fredag 20. november 2015

BYO Champagne 19.11.15

Litteraturhuset 19.11.15

Jacquesson Avize Champ Cain 2002
strålende syrefrisk champis med ivrig mousse i en ungdommelig stil. Epler, karakterfull og flere mente denne bitre tonen i bakkant kom fra Pinot Noir. 2 g/l dosage. Et solid og godt autolysepreg, kledelige oksidative noter, årgangen holder seg godt. 93 poeng

Fra; a longtime wish of mine was fulfilled this week on a visit to Champagne Jacquesson, when I finally tasted the Vauzelle Terme, a champagne made exclusively from a steep and tiny pinot noir vineyard of the same name in the village of Aÿ. Jacquesson first produced this as a separate wine with the 1996 vintage, but it was so scarce and so highly sought-after that I never even got the chance to see a bottle. The next vintage of Vauzelle Terme is 2002, which won’t be released until 2010.

If you haven’t been following the house of Jacquesson lately, they are in the midst of a drastic restructuring to their portfolio that began in 2000, when they discontinued the Perfection non-vintage brut in favor of a numbered, highly vintage-specific cuvée. The first, Cuvée 728, was based on the 2000 harvest, while the current release, Cuvée 731, is based on 2003. The Perfection vintage brut had already been discontinued in 1989; Jacquesson continues to produce a vintage wine now (currently 1996), which takes the place of the Signature prestige cuvée. 

Most strikingly, however, Jacquesson is now producing three single-vineyard, vintage-dated champagnes: Dizy Corne Bautray, Avize Champ Caïn and Aÿ Vauzelle Terme. The first vintage of Corne Bautray, a pure chardonnay from a vineyard on the high slope between Dizy and Aÿ (and just up the hill from my house, incidentally), was 1995, and there was another made in 2000, which is currently available in the market (and it’s superb). The first Champ Caïn, a chardonnay from a chalky vineyard in Avize on the border with Oiry, will be the 2002 – Jacquesson already had an Avize bottling prior to this, but it was a blend of three parcels: Champ Caïn, Némery and La Fosse. In the outstanding 2002 vintage, Jacquesson produced all three wines together for the first time, and since Champagne Time moves very, very slowly, we won’t be able to see the true picture of the new range until these wines are released in 2010.

On my visit this week, Jean-Hervé Chiquet generously opened the three 2002s for me to taste, along with the 2000 Corne Bautray and the 2003 Terres Rouges, a single-vineyard, saignée rosé from Dizy. The 2000 is in current release, as I said, but the others were all disgorged the day before and thus presented without any dosage – the final dosage (if there is any) won’t be determined until the wines are released, of course, and will certainly be either extra brut or non-dosé. As a sneak preview, here are some brief notes, keeping in mind that the 2002s are still very adolescent and have another two years of lees aging to go.

Dizy Terres Rouges 2003
The first Terres Rouges, the 2002, was 100% meunier; the 2003 is 83% meunier and 17% pinot noir. This bottle is of course non-dosé, having been just disgorged, but it will be dosed at 3 g./l. when it is released in September 2008. Deep in color, this shows bold flavors of strawberry and red cherry, backed by notes of licorice and damp earth. It’s ripe and full in flavor yet doesn’t feel weighty, maintaining a graceful balance. 

Avize Champ Caïn 2002
Silky and fine, this feels ethereal on the palate, its fragrant, lemony aromas tethered by intensely chalky minerality. It has the marvelous sense of detail found in the best 2002s, and it’s a wonderful comparison between this, a classic Côte de Blancs chardonnay, with the Corne Bautray chardonnay from the Grande Vallée de la Marne. 

Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millènaires 1995
Lys, delikat, cuvee stil og veldig forskjellig mht. presisjon vs. den forrige champagnen. Deilig og kremet, med temperatur får den en voldsom rikhet med toner av sjokolade og kaffe. Stor i munnen og litt flabby for en 100% chardonnay, men det er litt Charles Heidsieck stilen dette. 91 poeng.

Veuve Cliqouet Millenium Reserve Rosè 1989
Bra syre og pen friskhet intakt i en årgang som kan mangle litt spenst i Champagne. Smør med bittert bitt og bra mousse gjør at den går bra til "Terrin ala pinnekjøtt". Litt tom munnfølelse og bør nok drikkes. 89 poeng

Josmeyer Hengst Riesling Grand Cru 1988
Gylden tydelig riesling med snev av petroleum og elde. Linoleum, slank i munnen, steinmineraler og moden frukt. Thomas var "spot-on" på årgangen. Bør nok drikkes. 87 poeng

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