Thursday, July 23, 2009
STOP THE PRESS - 2004 David Léclapart "L'Apôtre"
(Glass, Spiegelau "Adina White wine")
There are at least 15 wines queuing up before 2004 "L'Apôtre", but I simply have to publish this tasting note now. I almost didn't open it, as I felt a bit tired and really wanted to be fully ready. But as we had bought the sushi and"L'Apôtre was standing there all alone in the fridge I almost felt sorry for it.
Glass one is a disappointment, when you take into account that I had extremely high expectations. It holds back a lot, and never really unfolds what I had expected to see. The apples are certainly there, but not as fresh as I had hoped for. But I also knew, by having tasted Vintage 2002 and 2003, that it's a seriously a slow starter. Glass 2 is slightly better, butter and flowers are starting to emerge, to this still rather tight and almost slate infected fruit core. Glass 2 was drunk very slowly - as I expected something was about to happen soon. Glass 3 - BANG!!!!! - What happened? It's like someone just put nitroglycerin in the bottle. First I though it was the mousse in itself, which still was settling down (and can be totally different in aroma) - but no. The wine seems almost cooler in temperature, which of course was not the case. A mind-blowing note of mint leafs, crystallized lime juice, are now being drizzled all over the Champagne, making an out of this world freshness, purity and energy. The apples are transformed into insanely fresh and new notes appear all the time, creating not only magic, but also making the Champagne very vinous. I even detected the most refined smell of liquorices. I have never seen purity, energy and complexity combined like this and it's seriously giving me Goosebumps. The taste is still youthful and these minerals/slate notes are warming up the back palate, providing a really long precise finish. As with the nose, by glass 3 and forward, more purity, citrus, minerality and firm acidity are taking control, making the overall tasting experience seem even purer. Mama Mia, it's not everyday you taste a Champagne like this.
For those of you lucky enough to hold 2004 L'Apôtre, you simply have to taste it now, to get this fresh purity kick, even if more complex layers will come with time. And - drink it slowly, alone or with someone special - plus, chose a white wine glass, not a flute.
This is one of the best Champagnes and wines I have ever tasted.