Wednesday 18 June 2014

Six Bottles Of Champagne To Close The Tasting Season

The annual closing of our tasting season in our tasting group is always with Champagne. This year it was M that poured us 6 bottles.
All wines tasted double blind.

While M was pouring the Champagnes we were presented with a pre wine.
1996 Millesimato, Rotari
This was bottle 158 out of 2400 made. This is made out of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir. It has a cool, light, nice nose with notes of lemon peel, sage, rubber and a touch of smoke. Withdrawn. Hard to get a grip on it on the nose.
The taste is cool, dry and a bit foursquare with some lemon and lime fruit and notes of not yet ripe melon, gravel and some smoke. A bit grapefruity in the finish. It is definitely a ok wine but it lacks charm.
80p   (tasted 2014/06)

The we faced six glasses of bubbly and this line up was a treat!
2004 Divine, Leclerc Briant
The youngest Divine is very elegant, still young with fine notes of red apples, fennel seeds, freshly baked bread and some moist earth. A high, fine nose. Very, very good.
The taste is young, elegant and a bit restrained with notes of lemon, chalk, unripe red apples and a touch of ginger. Refreshing. The finish is medium long and ends dry. Very promising, this needs 5+ years in the cellar.
91p   (tasted 2014/06)

1996 Divine, Leclerc Briant
The 8 year older version has a compressed nose with notes of yellow and red apples, bread crumbs, cap gun smoke and a overripe melon scent. A bit ungainly.
The taste is somewhat mature, tight and good with notes of tarte tatin made with yellow apples, vanilla pods, crushed rocks and grapefruit. A good acidity. This is all over the place, both on the nose and in the mouth. Very good but not in the league of the other Divine´s.
87p   (tasted 2014/06)

1995 Divine, Leclerc Briant
This beauty offers up aromas of sweet yellow apples, lemon fudge, hot grass, sea shells fried in butter and a bit of detergent - very complex and fine. Some maturity but this has a long way to go. Just lovely.
The taste is tight, complex and still rather young with notes of yellow apples, grapefruit, candied lime peels and cap gun smoke. The finish is very long with a refreshing acidity. Ends with a lovely dry twist. This is good! And still young!
93p   (tasted 2014/06)

1990 Divine, Leclerc Briant
As good as the 95 is, it is no match to this almost perfect specimen. The nose is that kind where you get lost in space and time when your nose is buried deep in the glass. Wonderful aromas of yellow apple tarte tatin, cold coffee, hand cream, fudge and smoke oozes up from the glass. There is a nerve in the nose that is fantastic. Perfectly mature.
The taste is pure, focused and mature with notes of sweet yellow apples, almond paste, cap gun smoke and buckthorn. A long, long finish with just the right amount of acidity to keep it fresh. Could be cellared for another 5+ years but it won´t get any better. Gorgeous!
96p   (tasted 2014/06)

1990 Brut, Andre Clouet
The 90 from Clouet is more mature than the Divine and much more than the youngster below. But that is irrelevant, since this is a mouthful of fine, mature Champagne. The nose is big and broad with notes of creamy yellow fruit, dried flowers, dry fudge and a touch of coconut. It reminds me of a mature white Burgundy. Very, very good.
The taste appears a bit younger with notes of red apples, biscuits, fudge, dried flowers and pickled ginger. A long, fresh finish with a good acidity. This is fully mature but I wouldn´t be afraid to hold on to some bottles for another 3+ years.
90p   (tasted 2014/06)

1990 Cuvée St Legrand Blanc de Blancs, RL Legras
When we were forced to guess on the theme for the tasting I thought that the first five bottles had something in common, and guessed it could be the same wine, in vintage order, And since the 90 Clouet seemed more mature than the 90 Divine it seemed logical.
But this one? I thought that we had moved back, or forward, to 2002... This defines logic in its youth. We tasted the 1996 a few years back, and that seemed more mature then than how the 90 performed on this evening.
A young, fresh, intense nose with notes of chalk, young green apples, cigarette smoke, melon and butter biscuits. Very stony and lots of mineral after a while. Very fresh.
The taste is young, cool and tight with notes of butter cup flowers, green apples, chalk and grapefruit peel. Very long and fresh. But not with the intensity of the 96. Maybe time will tell...
90p   (tasted 2014/06)

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