-Reims with some from Villedommange and Coulommes-La-Montagne.
Dosage: about 6 grams per liter. Ageing: 18 to 24 months on lees. Released 2 to 3 months after disgorging.

Tasting Notes: The nose offers fine notes of fruity white peach and raspberry. On the palate, the round flavours of Pinot Meunier envelopes a structure that remains firm and toned. With 80% red fruit, you would expect a “heavy” Champagne but you’d be surprised. There is lots of black walnut aromas and juicy crackery charm; it is also long and structured; a wine with a strong personality.  

Firstst course: 

Crisp Broek Acres Pork Belly & Poplar Bluff Roasted Beet 

Cider Cured Wild Salmon Roe, Horseradish Crème Fraîche and Watercress 
Aubry Sablé Rosé 2005  

This vintage has been created to celebrate the bicentenary of the House of Aubry in 1991 with the intention of reviving the style of Champagne of the18th century. The colour is a shimmering pale salmon, light and sparkling. Again, like the blanc de blancs, the designation of sablé indicates that they reduced the sugar used for the secondary fermentation to acheive a lower atmospheric pressure which results in a wine with a delicate mousse.
The assemblage of this rosé varies with the vintage allowing a free improvisation to blend various cuvées of red and white grapes. They utilize both the saignée method and press wine in this blend. The dosage is extra brut (at Aubry this means NO dosage so the wines are basically crisp and dry). Aged 3 years on lees and released 2 to 3 months after disgorging.

Tasting Notes: Nose dominated by citrus zest, tangerine, with slight notes of exotic smoky scents. On the palate the wine shows firm body, with a beautiful vivacity and a hint of tannic grip. It presents many possibilities for food matching.  

Main course:  

Wood Grilled Lois Lake Steelhead Trout 

Cedar Smoked Fingerling Potato, Chanterelle, Chevre Sabayon and Nasturtium Pistou 
Aubry Ivoire et Ebène 2004  

This is a champagne built on the contrast of the noble ivory Chardonnay and the rustic ebony Pinot Meunier both exclusively from vineyard of Jouy-les-Reims. The blend contains 70% Chardonnay from a plot called the “Auditor” (a very stony, steep south-facing vineyard that is rare for the region) and the remaining 30% is a selection of old vine Pinot Meunier vines grown in an eastern aspect on limestone clay soil.
Dosage is extra brut and the wine is aged 4 years on lees and released 4 months after

Tasting notes: The nose is seduced by the aromas of orange, ripe yellow fruit and nougat. The same contrast is in the mouth, Chardonnay gives the frame, firm and controlled, enveloped by Pinot Meunier’s roundness. The very low dosage gives a clean crisp finish. Spending 9 months in old 200 litre oak casks, it shows that this is how to integrate woodsiness with chalk and chestnut and sandalwood. This is both an original and remarkably delicious fizz   

Aubry Le Nombre d’Or Sablé blanc de blanc 2005  

A blend of three white grape varieties of Champagne, this wine is obtained from a specific tirage that is less rich in sugar and yeast, giving a light creamy mousse. Aubry’s designation for this lower-than-normal pressure is sablé. Grapes are sourced from their monocru Jouy-les-Reims. Assemblage: 40% Chardonnay, 30% Arbanne and 30% Petit Meslier.
Dosage is Extra Brut and the wine is aged 3 years on lees and released six months after disgorging.

Tasting notes: the wine immediately reveals a bright chiseled nose of flowers, bergamot and ginger. On the palate there is an initial vivacity that extends into great length. It is vibrant, correct and stimulating, this wine is the perfect example of a blanc de blancs with a great sensation of natural purity and a touch of honey.  


Okanagan Cherry Brioche Bread Pudding 
Vital Green Organic Frozen Yogurt Spiced Caramel 
Aubry Le Nombre d’Or Campanae Veteres Vites 2003  

This wine is an assemblage of all of the historic varieties that are permitted in Champagne but rarely used. It represents a link to the past, the name means: “the old vines of the countryside”. It is an authentic and vibrant expression of diversity, drawn from the wide range of varieties now almost forgotten. The blend is dominated by Pinot Gris (known locally as Fromenteau and historically as Enfumé) combined with Petit Meslier, Arbanne, Chardonnay and three more Pinots: Blanc, Meunier and Noir.
Grapes are sourced from the vineyards of Villedommange, Pargny andJouy-les-Reims.
Dosage is less than 5 grams per liter. Aging: 4 to 5 years on the lees and released.4 months after disgorging.

Tasting Notes: The nose is a complex melange of fresh plums, brioche, flowers, lime and spices. Rich and ripe, the refined palate expands in length with a pleasant freshness. Like a pyramid, this wine builds on its solid base rises to a summit that is highly refined and light.  

Executive Chef Andrew Winfield












We look forward to seeing you all on the 5th! 






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